Today we’d like to introduce you to Osnat Levy.
So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was born to be a child of a Kibbutz in Israel. At four days old my mother came back with me from the hospital to bequeath me as a “present” to the Kibbutz.
Together with other children, I was deposited in the “baby house”, entrusted to a nanny who also was a Kibbutz member. The Kibbutz was a community and everything was shared (including us, the children). Money was forbidden and the word money was never used. Instead, members were given points to “buy” treats that were considered unnecessary for everyday life (e.g. candy, ice cream etc.).
As a child, I admired the Kibbutz. We grew up as independent children. We took care of ourselves with very little adults’ supervision. There were no adults present even at night. During those years we learned how to work, how to be responsible and developed a work ethic.
My hobby was attending to the Kibbutz horses. Unfortunately, I went through two horrible horseback riding accidents at which both times the horses were killed and I survived. That engraved a strong sense of protection in my soul. I felt that “someone” was watching over me and that I can follow my heart to do whatever I want, and that everything will be ok.
After high school and two years of military service, I returned to the Kibbutz. As an adult, I realized that not everyone is equal and not everyone is going to work as much and as hard as others and the slogan: “Contribute as you can and receive as you need” is often abused. I decided to leave the Kibbutz.
I left with no money, as the members had no personal money and moved to Tel Aviv. There I rented a small apartment with a friend and made a living by cleaning houses, sometimes even four houses per day, just to save enough money for my university tuition. My dream was to become a veterinarian and for that purpose, I had to take up studying Biology.
Within four months I saved enough money to go to university. During that time I rescued a dog that desperately needed some grooming. Since it was out of my reach I decided to groom him myself, which become my first business.
Later on, I taught a special method (“The ring Muscles Technic”) helping women to give natural birth; thus I developed my second business that supported me while I have worked on a master degree in science education and received my teacher certification.
A few years later I got married. Life took us to Basel Switzerland and from there we arrived in Boston. With very limited English and no money, as my ex-husband came to do his post-doc research, I began looking for a job. For a while, I taught computer applications, developed curricula, and computer manuals as well as taught Hebrew.
During that time, between work and taking care of my third child, who was just born, I met a woman who seemed to need some help. One day, after talking to her it became clear to me that she was enslaved by the family who brought her to the USA. I phoned an anti-slavery organization in Boston and we started working with her. It took us about a year to rescue her and send her back to her home country, India (for more of her story see link) http://archive.boston.com/yourlife/articles/2006/02/27/free_will/
In 2006, having realized that my dream to become a veterinarian would not materialize (I was too busy following my ex-husband dreams and supporting the family of five that we have become), I decided to obtain a Real Estate license.
Little did I know how hard it is to build a business. It took me about five years to understand marketing and how to run a business. However coming from a Kibbutz, I never thought about the next sale or the next deal. As hungry as I had been my approach was this. Even if I’m not going to make it I’ll have learned a skill for life. I have always thought about what is best for my clients and how to advise them in their best interest.
As I’m a number person and love watching market trends I learned from my savvy clients about investments properties, I worked with contractors and learned about new constructions and above all, I always served the first time home buyers. Many of whom just relocated from outside the country with very little knowledge of how the market works or even what is the process of a real estate transaction.
I learned how to accept nervous sellers who needed to sell (a property) in order to buy a different home or to sell their house while they moved out of the country. It has always been a journey that we took together in partnership: my clients and I. It is a new journey I continue taking every day with new clients and new stories.
We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
When I started my business, I knew nothing about Real Estate or marketing. Very quickly I have learned that before I sell any house I need to sell myself. This was a huge challenge for me since I was extremely embarrassed to talk about money or myself.
In the Kibbutz that was a big NO, NO! For the first two years, I didn’t tell my parents about my new career. Within a year into the business I lost ten thousand dollars and my accountant recommended that I find a new job. This was also the recommendation of my then office manager who kicked me out of her office.
However, when someone tells me that something is not for me I get determined to prove him or her wrong. I took every possible class in RE and marketing, I got myself a coach and invested in everything I thought might help me. It proved to pay off and in the past three years I was the winner of the “Five Star Professional” award https://www.fivestarprofessional.com/spotlights/7688
So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Osnat Levy RE story. Tell us more about the business.
I specialize in residential Real Estate. I work with buyers and sellers in the Greater Boston area (mostly in Newton, Brookline, Needham, Cambridge). My clients’ best interest is always my first priority. We build a partnership to work together achieving my clients’ goals. I listen and learn from them what their needs are and based on that I counsel them which is the best approach to take.
I’m in Real Estate for the people: To know that I made a difference in someone’s life and that I’ve touched that person with my soul, loyalty and commitment to them is my goal.
- Address: 1229 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459
- Website: http://osnatlevy.com/
- Phone: 617-833-1055
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org