Lindsay Walston Real Estate Agent

Bio

Lindsay’s journey into real estate was anything but conventional, sparked by a less-than-ideal experience as a first-time homebuyer. When her family purchased their first home, they felt like mere a transaction to their agent, essentially left alone to navigate a complex process. Recognizing the need for genuine support and advocacy during such a significant financial decision, Lindsay decided to become a real estate agent with a mission: to offer an innovative and personalized real estate experience, irrespective of her clients’ budgets. She firmly believed that luxury lay in the quality of the experience, not in the price tag. Her approach was highly data-driven, backed by a track record of success for both buyers and sellers. Prior to venturing into real estate, Lindsay earned a Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Emory University and held roles as a residency director, clinic director, physical therapist, and clinical researcher. As a clinician, she completed both a neurological and an orthopedic residency program and was board-certified in both specialties. Her achievements in the field garnered multiple national awards, including APTA Resident of the Year, national speaking engagements at conferences, and published research. While transitioning from a residency director to a real estate agent may have seemed unusual, the analytical, organizational, and interpersonal skills from her previous profession have proved invaluable in the real estate arena. Having resided in the Atlanta area for over two decades, she proudly called Milton her home, where she lived with her husband, two young children, and two rescue dogs. During her free time, you can often find her on a run, designing their next renovation project, or relaxing with a good glass of pinot noir in hand. Her primary focus as a real estate agent was on the North Atlanta area, with special attention to Alpharetta, Milton, Roswell, Cumming, Canton, and the surrounding communities.

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Q&A with Lindsay Walston

What caused you to make this alternative career shift?

I came to the realization earlier on that I’d like to admit that a career in physical therapy was not what I wanted to be doing for the next 30+ years. Originally, I convinced myself that once I achieved “X” then I would be happy in the profession. So, I put my head down and worked ridiculous hours to ultimately accomplish everything I thought I ever wanted to do in the field of physical therapy. After checking all of the boxes I had in my head, I realized I still wasn’t happy and the thought of staying in the profession for 30+ years only filled me with dread. My husband and I sat down and formulated my exit strategy that was originally going to happen over a matter of years, not months. However, my work situation around the time of COVID facilitated a more rapid transition than we originally planned.

What is your desired transformation(s) from this alternative journey to Real Estate?

I think a lot of people assume I made the shift away from physical therapy for a more flexible schedule so that I could be with my kids and that certainly was a factor, but it wasn’t primary. After all, real estate is a lot of nights and weekends too so it’s not exactly the most family-friendly career sometimes. Above all, I craved autonomy and to build something for myself. There are pros and cons to any profession but I love how I have control of how hard I’m working and that work and income are pretty directly correlated. Sometimes I felt like as a salaried employee I’d work my tail off for no added benefit and that can be demoralizing after a while. Plus, I think there is something to be said for the benefits of making a career out of something you genuinely enjoy doing. I’m not a big “find your passion” person but I think doing something day in and day out that you genuinely like can positively impact all aspects of your life.

What has been your biggest struggle with this alternative career and life path? How did you overcome this?

My initial struggle was related to coming to terms with the sunk cost of a very expensive education that I’m still paying for plus the time spent training and building my physical therapy career. It’s hard to walk away from something you’ve invested so much time, and frankly, money into but at the end of the day, if you’re not happy with what you’re doing, it’s time for a change. As I transitioned into my new field, I realized I lost a lot of the inherent structure a salaried job creates. In a salaried job, you have at least fairly regular hours and pay. It’s much easier to predict and plan for. However, the beginning phases of a real estate career can be very stressful because your income can be so irregular, and there can be a lot of pressure to perform. Most agents don’t make money for three to six months after entering the business and the failure rate is high, more than 90% of real estate agents never renew their license. Plus, as an independent contractor, you’re responsible for creating your structure and you’re not really accountable to anyone, so it can be easy to slack off or not follow through on things because no one is coming behind you or holding you accountable. I naturally crave structure, so I had to create it for myself. You have to be more intentional because no one will do it for you but having a plan and goals is critical to being successful in the business.

What was at stake if you didn’t take the risk of pursuing your alternative career?

Staring down another 30+ years in a profession you’ve realized you don’t particularly enjoy is more than a little demoralizing. Theoretically, I had everything I wanted in my physical therapy career so it certainly would have been easier to maintain the status quo and continue down the path I had created. However, the unhappiness with my career inevitably began to spill over into my personal life too. I always knew in the back of my head I wanted to do something different, and you can only ignore that for so long before it begins to impact other areas of your life. Ironically, COVID created the perfect opportunity for an early exit, so I took it. Being on the other side, I realize that enjoying my work has such a positive impact on so many other areas of my life too. The autonomy of my new profession has allowed me to build a life I genuinely enjoy and that wasn’t really available to me before. I can’t imagine going back.

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