Barbara Corcoran an Unlikely Hero
She floundered through school, and by the time she turned 23, she’d already had 20 different jobs. Indeed, Barbara Corcoran was looking at a life of financial struggle. But then she started her next job, and everything changed. Barbara Corcoran an Unlikely Hero, changed her financial life and became a true hero. This is the story of the small-town girl who turned a $1,000 loan into a real estate company worth $5 billion.
A $1000.00 Loan
While working as a server shortly after graduating college, Corcoran met New Jersey-based home builder Ray Simone. The two began dating, and soon after, Simone lent Corcoran $1,000 to establish her own business. The couple then founded Corcoran-Simone, an apartment locator service in New York City.
The pair worked out an agreement, with Simone owning 51 percent of the company and Corcoran acting as the agent who dealt with clients. After a client chose to buy a unit instead of selling it, Corcoran decided to shift the firm’s focus on sales. Within two years of its founding, Corcoran-Simone had a team of 14 agents and was earning more than a half-million dollars in annual sales.
The Company Splits
In 1978, the couple divided the company after a personal breakup, a move that ultimately sparked Corcoran’s wild success. As they parted, Simone told Corcoran she would never succeed without him. Instead of serving to discourage her, his words fueled her ambition. She was going to be a success, no matter what it would take. She soon launched the Corcoran Group, the first female-owned real estate firm in the Big Apple. Within a year, the company was pulling in more than $350,000 in revenue.
The Corcoran Group thrived under Corcoran’s leadership. Always the innovator, she started selling real estate online in 1993, a full two years before most competing agencies in the city. She also seized web domains that would likely be sought out by her competitors, forcing them to contact and alert her when they started selling online.
In 1988, Corcoran married Bill Higgins, and eight years later, they welcomed their son, Tommy. It was a dream come true for the couple, but also a game-changer for Corcoran.
In 2001, the Corcoran Group reached an impressive level of growth and had more listings in every category than any real estate firm in New York. But Corcoran was finding it increasingly difficult to simultaneously give her all to both her company and her son. She decided it was time to sell.
Corcoran continued to push herself until 2006 when she actively began seeking a buyer. With annual revenue approaching $100 million, the Corcoran Group generated lots of interest from local real estate firms. Corcoran soon sold her company for a whopping $66 million.
Today, she is a bestselling author, a motivational speaker, and a popular TV personality, with regular roles on NBC’s Today Show, and on ABC’s hit Shark Tank. She also hosts her business podcast, Business Unusual, with Barbara Corcoran. Her feisty attitude and fiery ambition continue to inspire women and business owners around the world.
Barbara Corcoran, an unlikely hero, shows us that anyone can succeed. No matter where you are, you can achieve greatness. You can also find out more about her on her site barbaracorcoran.com.
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