Dine In, Pick Up or Delivery?
"Last spring, John Ahmadi decided to drop his career as a real estate agent and toss pizza dough instead."
"Ahmadi, 35, adapted to the housing downturn by buying a Santa Rosa pizza shop. Although the money is not as good, the husband and father of two young girls likes the stability of running an established business rather than struggling to earn commissions in an increasingly difficult housing market."
'"It got more competitive. There was less to go around," said Ahmadi, who left Coldwell Banker last spring and bought Sandy's Take & Bake Pizza. "That's what you've got to do, just pick yourself up and keep moving forward."'
"For four years, Ahmadi was an applications engineer for Advanced Fibre Communications, where he provided sales support to large and small telecom companies. But he was laid off three years ago as the county's tech sector went through a wrenching downturn that wiped out thousands of jobs."
"His father suggested real estate. Ahmadi had grown up watching his father fix up and sell homes in the Los Angeles area, and he figured he could do well as home sales surged and prices soared. With his new broker's license in hand, Ahmadi took his shot with Coldwell Banker."
"After selling eight homes his first year and six homes his second year, Ahmadi found the market begin to grow tougher and less lucrative last year as sales slowed and homes started languishing on the market."
'"You're constantly chasing prospects down and trying to do everything you can to find new business. So it can be stressful," he said.Ahmadi credited Coldwell Banker with providing training and support for new agents. Still, he decided to leave the business."
"He is not alone. The county's housing industry lost 1,300 jobs in the second quarter, the sharpest downturn in a decade, according to a study by Moody's Economy.com."
"He still ponders a return to real estate. He has kept his license active and thinks he could boost his income by working on the side as a mortgage broker."
'"I'm not making the money I used to. But I'm having a lot of fun," he said. "I'm happy and I'm not waking up every morning wondering where my next paycheck is coming from. This was a good transition for me."'