Monday, May 30, 2011

Barbara Corcoran: a $1000 to $5 Billion dollar inspiration


I would like to write about an inspiring woman; Barbara Corcoran. She is the former founder of the Corcoran Group, the largest real estate agency in New York City.

She is one of the most admirable people in the real estate industry not only because of her achievements but also because of her great attitude towards life.

What makes here life story so inspiring was how she was able to rise above her misfortunes and use her failures to become one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the US. It gives a glimmer of hope to those who are having a bad start in their entrepreneurial life

Barbara Corcoran was a straight D student in high school and college. She had twenty jobs by the time she turned twenty-three. Her last job before she entered the world of real estate was a waitress.

She started a tiny real estate company in New York from a start-up capital of $1,000. It was not even her own money but a loan from her boyfriend. Over the next twenty-five years, she was able to parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 Billion real estate business. What makes it even extraordinary is how she describes her initial success as a result of “failing well”.

In 1990, she had a brilliant idea of putting her company’s property inventory into a video. She hoped that the clients will take the video from their office and watch it at home. She believed in it so much that she invested $78,000; her company’s entire profit for that year. However, the project was a flop.

But, that did not discourage her from making a turn around. To save face to her 150 sales people at that time, she told them that it was just the first phase. The second phase, would be to venture into internet technology. It did not take on right away which she considers an advantage. Since no one was checking out their website, they had the opportunity to try different technology applications. They were able to test drive which worked and which didn’t. In due time, her company was able to have a perfect strategy that gave it a head start in the early adaptation of the real estate industry to technology. emerged from being one of the first real estate websites to “an award-winning industry resource, attracting over two million visitors per month and producing more sales than any other website in residential real estate.” In 2001, she sold the company for $66 Million.

According to Barbara Corcoran, 9 out of 10 ideas she tries, fail. However, she was great at getting back up and trying again. In fact, she advised that you get a lot of creative ideas when you are not afraid to fail. Her achievements and projects proved her point. You can get to know her more in


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