Rewriting My Redwood Story

Late last year I made the decision to leave my real estate home at CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty to go work for Inman News. The move allowed me to experience another side of our industry; one that offers people the opportunity to speak their truths in front of an audience and revel in the fact that they are able to influence and change someone’s course of action through a simple, yet powerful presentation. In many aspects, this was an ideal job for me. I had already experienced being onstage at an Inman event telling my story, so having the opportunity to be a part of this behind the scenes seemed like a fantastic opportunity. However, I soon found that it also provided me with a certain degree of doubts, both in myself and in my ability to actually deliver on what was expected of me.  Five months went by and I still didn’t have a clear sense of direction for myself. 

 

Then life happened. 

While attending Inman Connect NY in January, I received a phone call that I never expected to receive. The call was a branch of the US government informing me that my family’s life was in danger back home in the DR Congo. In the midst of working the event in NYC, I was also involved in ensuring the safety of my family, which culminated with my parents evacuating the country and leaving 30 years of their lives behind for an uncertain future across the globe.  Their world, and everything they knew, came to a sudden end.  At the same time, after much consideration and the blessings of my amazing team, I decided it would be best for me to step away from Inman.  

My world, and that of my family, was thrown into a tailspin. It was during this time that I came to a realization: with my world crumbling, seeking out something new and uncertain wasn't the right course of action. I decided that I needed to come back to the place that birthed my career in real estate. I knew that I wanted to be among the people who constantly reminded me of my worth through their smiles, their embraces and their unwavering beliefs that I matter. For me, that meant coming home to my real estate family – coming home to my Redwood Family.

I came back to CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty because it was time for me to stop pretending that my greatest adventure lies at the shorelines of other companies, or other opportunities. Everything I know in this industry, and every single opportunity for personal and professional growth has been made possible by the people at CENTURY 21 Redwood Realty.  Grace and forgiveness for my continuous mistakes have been extended to me here, unlike any other place I have been.  When an organization or a company continues to believe in you fully while knowing your shortcomings, it compels you to see your career and your life differently. It makes you better, stronger and assures you that no matter what happens, you won’t brace the storms of life by yourself. 

That is home to me.

I am home now, serving our amazing Executive Vice Presidents and facilitating our expansion in the region.  But perhaps the most important element of my work is sharing the Redwood Story, and that story doesn't revolve around glamour, or flair, or fanfare. At the core of our story is the belief that in everything we do, people – not profit – are valued above all. 

This is Redwood’s Life – my life – unfiltered, unscripted, and I look forward to sharing this life­with you.

Billy EkofoComment