Brad Stern’s Story
My Road to Success
Like most guys I knew in high school in the 1970s, I had jobs that didn’t require much skill. During my first and second years of college, I worked at my friend’s father’s printing business in Boston’s Leather District, running a printing press and schlepping paper, as a security guard at the loading dock at Polaroid in Needham, at the front door at Narcissus night club in Kenmore Square, and selling pots and pans door to door. In my Junior year, my roommate’s little brother rented apartments in Brookline, Brighton, and Allston. This lit a fire under me. I remember saying to myself, “If that he can do this, I can do it better.” 1979, I enrolled in the Lee Institute Real Estate license exam course my mother paid for. She takes credit for my career to this day.
The apartment rental job really clicked with me. I wasn’t a person that could sit in a cubicle all day. A few days into the job, I realized that I excelled at meeting people and attending different properties daily. The only part I wasn’t happy with was the time I spent “spinning my wheels” and not making money when I showed an apartment. How could I stay in the real estate business and make money every time I had an appointment? The answer was to become an appraiser. In 1980, no courses or licensing were required to become an appraiser. Just hang out a shingle, and you’re an appraiser! An appraiser I met while showing apartments recommended Bentley College Appraisal classes.
I signed up for my first class in early 1980. The instructor has been a friend and colleague of mine for 40+ years. For the next two years, I worked at the City of Boston Assessor office as a condominium appraiser and as an appraiser for a private firm. In 1983, I opened my own firm working out of my friend’s trailer in Medford. In 1983, I got married, moved to Newton, and opened my first office in Newton Center. Forty years later, I still enjoy my job. Every day is different, new people, new places, and learning something new. The flexible schedule of the appraisal business has allowed me to present for my children and my family. I’m blessed.
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