For Caroline Aslan, a member of The Estridge Group at Long & Foster Real Estate, success is all about the little things.
“My biggest win was probably my smallest transaction,” Caroline begins. ”[I helped] an adorable couple with one child and another on the way (and a snake breeding business — although I didn’t know that at the time). They desperately wanted to own [a home] but had no money to put down and only one earner. Connecting them with the right lender and being very strategic about the search parameters, I managed to find them a wonderful townhouse that they bought well within their means, for only $1,000 at closing and the cost of their home inspection.”
Originally from the UK, Caroline got her start in real estate later in life than most. In London, she worked in direct marketing. After arriving in the United States 18 years ago, it took Caroline a couple of years to get her work visa.
“My marriage didn’t survive, and I found myself starting over in my 40s,” she remembers.
Eventually, Caroline landed back in the marketing world, where she focused on the hospitality industry. But it wasn’t a permanent move; she was in search of more meaningful work.
“I thought, what is the common thread I’ve had in my career? And that is working with people. I’ve always liked houses…and I realized, this is an industry I can get into.”
In 2016, Caroline decided to take what she learned in client management and apply it to the real estate industry. She got her license in November of that year and hit the ground running.
“I’ve always enjoyed working with people, whether it is managing a team and working on developing an individual’s career, or just ensuring that their experience is a positive one. Working as a real estate agent gives me the privilege of being instrumental in what is usually the most important financial undertaking in people’s lives. I want to make sure that the experience is as smooth as possible for clients, focusing on providing what is, essentially, a white-glove service. If they come away from their process thinking real estate transactions are straightforward and easy, I’ve done my job.”
Caroline found early success by taking the time to talk with respected, successful agents in the area. Leaving the security of a well-paying job to enter the unknown of real estate was a risk, and Caroline was determined to succeed.
“I knew that I had to partner with successful people, and three years in, I know I chose wisely,” Caroline says.
In real estate, Caroline enjoys the malleability of her days. “There is no such thing as a typical day,” she says. Three years in, she’s achieved success (she closed over $13 million in 2019). However, admittedly, she is still seeking the balance point in business and in life.
“Coming into this career later than some means that my life and schedule are very flexible. The past three spring markets that I’ve experienced indicate that I haven’t nailed the work-life balance, but I’m okay with that for now. With success comes the ability to lay down firmer boundaries regarding personal time. I have no problem doing that, once established,” Caroline says.
Looking ahead, Caroline is honed in on growth. She just obtained her CPRES designation — a nationally recognized probate certification. While she may not have decades of experience in real estate, she does have decades of experience in ensuring a satisfied client.
“Nothing pleases me more than a testimonial that calls out my patience and dedication to ensuring that each transaction is a good fit, based on my knowledge of the objectives and goals of my clients. First-time buyers are a particular favorite of mine, and I make it my personal goal to ensure that they feel empowered and knowledgeable throughout the process,” Caroline says.
Looking ahead, Caroline hopes to continue to grow her business, protect her own future, and help clients along the way.
“I can’t pretend that earning a good living and protecting my future is not the key motivator. I’m just lucky that I’ve always enjoyed poking around other people’s houses, and I’ve been blessed (or cursed?) with a strong need to help when invited in. I intend to be extremely successful, even though my window of opportunity may not be as long as those of people who join the industry earlier in their careers. My ultimate goal is to carry this career through my retirement for as long as I’m able.”