Today we’d like to introduce you to Jojo Olaseha.
Hi Jojo, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
I was first introduced to real estate by a co-working while working as a part-time/weekend teleprompter operator for WJZ 13. The co-worker, a cameraman that worked in the studio, was so excited over his 1st big closing (home sold over $500,000). He was telling me how he worked weekend desk duty to get more buyers, he was showing beautiful homes in Owings mills and so on. Thats when the seed was sown and I was curious. During this time, I was working several jobs and going to school to be an RN.
Fast forward a year later, I was in nursing school and having my daughter. I knew I couldn’t focus on school and raise my baby. So I started doing research on becoming an agent but the time was not right. Kayden, my daughter was very young and I was separating from her dad so I knew I needed to get my ducks in a row first.
Finally, Kayden is four years old and starts school. I wanted to be the parent that attended field trips and spent the day with her and her class. I wanted to be a hands-on mom. At the time, I was working as an administrative assistant for a dialysis clinic which meant 9-5 mon-thurs. It was hard to take off and I hated not having more freedom in my days and control over my schedule.
So I revisited the idea of real estate. I had to take a 60-hour course which I did at night while friends or family kept my daughter. I passed the exam and became a Realtor when my daughter was five years old.
Six months after getting my license, I quit my job where I made $16 an hour and I never looked back.
As soon as I was licensed, I found two mentors within my brokerage and I latched onto them. I held on to everything they said. I wrote it down and re-read it at home. I did open houses every weekend. I started working with investors 1st which was fast pace and it taught me a lot about my city (Baltimore). I begin to fall in love with Baltimore. I discovered new restaurants, neighborhoods, local businesses, influencers and my circle of friends grew. My mission and passion is to rebuild our amazing city through real estate and homeownership. I wanted to change the narrative of Baltimore by highlighting beautiful homes right here in the city that no one expects to find in Baltimore. I wanted to inspire folks to purchase in Baltimore city and focus on the good. This city has so much to offer.
As I grew as a business owner and Realtor my clientele begun to expand beyond real estate investors to residential sellers and buyers. I started closing 5-6 houses a month. My sales area of expertise grew as well too. I was selling homes in Bmore city, PG County, Howard County, Harford County and Frederick. My career grew as I grew as a person. I focused on knowledge of my industry, service to my clients and Excellence.
I switched brokerages a few times, found new mentors and I read every book I could find that would help me grow as a business owner, mother, and to become a better person. (self-help and career books)
I started my own real estate team (Jojo and Associates of Next Step Realty) Two years ago. I started a property management company (KMD Property management three years ago). My real estate team is an all-black female real estate team. We sell a lot of real estates and we focus on building communities and wealth through real estate.
We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
It has NOT been a smooth road at all BUT it has been worth it. I had a rough start into real estate. Financial I couldn’t afford my life and the extra fees real estate cost me. I was a single mother and I was coming off of a horrible few years.
See prior to becoming a realtor and after having my daughter, I lost everything. Car, house, job and friends. I was lonely, depressed and embarrassed. Being broke is hard. Having a baby and not being able to provide for the child is horrible. I was sleeping on my sister’s couch, then living with my mother.
Finally, after four years I found my fitting. I had a new circle of friends, good friends. I found a new love and he has REALLY helped my career a lot. I got a car and I got a job and apartment. I was grinding trying to pull myself out of that hole. I had spiritual guidance, love and faith. I believed I was going to be more and I wouldn’t let go of that faith.
So when I became a Realtor, I was still rebuilding my confidence and figuring out which direction to go. Folks were not always nice to me. They underestimated me greatly but I was determined, So determined.
Other struggles is deals falling through which is part of the business but it still sucks. Also learning to manage my clients and work/life balance.
Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I am the team lead for an all black/female real estate team. We are top producing Realtors servicing Baltimore city and county Prince Georges and Howard County as well as DC and PA.
We’re committed to the highest level of knowledge, service and care.
I am the owner and founder of KMD Property Management. We are a boutique property management firm servicing Baltimore city.
Do you have any advice for those looking to network or find a mentor?
Service first. If you want someone to take time out of their business schedule to train you for free, you need to be of service to them first.
How can you lighten their load so that they may assist you? How can you help their company so they can operate smoothly. What can you offer your mentor?
Networking as to come from a place of “Give give ask”. Give your time, knowledge and skills to your mentor. Also, do not expect free mentorship. Folks deserve to be paid for their time and knowledge. Compensation does always have to be money.
I would work ALL of my mentor’s open houses, I would take their buyers out when they were on vacation, I would do what they needed me to do or what they simply did not want to do.
Also, LISTEN to your mentor. They are the expert and you are the student. Have an open mind and listen.
- Email: Jojo@NextStepRealtyMD.com
- Website: JojoAndAssociates.com and KMDPropertyManagement.com
- Instagram: @jojo_giovanni and @jojo.and.associates
- Facebook: Jojo Olaseha and Jojo and Associates
Erin Douglas (photographer) IG: @APhotoChick Website: Erin-sha.com