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Embracing Setbacks: Lessons from Real Estate Professionals on Overcoming Challenges

Advice to Their Younger Selves: Embrace Failures as Opportunities

When faced with adversity, Megan Walters found herself delivering devastating news to new homeowners preparing for their relocation to Columbia. A sudden storm had rendered their newly acquired residence uninhabitable.

Similarly, Mike Grellner shared a plethora of anecdotes from his real estate career, spanning triumphs and setbacks, posing a peculiar question: Is it permissible to hunt deer from a building’s rooftop?

Walters, a member of the Class of 2021, and Grellner, from the Class of 2009, were recognized as part of the COMO Business Times 20 Under 40 alumni, reflecting on their ventures in real estate.

One amusing anecdote recounted by Grellner involved a warehouse on North Paris Road that his company had listed years ago. The departing manager expressed fondness for the building, revealing it as his preferred deer hunting spot over the years, overlooking the woods and rail line.

Reflecting on this revelation, Grellner pondered the legality of such activities but chose to focus on the property listing without highlighting the unconventional “deer hunting amenity.”

Conversely, Walters, the proprietor of The Walters Team at eXp Realty, vividly recalled a challenging situation where a family’s dream of moving into their new Columbia home was shattered by a destructive storm.

Shortly after the closing, a sudden storm wreaked havoc, causing a neighboring tree to crash into the house, rendering it unlivable.

Despite the initial shock, Walters and her team swiftly mobilized to assist the distressed family. Through collaborative efforts with local resources like Veterans United, the community rallied together to support the affected family, showcasing the power of human compassion in times of crisis.

Ultimately, the family was able to return to their refurbished home within a few weeks, thanks to the collective efforts and kindness of the community.

Grellner emphasized the importance of embracing both successes and setbacks in one’s professional journey, advising his younger self and aspiring Realtors to view failures as stepping stones to future opportunities.

He underscored the significance of patience in the real estate industry, highlighting the enduring nature of success and the need for perseverance amidst challenges. Grellner also expressed his disdain for misconceptions fueled by mainstream media reports on housing market conditions and emphasized the value of hard work in achieving one’s goals.

Driven by a passion for real estate and the interpersonal dynamics it entails, Grellner finds inspiration in the legacy of property ownership and aims to uphold this tradition for future generations, viewing it as both a privilege and a responsibility.