Laura Forman, Real Estate Agent
Laura Forman Homes – www.lauraformanhomes.com
Written by Julie Stroud
A second chance is a gift. It is a lifeline tossed out to one who needs a new hope. In Laura Forman’s case, she needed and desired a refreshed professional life. Building upon her learning experiences, skills, and attributes she found her way to God’s best for her career.
Warm and friendly, Laura engages easily in conversation that affirms and inspires. She is positive yet soulful, business-like yet artistic. She readily shares her story of coming to Christ and the many ways He has redeemed her life.
Psalm 18:2 shares Laura’s faith and God’s mercy. “The Lord is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer; my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.”
As a young college grad and newlywed, Laura worked for one short year in information technology before choosing to be a stay at home mom. Unfortunately, the marriage eventually unraveled. As a mom with three children and one on the way, she had to find work that would provide for her family. The brisk pace of changes in the I.T. field would make it difficult to jump back in after a ten-year leave.
After a little research, Laura landed on a paralegal certification program that was a reasonable commitment. Many years ago, she had considered becoming a lawyer. Perhaps this was a step toward that end goal.
For five years, Laura worked at a law firm close to home. She gained valuable experience yet saw a field that
was fast-paced, edgy, and exhausting. For Laura, the field lacked a sense of greater purpose and joy. Working close to home, she balanced work and family life. For all these things she is grateful, yet she readily shares, “the job of a single parent is the most misunderstood and under-appreciated job out there.”
Eventually, she met David and they married. This afforded her the opportunity to stop working full time for a season. David encouraged her to explore her gifts and goals and find work that was truly satisfying. Laura’s lifelong passion has been health and wellness, so she became a certified fitness trainer. She was working toward expanding this into a complete health and wellness business.
However, the work felt more like, well… work. She discovered this line of work was less about teaching and more about motivating. This was challenging because she was naturally motivated to be fit and healthy. She also realized that health and wellness is a lifelong pursuit, not a succinct goal and transaction. Therefore, traversing life’s peaks and valleys with a client would be required. An empathetic big sister-type, she realized fitness coaches need to be firm. For these reasons and more, it just wasn’t the perfect career fit for her.
What Laura had discovered was that she wanted to work with people and be her own boss. David suggested real estate. Within a couple of weeks, a local real estate office hosted an event highlighting the career. Conversations with agents and the experience in general were affirming. The Coldwell Banker School for Real Estate licensure program was starting soon, and Laura jumped on board.
She looks back on this decision with enthusiasm, “Doors were opening and it was affirming.”
Indeed, it has been an excellent career choice. Laura’s nose was to the grindstone with the goal of achieving Regional Rookie of the Year. Friends trusted her to be their agent, she also followed up on leads, went above and beyond, and soon found herself training new agents. She achieved the recognition and the award, having closed multiple millions in sales. In her second year, she has set a new goal and has nearly achieved it. Additionally, Laura has developed a reputation as a fair and respectful representative of her clients.
Perhaps it was the support and encouragement of her husband that gave her the impetus to shatter the self-limiting beliefs she had adopted. She had always worked in support roles and had not viewed herself as an independent entrepreneur or a salesperson. David planted seeds about her gifting and spoke words of confidence and vision.
Her varied careers have required time and money, resulting in a degree and several certificates, yet Laura came to terms with this journey. She now encourages women, “Try something – an education is never wasted. After a brief amount of time considering your options, take the risk and make the change.” Laura has discovered that her experience as a paralegal has been helpful in advocating for her clients. This is just one way that the Lord has woven together the fabric of her career.
While Laura never considered herself a salesperson, she now sees sales is about relating to people and discovering their needs. Buying and selling properties is not just transactional, it is emotional. Moving is not always a happy experience, and her clients need support and a listening ear at times. She shares with clients, “We are on the same team. You are hiring me. Here is what I can do for you.” This mindset helps her handle the tough news and the hard days. Part of the job involves spending time showing or listing homes, only to have the client change their mind. It is part of the job, and it is part of building relationships with clients.
As a self-employed person paid on commission, this line of work is a faith walk. Laura prays for her business, her income, and for houses to close. One up side is that her schedule is flexible and she has plenty of family time. As her own boss, Laura also shares authentically who she is. “I get to connect with people who don’t know Jesus. I want my kindness to come across as an outpouring of my faith.” It has been particularly thrilling and touching to pray with clients on occasion.
Laura admits that they could swing it financially for a season, but also says that money isn’t everything. It is possible to go without some things for a short time to achieve what you want in the end. “I decided my happiness was worth something, too.” Indeed, one of her favorite scriptures is Jesus’ words from Matthew 11:29-30, “Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”
Yes, Laura believes that work is for joy.
“Find something you love to do so it feels like play and is energizing.”
Written By Julie Stroud
Julie Stroud is the Founder and President of Fervent Coaching. With two decades’ experience as a work at home mom and solopreneur, Julie brings experience, wisdom, and education to the clients she serves. Through coaching and training, Fervent Coaching equips and inspires Christian entrepreneurial women to be God’s best in the marketplace.
Are you a Christian woman entrepreneur with a story of personal and/or professional overcoming? Or does your ministry or business have a strong give-back component that is making a difference locally and/or globally? If you would like your story considered for this blog and upcoming book, contact Julie Stroud at email@example.com.