Today we’d like to introduce you to Megan Ivy.
Megan, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
The path to my current career in Real Estate has been a perfectly, imperfect one. I was raised in Austin, Texas (Hook ‘Em!) and completed my Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Texas State University in 2011. I immediately jumped into clinical work, primarily working alongside athletes in an outpatient orthopedic setting. When my wife, Amy and I decided to grow our family through foster care, though, I was forced to take a hard look at my career path. At the time, my wife’s career was booming and I was feeling frustrated with the confines of working within our broken healthcare system. Simultaneously, we knew that being foster parents would be an extremely demanding role that would require a great deal of flexibility and availability on our part. Taking everything into consideration, I quit my job with the plan of staying home for the time being and figuring out what would be next along the way.
After our first foster placement and a few months at home, I began considering the options for “what I wanted to be when I grew up.” I found myself gravitating towards Real Estate for a number of reasons, most of which were, in retrospect, honestly somewhat arbitrary. Nonetheless, as I examined this potential pathway, one of my greatest concerns was always that after having spent a great deal of time working closely and intimately with people in the clinical setting, the world of business and sales would feel too “cold” for me. Little did I know that this concern would become the driving force that would shape my Real Estate business.
After obtaining my license and starting my career with a large brokerage, I found my way to my current small brokerage, Usaj Realty. I met Anton and Jenny Usaj through the course of one of my first real estate transactions and they left a lasting impression on me. Not only were they laser-focused and driven business professionals, but they were incredibly intentional, thoughtful and most of all, kind. Over the last few years working alongside the Usajs, as well as many other likeminded Brokers, I have been encouraged to uniquely carve out my path in this dense forest of Realtors. I’ve discovered that the skills which allowed me to succeed in healthcare are surprisingly similar to the skills that set me apart and help me to excel in Real Estate. Physical Therapy clinical practice fed my insatiable appetite for information and honed my ability to deeply connect and communicate with all kinds of people. It fine-tuned my problem-solving skills and forced me to feel comfortable thinking quickly on my feet. Likewise, in Real Estate, these information-seeking, relationship-focused, highly analytical and quick thinking traits have paid off in spades. My unorthodox route from healthcare to sales prepared me to jump directly into my new career and find lasting success.
Has it been a smooth road?
There are people who have smooth roads!? That would be terribly boring and would make for an awful story. Thankfully, my road has had its fair share of interesting bumps. The most notable of which is the time consuming, expensive and ever useless Doctoral Degree collecting dust under my sofa. When I went down the path of obtaining this degree, I never had dreams of abandoning it within a few years. However, I don’t believe in continuing down a path that doesn’t make you truly happy simply because you spent money on something or previously invested time in it. Those things were certainly considerations I took into account but ultimately, my job did not make me happy and I chose to make a change. Jumping off of that cliff was scary. I questioned whether it was the “right choice,” what I would do next if I would be happy in my next career, and even if I would be happy at all.
When I did decide to shift into Real Estate, I spent the first two years just trying to figure out how to do my job. I went from feeling like a confident health care practitioner who knew exactly what was up, to a “green,” newbie who nobody would trust to handle such an important transaction. I was insecure, uncertain and overwhelmed most of the time. On top of that, I didn’t get to start with a book of business. I had only lived in Denver for two years when I made the switch and I was now trying to build a business based on relationships with only a handful of relatively new relationships to rely on. At one point along the way, I vividly remember my wife asking me, “Do you think that this is worth it?”. I had been working most nights and weekends, had become a slave to my phone and had failed to establish healthy boundaries between my work and personal life. It was a wake-up call and one of the moments that lead to my change in brokerages.
Even still, every day is different and each transaction poses new challenges. Some of the time, I’m riding smoothly in my lane, and other times I am holding on for dear life while trying to convince everyone else that “everything is just fine.” I firmly believe that any business that involves people (Spoiler alert, that’s all of them!) requires that you be constantly learning and facing new struggles on the daily. People are emotional beings who, especially in times of stress, sometimes act irrationally. When that happens, it’s oftentimes part of my job to help them to feel safe, secure and informed about the path we have taken together. That’s a lot to shoulder and while I usually feel well prepared to take that on, I sometimes feel completely unqualified. I think that the key is to find a way to embrace the struggle and to discover the lesson in every obstacle.
Please tell us more about your work, what you are currently focused on and most proud of.
I believe that Real Estate can and should be conducted with heart and soul. I run a Real Estate business that is client-focused and keeps kindness at its core. I’ve found that one of the greatest benefits of developing my own business is that it can become whatever I want it to be. I have been able to craft a path that reflects and grows with who I am and what I want to put out into the world. I can exist in this space and care just as much, or more about nurturing relationships as I do closing deals. I can focus on doing the right and honorable thing and still help my clients accomplish all of their financial and lifestyle goals. I can be abundantly kind, and still drive a hard negotiation and stand up fiercely for my clients. I can empathize with all parties in a transaction and also strive to put my client’s interests above all else. I can be both, AND.
My clients are everything from first time home buyers to seasoned investors. I love coming alongside people to help them use Real Estate as a vehicle to accomplish their goals. Whether that goal be a simple, affordable place to live or building a long term investment portfolio, I think each and every home Buyer and Seller has a story that needs to be heard and understood. I believe my clients would tell you that I care deeply about them and invest time in tailoring everything that I do to their specific situations. Simultaneously, they understand that I am an open, honest, and frank communicator who is not afraid to go to bat for them or raise objections.
As a Real Estate agent, I have had people ask me from the very beginning if I specialize in a particular location, price point or type of home. After struggling with what kind of specialty worked for me, I realized that even my specialty could look different. I now like to explain that my specialty is working with “kind people.” By growing my business organically, and almost exclusively through relationships, word of mouth and referrals, I have managed to cultivate a source of business from like-minded Buyers and Sellers who also enjoy working with “kind people.”
Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
I love Denver’s outdoor culture, physical landscape and weather. My wife and I now have three kids (ages 10, 5 and 4) and we spend a great deal of time as a family skiing, snowboarding, biking, camping and generally being outside. I love being able to bike from my house to great local restaurants and breweries or decide to take a 45-minute drive into the mountains in order to escape the fast pace of the city. Having grown up in Austin, Texas, the fact that we have 4 ACTUAL seasons, still blows me away. I don’t know that I’ll ever experience a Fall or Spring that doesn’t leave me in awe of nature.
There are a couple of things that I like least about our city. The first is a lack of integrated diversity within metro Denver and the second is the lack of affordable housing. Unfortunately, these two issues run hand in hand. My hope is that Denver can find a way to improve housing affordability within the city center so that all members of our communities can afford to live here. Our lives are enriched by the diverse fabric of humanity in every way possible.
- Website: https://www.usajrealty.com/agents/41964-megan-ivy
- Phone: 512.663.4486
- Email: Megan@UsajRealty.com
- Instagram: @meganivyrealtor
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/meganivyrealtor