Alison Alston: Buying The Real Estate Team You First Joined


Growing up in a family that did fix & flips and buy & hold properties, Alison Alston saw the benefits of real estate investing at an early age and how it can open up opportunities for generational wealth. However, she didn't pursue that path right out of college and ended up becoming very successful working in the Northeast in education and donor relations. Not wanting to travel all the time for her job, Alison moved to Charlotte, NC, and decided to get her real estate license.

She found an amazing team that fit her well. In fact, after 2 years as an agent on the team, an opportunity opened up for her to purchase that team. She now owns and operates Lodestone Real Estate, which was recently named #15 in the 2023 RealTrends rankings for the largest real estate teams in the county. A big part of her business is working with investors through some large iBuyer programs she runs in her area - iAgent Offer and Shop Cash Offers. We discuss how providing sellers with great education on their home selling options has helped grow their business to where it is today.


In this episode hosted by Mike Swenson, we discussed:

  • How Alison took the same approach from her background in client relations to her real estate business and found success
  • Learning a new career at the age of 32
  • How Alison doubled her housing budget in just six years
  • How Alison chose to keep going when they slid back from $50M to $27M in sales in her first year of taking over the team
  • Alison's first big push with iAgent Offer
  • How iAgent Offer provides a financially feasible solution to help sellers not to pay two mortgages and stress out selling the house
  • What did Alison love so much about eXp Realty
  • Why should you build generational wealth through real estate



0:00 - Intro To Alison's Career
1:41 - Alison's Background Before Real Estate
6:18 - Working With High Net Worth Donors Vs. Property Sellers
8:17 - First Investment Property
10:57 - Growing From Being A Solo Agent To Launching A Team
15:00 - Alison Taking Over The Team
18:27 - iBuyer Program: iAgent Offer
20:26 - iBuyer Program: Shop Cash Offer
23:13 - How Can Realtors Make Impact and Change Lives Of Their Client
33:01 - Lessons That Alison Learned From Her Parents
35:44 - How To Find Alison











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Read the full transcript here:

Mike Swenson
Welcome to The REL Freedom Show where we inspire you to pursue your passion to gain time and financial freedom through opportunities in real estate. I'm your host, Mike Swenson, let's get some REL freedom together.

Mike Swenson
Hello, everybody, and welcome to another episode of The REL Freedom Show where we talk about building time and financial freedom through different opportunities in real estate. And I'm so excited today because today we get to talk about something that I'm also personally passionate about outside of the podcast. And that's on really helping people understand the value of investing in real estate, and to taking your residential real estate team and doing more and more and more with investments there. So today's guest we have on his Allison Austin, and she is the owner of the Lodestone real estate team. So what we're going to talk about today is she's got a couple of really cool programmes that she's done. That's actually how we met in the past, I was curious to learn more about what she was doing in terms of the i buyers that you hear out there some of the hash offer for your home type programmes. And she's had a lot of experience running these programmes, purchasing a lot of properties, connecting with some larger scale investors as well. And so there's just so much that she's doing that's different than the way most people approach a real estate team. And so I'm so excited to have her come on and share. Allison, thank you so much for being on.

Alison Alston
Thank you for having me. I'm excited to be here.

Mike Swenson
Well, why don't you just start and just share a little bit about your background before real estate, how that led into real estate, and then a little bit into where we're at today. And then we'll we'll dig deeper.

Alison Alston
Absolutely. So I started off. Growing up, my dad was a builder. And my parents did both long term buy and hold rentals, as well as fixing and flipping homes. They were what we call now in the industry, lazy flippers who do the two years in one day, and then turn around and sell it. So it was pretty neat. You know, I was very fortunate my parents involved me in the process from a young age. So we learned how to physically build and renovate the houses ourselves, but also what it took to book rentals, how to manage the properties, different tax reasons to hold it for that two years in one day. And you know how to kind of work through some of that system. So it was a pretty incredible and powerful learning lesson for me to have. And I credit that a lot with my success early on in real estate. I always saw this as kind of a part time thing, because it was something my parents did on the side. And so graduated from college, I got a job doing fundraising for private schools in the northeast, I absolutely loved it, I spent 10 years doing it. By the end of it, I realised that I was either going to have to keep doing the same exact job for 40 more years, which does not fit my personality type if you know me, or I was going to have to go back out on the road. To move up I had a job offer for UVA, phenomenal, phenomenal guy there. Gene shot he was the president gave me a great opportunity. It was probably one of the hardest conversations I've had of studying No, but I was married about six months at the time. And it was going to involve me being out in the road four to six days a week. And it just wasn't the life I wanted. So my husband and I sat down and I said to him, you know, I don't think I want to do this for 40 more years. And he was like, What do you want to do? And I said, you know, I really think I want to be a realtor. And he goes, Okay, so we both fell in love with Charlottesville, and decided it was time to get out of the cold. So we relocated down to Charlotte with his job. And I got my licence and kind of the rest is history. From there.

Mike Swenson
I'm excited when we talk about recruiting agents and having agents coming from other industries, just the skills and the experience and the transferable skills that they bring that become very valuable in real estate. And some people seem to grasp it better than others. Some people struggle a little bit longer. But in terms of kind of transferable skills, what did you notice right away as you got into real estate that's like, oh, yeah, I know how to do that at a high level, or that's really comfortable for me getting into real estate once you got your licence.

Alison Alston
So I would say besides the obvious of just knowing how to talk about a house and the features in it and what was important or not knowing how to recognise some of the potential issues that could come up during inspections. That was a pretty quick and easy conversation piece and kind of gave some confidence to myself as well as my clients. But also having spent 10 years building client relations, donor relations. It is consistency, it's not intensity. And so I had developed basically the same schedule I use now where you do your lead gen every day, right you do your research And you have to be consistent with your follow up with your donors. Back, when I got into the industry, the average time from first point of contact to a major gift was almost 18 months. So it was a long term commitment to really build with those clients. So I kind of took that same approach, and I split my business immediately into two parts. So one working with investors, specifically fixing flippers kind of just start and then that eventually transitioned into more of the long term rentals. And then the other half was really focusing on relocation, having just gone through it myself, we did not have the best experience, I was determined to make it better for other people. And also just being able to really focus on that customer side of it, that the VIP relationship, you know, I had been working in Greenwich, Connecticut, so I was very fortunate I was exposed to some of the top wealth in the country. And I saw kind of what level of service those people expected, and was able to see some of the industry best. And so that really helped me shape and form my business practices from a more traditional residential side and helped me build a lot of the great partnerships that we have.

Mike Swenson
Well, I think, too, that's not necessarily a transferable skill. But that's an experience that you bring coming from another industry. I've heard that from people before where they get into the industry, because they think, Oh, I saw my agent do that. And I can do it better. Not that it's necessarily a knock on that person. In some cases it is. But you just see, oh, the way that I handled people treat people, the professionalism that I bring is a notch higher than what I've experienced. I feel like I can be successful in that arena. And for sure, your background working with high net worth individuals. Yeah, there's a level of customer care and service and building relationships where you can just take all that experience and just apply it to what you did when you got into the real estate side.

Alison Alston
Exactly. I mean, there's a lot of cold calling in donor relations. So that definitely transferred a lot of events. So doing open houses, I was like, that is my thing right away. I immediately leaned into that, because I was like, Oh, I can do this. You know, if I can handle doing an open house for high net worth donors, I can definitely do an open house and make the sellers property shine. So that was a that was an easy transfer for me right away.

Mike Swenson
Real estate agents. Are you tired of letting the busyness of life get in your way from achieving your real estate investing goals, I'm super excited to announce we've created the real freedom investor agent tribe, it's a place for you to come get educated and network with others so that you can make sure that you're hitting your real estate investment goals. So find out more on our website, real Click on the store link, we've got a membership, we've got a mastermind group and some private coaching as well. Check it out, I've priced it super low, the goal is to get you in not have price be a determining factor to keep you from your goals. So come check it out, schedule a call with me. And we're happy to see where your real estate journey is going to take you. Now, when you got started in real estate full time as an agent, did you have any investment properties previously? Or was that all starting fresh?

Alison Alston
We did we started fresh. We moved down here. We did not want any ties to the northeast, just from a management perspective. So yeah, so we kind of picked up and left everything and we're starting from scratch. So that was a little scary. We got on the ground here we were in Charlotte about six months before we bought our first property. And we went into it knowing it was going to be a flip. And we were i This is the first time my husband and I were doing one together. He had seen my family stuff, kind of from a distance. He had not lived through it. And so we I will never forget we were in line for this property. It was crazy season even then, and there's probably about 15 people waiting in line to go into this house. And people would walk in and out in about two seconds. And he's turning in he's kind of looking at me. And I wasn't licenced yet. So we had to use another realtor. And we were waiting and the realtor was like, well, we can just move to the next week. And I said no, I smell an opportunity. This is going to be the house and he's like, okay, and we walked in and it was it was pretty rough. I mean, we had to do a month worth of work before we could even move into it. But I just walked in and just using everything that I have learned through the work with my family, and it's like, it's got good bones. It's got a lot of potential. I knew the schools were about to be rezoned, and it would go in the favour of this particular house. But the prices hadn't come up yet because of it. So I was like this is incredible opportunity. And so it was it was a lot of work, but it was a great star. We were able to flip that one and move to another area, the city. And then we held that place for two years, and about three months. And then we were able to flip that one and get into kind of our dream location in the city. And that's something you know, I mean, we literally doubled our housing budget in a matter of six years. And I'm like, I don't know any other way you could do that.

Mike Swenson
So then just to clarify, and you're saying flip, you're, you're living in it for the two years. And then moving on, this isn't Hey, this is my side home that I'm just gonna go flip. But you're living in it while you're flipping out?

Alison Alston
Yeah, we this will be this is our final stop for a long time I've been informed. No, I'm actually very happy elope. We have a 1905 bungalow that I'm absolutely obsessed with. So first time I've ever actually fallen in love with the house truly. But so everything will be on the side from now on. But yeah, we've been doing the two years in a day kind of thing. And then moving out and just taking advantage and rolling that equity into the next property.

Mike Swenson
So talk a little bit then about building and growing from being a solo agent to launching a team and how that's grown. And then obviously, on the logistical side of the ibuyer programmes that you've gotten and go from there.

Alison Alston
Yeah, so I would say in this business, it's all about relationships. When I started, I was actually an agent on loadstone real estate. And so one of my great mentors, and now, business partners, Marissa Boyle, she was running the team. And I worked under her for just about two years. And then at that point, she was ready to go in another direction with her career. She was launching a coaching programme. She does an incredible job training agents. And she sat down with me and just kind of said, Hey, what do you think about taking this over? And I'm not gonna lie. And we laugh about this, because myself and I think everybody else around us that she was absolutely crazy at the time. And it just, you know, hadn't crossed my mind that that was the point at which I was at in my career.

Mike Swenson
Can I just jump in for one second? Because now I want now, I'm curious to know, when you joined the team, what was it about the team that attracted you to the team.

Alison Alston
So I had left an industry where, you know, private school fundraising, it can be a very isolating Island type experience, I really, I've always been a very hard worker, and I grinded it out, and I got from entry level to the director of the department, by my by 30. And if you look, historically, it's about decade off from that. So I was suddenly 10 years younger than anyone who had had the position, I wasn't getting a lot of respect from other people who had put in much more time to get there, they're not particularly happy to see me up there. And you're just you're travelling, you're on the road a lot with your donors. So you really don't have that kind of collegiality, I had always been an athlete growing up. So I miss kind of that team environment. And knowing that when we were moving down to Charlotte, I knew real estate was done very differently than it is in New Jersey and Connecticut. So I had a learning curve there. But also, we didn't know a single person in Charlotte. And so I was like, I've got to build my sphere from the ground up. And I'm learning a new career at you know, I think I was about 32 years old at the time. And it was a little daunting. And so I quickly decided, I want to learn from somebody. And I went into it thinking, you know, this might be a temp birthing, but I definitely want to be a part of a bigger organisation, I want to learn from someone who's doing it the right way and doing it really well. I don't want to try and recreate the wheel myself. And it ended up being the best fit possible. And Marissa and I literally, we met on Indeed, we ended up spending three hours on a phone call for what was supposed to be a 30 minute interview. And we just had this connection from day one. And so when we moved down here, I was like, Alright, here's our timeline. This is what I'm signed up to go get my licence, you know, here, and she was like, alright, as soon as you've gotten your licence, let me know, we'll start the onboarding and training and kind of haven't looked back from there. So yeah,

Mike Swenson
I always tell people, you know, it part of it is, you know, the, the value that the team can provide. And then the other part is, are you the type of person that fits that right like you, what you're looking for needs to be a fit for what they're offering. And I think so many times we tried to recruit agents just because they have a pulse and a licence, but it's not that and I've seen this to play out where your value proposition just isn't quite right a fit for them and that's okay. But I do think teams are incredibly value when you do have that yin yang, where what you're providing really meets what they're looking for, and so there it can be a good opportunity for people so Yeah, talk about now fast forward to you taking over the team

Alison Alston
Yeah, so we agreed back in 2019, that I would take over the team. So I bought out the team. And we kind of, you know, she stayed on and still, and we still meet, and we go for a walk together once a week. She took on coaching and kind of the onboarding for my agents, which is huge for me, I now handle that, or for the first year, she was instrumental in managing that piece of it, while I kind of got my feet under me, and started growing the team. You know, it was really, it was a little intimidating. My first year, when I took over the team, it was a right around $50 million sales team, when I bought it from her. My first year we back slid into, we ended up doing about 27 million. And so you know, I knew all eyes were on me. And I was like, All right, I've got to push this and keep this going. And I was like, I'm not going to fail. And so just kind of kept working at it. In 2021, I ended up taking over a company called agent offer. And that was what really launched my first big push with the larger investment buyers. And so at that point, I started working with some of the REITs. You know, thankfully, my connections back in Greenwich, Connecticut, some of them saw what I was doing wanted to also get involved in investing in Charlotte, North Carolina, I had already built the trust three years of working with them. So they became a good part of my business as well. And so kind of pulled together this group of investors and said, Hey, let's create some other opportunities, right, we had just gotten through the first year of COVID. So many sellers did not want people in their homes still did not want to have the showings the open houses. And yet also didn't want to be taking a huge hit, you know, a lot of the programmes out there were charging fees upwards of 789 10%. Not to mention discounting the property 20 to 30% below market value. It's a pretty big hit for a homeowner to take. So I kind of pivoted my business folk kept the relocation focus going, but use that to feed leads over to my agent clients, and then went ahead and took over agent and use that to start building up the investor piece of it. Selfishly, it also allowed me personally, to be able to spend less time running around to different houses. So it freed me up to be available for the agents on my team, because I could sit and do a lot of the work from the office. Yeah, I

Mike Swenson
mean, that's one of the, I guess misconceptions out there in the market talking about these sellers want full price retail offers on their property as cash offers. And sometimes when people are marketing a full price offer that's more or less kind of the investor full price offer, not necessarily the the retail full price offer that they'll find on the MLS and there is that gap there. And yet, at the same time, there can be a fit for people based on their motivation, and those sorts of things where you can find that win win scenario. So talk about that programme and how you come in and help somebody that's that's looking to sell or work with agents who have identified these properties looking to sell.

Alison Alston
Yeah, so at this point in time, I actually have two different off market companies. So AI agent offers still up and running, that is really geared towards agent to agent. So it is for the agents who are going out getting these listings, and they're sitting down, and they've got any number of issues coming up in the initial conversation with their seller, whether it's okay. You know, in the market in Charlotte, if you've got a contingent sale, you're pretty much dead on arrival right now, and have been for almost the last five years. So we had some other companies like ribbon was around for a bit. They've since dissolved. But we had companies that came in and were like, Okay, we're gonna go ahead and we'll pay cash for your next property. They were very creative. I love some of the solutions they came up with. But ultimately, the fees were so high. It just wasn't financially feasible for most sellers. So it really didn't create the solution we needed in this market. So we started going out and saying, Hey, listen, you've got the seller, they need to get rid of the contingent sale, our investors will go ahead and purchase their house from them. And then we'll give them a lease back. And so they're not paying two mortgages. They're not stressed trying to get the house sold and giving it up for less than they should right. And they're not racing to find this new home that may not necessarily be the right one for them. So we created that solution. And we did it to keep the agent in the transaction. We wanted to keep that professionalism in there. You know, we didn't want a seller to just be able to go online, pop in their address, get a number and then kind of run with it. You know, we had a few for sale by owners when we first started. And we quickly found it just wasn't working, we really wanted to go back to having that two sided professional relationship. So that was the focus of that. And then, just a few months ago, you know, I was very fortunate we're at exp Realty. And one of the things that I love so much about that platform is the ability to collaborate with so many different agents. It is one of the few brokerages where I feel like it actually incentivizes us to work together and grow together. And so there are five of us who decided to pool all of our investor resources, and we created a company called shop cash offers. And effectively, what it is, is we have over 25 investors from large scale REITs all the way down to your fix and flippers, you know, we have individual clients who have become investors because of our educating them on the process. And so this programme allows the seller to go ahead and put in their property to get an offer, because some of these funds will only represent themselves, so we can't represent them. So we're like, hey, let's just find them a solution, right? Let's take care of the consumer, it's supposed to be our fiduciary duty, so let's actually do it. And then for those that want us to represent them, you know, the agents can come in, and we can work together still. So it kind of gives us the best of both worlds, and just bring some more opportunities to the sellers. You know, it's also it's a much lower fee for them than a lot of the other programmes out there. So we charge a $5,000 flat fee. That's it. Yeah. And

Mike Swenson
I like how you're able to combine your experience, what you know about the customer, and really try to find solutions that fit the customer, because a lot of times they want choices. They want different options, because not everything's cookie cutter. And the more that I've been working with investors too, I also realise that not everybody wants the highest price. Now that might sound silly to those people that haven't done this before. But some people, everybody's got a different story, whether it's I inherited this home, whether it's we have to sell this home quickly because of XYZ reason. Or I don't want people in my home for kind of germ disease sake or just preference sake to I don't want to have to do all the work to fix up my home before I list it and have it look nice. I'm willing to take a discount for some of those things. And everybody's in a different spot. I know, when we bought this house, you know, we just had our new baby. And we've got three kids. And it's daunting to think about keeping a house in great shape when you have you know, three kids under the age of I think at that time, maybe six. That's tough, too. And so people have reasons why they want to sell. And so providing options and solutions for people really can go a long way. It really

Alison Alston
can. And I think that's the key part of this, right? At the end of the day, our job as Realtors is to make sure that we're educating our clients on what their options are, and then closing our mouths and letting them make the decision, right? Because they have to know what's best for them. So anytime we go into any of these businesses on market or off market, we're always sitting down and saying, listen, here are your options, right? Option one, here's your cash offer. This is what this process is going to look like this is roughly what this price will look like. Option two, you can do it the traditional way go on market. This is what that process will look like this is what that net will look like for you. And option three, is there a possibility for you to maintain and hold this property yourself, become an investor yourself and rent this property out? Right? I think a lot of people have this negative connotation of the word investor. And I love sitting down and having this conversation with sellers. And they're like, Well, I'm not an investor. And then they give me this whole diatribe of the Main Street versus Wall Street and everything else. And I just look at them. And I say, Well, I'm an investor, do you think I'm a bad person? And every time they're like, Well, no. And I'm like, Okay, well, so let's talk about this, right, let's have this dialogue. There's a reason why people have built generational wealth through real estate. And it's like investing in it isn't necessarily just, Okay, well, I own a house and I'm living in it. And so that's an investment. It's also Alright, well, do you want to do a short term rental or a midterm rental or long term rental? Right? Do you want to have a vacation house? Here's some different opportunities that I think people are leaving a lot on the table because no one's talking about this and So I think that's the biggest thing is, even if they tell me to go kick rocks, and they don't want to be a property manager or a landlord, I get it. It's not for everyone. But at least they've had the opportunity to think about it, consider it and see if it is right for them.

Mike Swenson
I totally agree. And this is why I mean, a big part of, you know, doing this podcast and, and the the membership group that I have to it's, it's, at least just listened long enough to make an informed decision about not wanting to be an investor, because, yeah, there's so much powerful potential there that people just don't realise. And, yeah, it's easier if you're like, hey, I really like Apple, Apple, I'm gonna invest in Apple stock, boom, now I'm done. But you can make some really great returns on real estate, it's going to take some, some partnerships and some relationships, it's going to take some education and take some risks, and some risk management, but at the same time, what's on the other side, there's so much potential there, and people just think, I don't have enough, or I don't know how to get started. So I'm just gonna say no to it for the rest of my life versus Hear me out here, let's let's talk about this, let's be open to a conversation, because what's on the other side is a tonne of great opportunity. We just have to be open to the conversations.

Alison Alston
Exactly, exactly. And I think it's just, you know, it goes back to doing the right thing, always for the client. And so even if they're not interested, at least, you know, you've tried, you've, you've tried to educate them, you've let them know. And you can kind of rest easy knowing they've got their opportunities, and they've made the decision, right, it wasn't me making the decision for them, by neglecting to inform them of the potential out there. Mm hmm. Yeah, I think that's probably been the most rewarding thing for me. Over the past, I'm on my seventh year in the business right now. And I have had the fortunate experience of these different clients that I've worked with coming to me now, you know, around three, four years in, hey, I'm ready to go ahead and sell that starter home you helped me by, I want to go to the next one, and being able to sit down with some of them and share these options and say, Hey, what about turning this into a rental, you know, and having some of them do that, and then having them come back and tell me, this is incredible, I was able to get to this goal that much sooner, because I'm now cash flowing and doing this, you know, I'm able to pay down the mortgage on my house quicker, you know, I have one client, she literally was able to leave her W two job that she hated. She was miserable in it. She has a bunch of Airbnb properties she's worked very hard on. And she was like, You know what, that was able to provide me with the cash flow, I needed to purchase these properties. But because of you helping me strategically pick the right ones, and set this business up, I can now leave my other job and go do what I want to do. And to me, that was such an incredible feeling and so rewarding, and that I was like, Alright, this is why I do what I do, you really

Mike Swenson
are helping make the impact at the family level at the individual level. Because Because REITs are nice, right? People can make money off of them as well. But having that personal story of that friend that you know, that past client to have their life impacted because of some sort of investment opportunity, however that looks for them. That's that's the fun part.

Alison Alston
Yeah, I want to hit on that really quickly. So REITs are wonderful things, right? They're not all made the same, just like any other company. But this idea of them is like this evil empire. It just It breaks my heart. And I kind of I ask people to take a step back and rethink the whole situation, right? First of all, I get to work with some incredible employees of these REITs I have a contact I've been working with for three and a half years. She's a phenomenal human being. She has a family she's supporting with this job. She has referred me her brother and her sisters. I've gotten to help them get into homes and build start building wealth for their family members. You know, that is an incredible friendship and a relationship that I wouldn't have without that REIT. I would also say they employ me they help support me and my family, not to mention the families on my team. So that's a huge impact, right? And then the other thing is, these people are like, Well, I'm never gonna sell my house to read. I'm like, Okay, well don't sell your house to them. However, you should probably take a close look at your retirement account, because I guarantee you your money is invested with one of them or something that they're attached to. So it's like it's all interconnected. And I think people just need to take a step back and stop being so angry about things and just look at look, it's a circular, right? It's a it's a whole circular economic cycle. We're all supporting one another It's when something gets out of line and out of whack, and there's too much in any direction, then it can become a bad thing. But as long as we keep everything in moderation, I think it's actually a really healthy thing. You know, I have many clients that I've sat down and had the conversation with them of what owning a home looks like, they're not ready for it. And I'm like, Okay, I think we've created this sense in America of, in order to be an American, in order to live the American dream, you have to be a homeowner, do I understand people who don't want to do it? I don't. Because I do think it's such an incredible tool to build that generational wealth and be able to retire and not have to worry about things. But I do understand and I am coming to terms with it's not for everyone, and that's okay. So it's like, let's provide them with opportunities, you know, or what about the family who doesn't have the financial means to get into the good school district, right, they can't buy a house there. But now this REIT has bought a house and created a rental. So now their kids can go there, they can get that leg up, they can start to build that, obviously, I started in education. So that is a firm, underlying factor in everything that I do. I believe very, very strongly in it, you know, my dad didn't graduate from college, and it was pushed really heavily in our household, you will get a good college degree. I mean, I'm very proud of I went to Vanderbilt University, and I worked my butt off, and my parents pushed me hard. And that has opened so many doors for me, so I'm so grateful for that. So it's like, if we can help kind of push that education along amazing. But I think just this concept of somebody being evil in the marketplace versus somebody else, it just really I love changing the narrative on that,

Mike Swenson
at least for your future. Your kids, you know, they're gonna know what's at stake, or, you know, anybody that you encounter in life, they're going to know what's at stake, because you are raised experiencing kind of the fix and flip the property management side. And, and so you are at least exposed to that. And that's the same thing. Like I think about my kids that, yeah, they might decide, you know, it's not going to be Hey, they're going to take over for Dad and real estate. It's no, here's what dad does. If it's something that excites you, here's why I do it. Because I knew I grew up in a household where it was, you know, w two jobs safe, stable. And both of my parents actually had to, were kind of forced to retire early because of decisions that the companies that they worked with, and they were kind of just old enough where they could make it work, but ideally, not where they want it to be. And so I look at it as now I have the opportunity to have my fate in my own hands. And, you know, yeah, there's a tonne of challenges a tonne of stress that comes from it. But now with my kids, I can say, hey, here's, here's what's at stake. You know, here's a couple of paths, here's some options and choose what works for you. But you get a chance to pass off what you learned from your parents, to people, to your clients. I mean, your your clients and the other people on your team. There's so many people that now get to see the lessons that you've learned because of what we're exposed to at a young age.

Alison Alston
Yeah. And, you know, for me, I'm smiling. I'm thinking, you know, my dad, when I went and told my parents that I was quitting my career and going to go into real estate, I was terrified, because I'm like, okay, you don't need a college degree to be a realtor. They just paid for all this education. Like, I was very fortunate. I did not come out with student loans. My parents took care of that. And I remember being terrified. And my dad looked at me and he said, It's about time. I said, Excuse me, he goes, You were the worst employee ever. He was like, you constantly have to be growing and learning and doing something. You're not a routine nine to five person. And he was like, and you question everything. He goes, I'm amazed you have not been fired ever in your career. And I just started laughing. I said, well, thank you very much, very loving and supportive. But I'll take it, you know. But you know, my husband, and I don't have any kids of our own. But we have some incredible nieces and nephews. And it's amazing that we do have, you know, our own business, and it's definitely stressful. But I get up every day, and I'm ecstatic to do what I do. So I'm like, alright, that's a win. But I also have the opportunity to say, you know, I want to go make it I flew up to New Jersey, where my family still lives. And I got to go up and spend a weekend for Mother's Day and my sister's birthday and go to my nephew's soccer practice and spend time with my niece playing and it's just things that with my old job I would have had to put in for the time off, you know, and then you're counting the days and everything else. And it's like, it's just incredible to have those opportunities. So yeah, I hope that's something that like your kids, they learn and they see that this is an option and it's not always sunshine and rainbows but, you know, it gives you a lot of incredible opportunities and you get to say when you know,

Mike Swenson
and even if it's not full time, it's something on the side that gives them choices, you know, It's not like, Hey, I'm a full time investor or full time agent, I got a property or to something like that. And now I can have a little bit more freedom of my decision because of what I've been able to apply. So

Alison Alston
exactly, well your first generate more generous than I think maybe because they're not my kids, but I'm determined that one of them will become a realtor and take over

Mike Swenson
it Well, it's interesting to see kind of what their passions are and what they want to do. I mean, I, my five year old wants to be a ninja. So at some point, he's gonna realise like, full time ninjas isn't necessarily, you know, career, but I'm gonna support him. And he's, he's going to taekwondo classes, and he's having fun doing it. I love it. So Allison, where can people reach out to you if they want to learn more about what you have up your sleeve and what you want to do here in the future?

Alison Alston
Yeah, so they can certainly follow us at lodestone Rei on Instagram. We post a lot of our short videos and clips there. They can watch me on American Dream TV selling short selling Charlotte, we have that on our YouTube channel lodestone real estate. So past episodes will be posted there. We do a lot of interviewing with some of our favourite vendors and partners, they can learn more about what we're doing as a business. And then otherwise, you can always email me. I always give my email first. Not my cell phone I'm learning. But Allison a li s o n at loadstone

Mike Swenson
Awesome. Well, thank you so much for coming on and sharing your story and excited to see where these new developments go and what's the future has in store for you.

Alison Alston
Thank you so much for having me, Mike. It's been a pleasure and it's been great connecting with you


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