As many of you know, I decided to move on from my previous role at Zillow to pursue other things. I’ve spent the last month being unemployed — and have loved every second of it. Is it a little scary? Sure. But it’s exciting at the same time; I love being able to do whatever I want, whenever I want. However, that can only go on for so long without going broke. Don’t worry, I’m not broke yet — but I’m happy to accept cash, personal checks, or paypal donations if you’d like 🙂 For my next career move, I’ve decided to work virtually for Jim Marks doing marketing and customer service (among other things) for Virtual Results and YouReach Media. I’m assuming most of you, at least those within the real estate space, are familiar with Virtual Results and the custom real estate websites they build in WordPress. With my role doing biz dev for Zillow, I’m very familiar with all the players in the real estate tech scene, and I’ve long thought the websites Jim builds (such as Partners Trust, Prime Miami Beach, Rancho Santa Fe Community Home Finder, and Arbour Realty) are some of the best sites out there. And those that know me certainly know I’m as big a WordPress fan as they come. Most of you are likely not familiar with YouReach Media since it’s a new venture between Jim and Tom Ferry. At a 30-thousand foot level, it’s a 6 month social media training program (though there will be other courses available in the future) that teaches a comprehensive social media strategy via online lessons, videos, quizzes, and a weekly webinar. Prudential Southern California is the first brokerage partner offering the program to their agents, and about 300 Prudential agents are starting the program on Monday. I’m certainly aware there is  no shortage of social media training for real estate professionals; I think the YouReach differentiation is that it’s not a “drive by seminar” only to be forgotten 3 days later and has follow-up exercises built into the program (something most programs lack IMO).  And I happen to know for a fact that Jim understands this thing called “social media” and is not just regurgitating what he hears from others.

Jim and I have become close friends over the past year and I’m a huge advocate for working with the people I want to work with; Jim is one of those people. Working in a smaller company will give me experience across a wide range of skill sets and gives me a broader set of responsibilities. In addition to my work with Jim, I’m working on another project that I’ll share more details about soon (hint: it’s travel-related).

As I said above, I’m going to “work virtually” — that’s because I’m going to spend the next 6 months traveling, both domestically and internationally. Jim’s been extremely accommodating on my desire to travel and work at the same time, and that certainly played into my decision-making. Here’s the rough itinerary for the next 6 months:

  • Monday, I’m heading out on a  road trip around the US. I’ll be hitting Portland, San Francisco, Phoenix, Austin, and maybe New Orleans and Atlanta. We’ll see how the schedule works out once I get going, but I’ll keep people posted here, foursquare, and Twitter. If you are in any of these cities (or cities in between), let me know – would love to meet up.
  • Mid-April, I’m off to South Korea with 2 friends to visit 2 of our good friends who are teaching over there, and making a stop in Tokyo on the way for a few days.
  • Will be back in Seattle early May for a wedding, hitting Bay to Breakers in San Fran, then I’m migrating to Greece in mid-May with 4 friends to stay (probably on Santorini) until mid-August.

After that, who knows. I’m thinking of moving to Southern California or NYC, but maybe 6 months of traveling will influence my decision making a bit; not knowing for certain is part of the fun!

As for my online presence, I’ll post real estate “stuff” on both Geek Estate Blog and the Virtual Results Blog. My personal thoughts will continue to show up here, and microfinance related observations, links & thoughts on myKRO.org. I’ve also started using a Tumblr blog to share links I find of interest to me (and yes, I know my Tumblr theme is lame and needs work).

As you can tell, there are lots of moving pieces…but I couldn’t be more excited for the year ahead!