New lease on life | The Winona Times
As the saying goes, sometimes a person has to get uncomfortable in their own comfort zone to step out and go for her dreams. If it wasn’t for a questionnaire, Jasmine Robinson may be still wondering “what if.”
While completing the “Getting to Know” questionnaire for The Winona Times/Carroll County Conservative, Jasmine Robinson said one of the questions made her think.
And instead of dreaming, she decided to leap. The question – “What is your dream job?” At the time, Robinson worked at a bank.
Although she liked working in banking, the pressures and stresses of the pandemic were a lot to handle for her. Robinson said she worked the window, and she interacted with people each day. She said the bank saw anywhere from 300 to 400 people a day.
“I’ll be working the window and someone will say ‘Oh, I’m in quarantine’ or ‘Oh, I just tested positive.’
But, I never got sick and I’ve still never contracted COVID,” she said.
She said the job that she once loved had become a lot to handle, and it was uncomfortable.
But, she needed to be uncomfortable.
“I liked my job at the bank because I like helping people. But, I was mentally exhausted,” she said. Robinson said the question gave her the boost she needed. Robinson said she’s always wanted to venture out into real estate, but when she got the job at the bank she weighed the options of having a guaranteed check versus commission.
She said she actually began the courses for her real estate license.
“I have four kids, and I have to provide for them and I needed the income. So, I told myself I’ll finish them later,” she said. Robinson said three years later, she had become acquainted with her customers, and she didn’t want to let them down. So, she stayed.
Until the question made her re-evaluate what she really wanted to do. But, as the poet Langston Hughes asked himself in his famous poem, “A Dream Deferred,” Robinson learned that her dreams didn’t just shrivel up, they were just on hold.
And the question “What is your dream job?” showed her that her dream wasn’t deferred, she just had to step out and go for it.
This time, when she began her real estate coursework three years later, she completed it.
And, she ran into another hurdle – the real estate license test.
“The first time I took it, I missed it by five points. The second time I took it, I missed it by three points,” she said.
Robinson said in the process, she put in her two week notice at the bank.
“You can’t work at the bank and hold a real estate license; it’s a conflict of interest. So, I knew I had to quit.” She said she put in her notice for Sep.30, but left two days before the 30. Before she left, she ensured herself that she would still have a steady income.
“I also have my insurance license. So, I got on Indeed and found a work-from-home job where I sell insurance. Being home, it was like a weight had been lifted off of me. I didn’t feel pressure. I was at home where I was safe,” she said.
The third time she took her real estate test, she passed.
“I knew the material but I was inside my own head. I knew what I needed to do. I had to get out of my own head. When I took my third test, I was rested and I passed.”
And one of her dreams that she put off, was now coming true. “I was elated! I was so happy. Something that I’ve been wanting to do, I finally did. I knew that things would be different for me and my kids.”
For the first year of holding her license, she worked under Kyle Cravens with Cravens Properties, LLC. She said she reached out to the team at Cravens Properties, LLC and they were very receptive.
“I knew them and it’s a small town. They’re who we worked with when we bought our home. They welcomed me aboard with open arms and I appreciate that,” she said.
She said throughout the home buying process, she gets to know her clients. But, her first few sells were really special.
“I closed on a home for my longtime friend, a friend of the family, an 83-year-old vet and it was his first time buying a house. I’ve sold homes to some really good friends,” she said.
But, Robinson didn’t stop there. She then went after her broker license.
“I wanted to be in control of my own license. As a real estate agent, you have to work under a broker. I wanted to work for myself, open up my own firm as well. I wanted to lay a foundation for my children,” Robinson said. “If they want to [go into real estate], I can teach them. If they don’t want to, that’s fine. I want them to do what they’re passionate about. I don’t want them to work because they have to, I’ve done that. I want them to have options.”
But, again she hit another brick wall. Robinson’s resilience though and as with her other walls, she conquered getting her broker license as well.
“I second-guessed myself once again. I had to travel two hours to Memphis to take my broker’s license and where the place is, it’s on a busy street. There were cars constantly passing by, and I could hear them. And I was getting distracted, but I had to tell myself to focus.”
She said she’d told herself that if she didn’t pass them, she could try again. But, she did.
Robinson is now the first African-American woman in Montgomery County to hold a broker’s license.
“I’m 35. There have been other realtors before me but I’m wondering why am I the first one. But, I won’t be the last. I’m working on that,” she said. Robinson is setting up her own firm, Take Care Realty, but she also works under Canzell Realty.
“They have firms in 17 states, and this one will be the first one in Mississippi,” she said. Robinson said her goal is to help other real estate agents like her get started and to help more people buy homes.
She said another goal is to teach others what she knows.
“You may have the same information as someone but it doesn’t mean it will be the same. No one can stop that, they will try, though.”
But, she’s not stopping there. Robinson now wants to go after her real estate appraisal license, making her the second African-American in Montgomery to hold an appraisal license, the first being Maverick Hughes and the first African-American woman to do so.
And ironically, she will be trained under Hughes to get her appraisal license.
“I have so many plans,” she said. “I just want to give the best version of me. And if anyone has any questions, they can reach out to me. I’ll be happy to help.”