Providing Representation: Financial Freedom – ep.104

 Building Inspiration – ep.103
August 24, 2023
 Policing for Change – ep.105
September 7, 2023

CEO of Major’s Financial Katrina Major shares how her company aids in filling in the DEI gap by providing resources and inclusive real estate best practices to aid underrepresented communities in achieving financial freedom. 

Melyssa Barrett:  Welcome to the Jali Podcast. I’m your host, Melyssa Barrett. This podcast is for those who are interested in the conversation around equity, diversity and inclusion. Each week I’ll be interviewing a guest who has something special to share or is actively part of building solutions in the space. Let’s get started. Katrina Major, a dynamic force in the realm of financial empowerment stands as the driving force behind Major’s Financial Incorporated, a testament to her unwavering commitment to helping individuals generate, protect and preserve their wealth. Her life story is one of dedication, continuous learning, and an unyielding passion for fostering financial wellbeing for all those that she serves.

Born with an innate drive to make a difference in people’s lives, Katrina Major embarked on a journey of self-discovery that led her to become a beacon of financial wisdom. She recognized the importance of acquiring knowledge to better serve her clients and began by earning a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, so she could understand the intricacies of society, which also laid the foundation for her commitment to justice and equity.

She earned an associate’s degree in business, a testament to her foresight in recognizing the synergy between business acumen and financial empowerment. She also spent 18 years as a licensed real estate agent, soon to be a real estate broker, a certified credit specialist and a certified financial capability specialist. And she spent 13 years in the insurance industry and is a licensed insurance agent. Her journey also encompassed becoming a legal secretary and paralegal for several years, which allows her to offer comprehensive guidance to her clients. Through her multifaceted career, Katrina has transformed lives, ignited dreams and paved the way for lasting financial success. All right, so this week we are excited to have Katrina major with us, I’m so excited. Had the blessing to meet Katrina, now it’s been, gosh, maybe five years ago?

Katrina Major:  Yeah.

Melyssa Barrett:  It’s been a while. Did some great work in the community and continue to do so. And so I’m just really happy that you could join me for this conversation on the Jali Podcast.

Katrina Major:  I am excited as well to be able to attend with you and be a part of.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. Maybe you can start off by just talking a little bit about how you got to where you are today, because you wear many hats. And maybe you can just give us a snippet of how you decided to become this person of awesomeness that you are.

Katrina Major:  Well, it was through where you come up from. I’m from San Francisco, my family is from the projects of San Francisco, Hunters Point. My parents came up out of that, it was back in the day, which was unheard of to be a homeowner. And I was raised in Daley City, so I’ve always lived in the middle class of what they call the middle class life. My parents moved us to San Jose. And of course, being the oldest, I had insecurities, I guess because I felt alone. And being separate from everybody, my family that was in San Francisco, I felt alone. Being the oldest, I didn’t have a lot of friends, and the friends that I had were very close. And then we were uprooted in my high school year right when I was going into high school to a new location. When you’re being uprooted and starting all over, that’s kind of difficult because you got to know your location and everything.

And I wasn’t too thrilled about San Jose, even though I was smart. And that school was not my cup of tea at that particular time, so I had decided after I graduated, instead of going straight through college, that I wanted to bee-line back to where I thought the fun was, and found out that that really wasn’t what I wanted. But that was after now, having children, marriage, marriage fail. That was in the ’80s, so that was in the pandemic where the era of I’m not going to go into that, but been there, done that. And seeing from where my family come from, close to my mom, having to be responsible for my grandmother because she was a illiterate.

And seeing everybody else in the projects not knowing… Even though my mom was smart, she only went so far and she didn’t have the support that she needed to be awesomeness and greatness person that she was, even though I think of her as being great under the limited circumstances that she had. So looking at her and just being great at what she did, that gave me the perseverance, the ethics of work ethic. Get up and go for it, as they say. Not to feel a victim to everything that you have. Sometimes you just can’t help it. But I wanted to make sure for us as a people, that they had a voice, a voice that for everything that we’ve been told and taught, it’s not true.

With my children after divorce, I knew that I didn’t want to be in an $8 job. I have three kids, where is that going to go? I couldn’t even get childcare at that particular time because childcare is very expensive. So I had to think of, “What do I need to do?” And that was go back to school. So I went back to school, acquired several degrees, including my criminal justice degree, because again, that was, I want everyone to know that you have someone that is going to be able to give you the correct information. Or you can’t tell me just anything and that be okay. And so that was in my journey, my journey helping us. I always didn’t want to work for a job, even though I know I had to. So how I’m going to do that? And even working, also had a non-traditional job because of the fact that I wanted to make sure that I could have my children have all the other things, extras, opposed to just having to pay for your mortgage or your rent, whatever that may be, those essentials.

I’ve always had that, but my dream was to be that resource person. And I worked for several corporate firms in being [inaudible 00:07:38] the main one that I thought I was going to retire from was insurance industry of AAA Insurance, but with changes in corporate, what corporate America does, it didn’t happen that way. So thank God that I had went to school and at that particular time I had got into real estate, because even though when I was younger, that’s what we would do. My mom would take us to houses, take a look at what they were, and I always dreamed about being and helping. Passed my real estate license and was fortunate, started a new home sales, and he was making sure that we were being represented. And of course, market crashed, had to go do something else, so there was nothing to be had in the real estate market.

I was again, fortunate, I had to go back to the Bay area, but I was fortunate in acquiring a position was a company that was contracted with HUD, which is Housing and Urban Development as a compliance officer. So I was a compliance officer for Section 8 and I did that for two years to make sure that they were in decent, safe, sanitary, even though I was still in the industry of real estate, I was just on a different spectrum. And I worked that until six years in, but of course, about what I say about corporate America and being the color that we are, and I was discriminated against. Not once, twice. And the second time I said, “No, we’re not going to do this.” I stood up and fought for my right. And at that particular time when everything was said and done, I decided that… And that was back in 2014. And my dream back in 2005 was to be that resource, that resource person to us, to everybody.

And so I had my dream of being that one stop shop from A to Z. If I could not be able to answer and help you, then my sphere would be able to. And I had start working on that back then, but I didn’t know when you’re talking about being in business, how long it was going to take to flourish. And so in 2014, I asked God to help me to be able to create my dream of what I wanted, and also to be able to still help. And the part that I missed out in between there, which I never thought I would be… And my give back is that I’m a foster parent, and that is to be able to give a child the opportunity because they are our future. But that comes from where I come from as well, because my grandmother was the mother of the community.

My mom found out, like I said, that’s a long story [inaudible 00:10:32] about my life, but she was a product of the foster system. Back then it wasn’t considered to be foster, they just was giving children to whoever wanted them. So seeing that and seeing my mom and the things that she went through with the struggles, even though she had a good life, don’t get me wrong, she still had that hole in her heart about, “Why her? Not the parent?” And to see the pain, I wanted to be able… I’ve always been that people pleaser and I want everybody to be happy and loving and I seen that. So when my kids were done with all of their activities, I said, “What can I do to be able to still give back, but it won’t take a lot from me, that I got to be out in the public or be out there like that?” And so that’s how my foster began, that’s over 20 years and I’m still doing it.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow. Wow, that’s fantastic.

Katrina Major:  Yeah, these are the things that I do. And it’s to help us to build wealth, protect wealth and to preserve it.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s awesome.

Katrina Major:  That is a nutshell in how I’ve come to do what I do today.

Melyssa Barrett:  You now have become Major’s Financial and you are focusing on generating wealth, protecting wealth and preserving wealth. But before we get to that, since you brought up the foster system and that whole… Because I think one of the things I wanted to ask you about is when we talk about the gaps between ethnicities and what has been accomplished versus what we want to be accomplished and access to all of that, whether it’s the foster care system, whether it’s the financial system, whether it’s real estate, there are all these gaps that sit around us, which is why diversity, equity and inclusion is so important. How do you focus on… I mean, I know you talk about making sure that we are represented, but what does that look like for you? I mean, even as you think about whether it be the foster care system or real estate or wages-

Katrina Major:  It goes for everything. Foster care, they’re our future. And if they’re not giving the tools to be successful, then they’re going to be running amuck. And I say today, it is a fight between, I call it war of world, because you got the good versus evil. That’s going on today and it’s becoming because of our perceptions of what’s going on, who’s going to help these kids. When you talk about the reversal of Roe v. Wade, I’m a little upset about that because one, I’m about women’s rights anyway, but I’m also about, well, you got a lot of kids in this system. And if I always say dislike for  you can have a supervisor and you can have managers, but if they’re not management material to really supervise and lead, that’s creating chaos. The same thing goes for Roe V. Wade.

If there is no controlling, you’re saying that women should always have what, under the circumstances, you have these children. But if they’re not prepared to have a child… I mean, we’re more better in today’s society to handle the issues of what’s going on. But I still think it’s a woman’s right to choose. And I know for me as a parent and divorcing with three young babies, it’s very hard. And you have to be mentally prepared to be able to take on that kind of challenge. But the biggest thing that I say about that is that you’ve got all these kids for those that are against abortion, but I don’t see anyone trying to come in and assist.

But all these kids that are in the system. So now you’re creating more children to go into the system with very few that are wanting to help, because it’s already difficult helping and doing your own children within the system because it ain’t easy being a parent, let alone if you are a single parent, which that is a lot of us. And I also advocate for women and children because of the fact is that, growing up, seeing a lot of women not married, having children, struggling, that also has an effect on a child. Because if you’re not given proper nourishment, if you’re not given proper encouragement, if you’re not given proper everything really, you’re behind the eight ball.

And if you’re not taught properly, how do you know to go out here and be a successful individual? And the same thing goes for being a parent. Not everybody is parent material, so what do you do? And that is one of the reasons, which I never thought that I would be doing foster care this long and it came from my grandmother because of what she did. I couldn’t understand the patience that she had. And I was like, “Why all these people, why are you opening your doors? You getting evicted because you got all these people in your house that you’re not supposed to. You barely eating, but you feeding a multitude.” All of these things. But now I understand, and there were two things that she said to me when we were growing up, was no matter where you at in life and when you think that you’re doing a little bit better, doesn’t make you better than anybody else. That’s number one.

Number two is that if you have the opportunity to help someone, then do so without looking for something in return. Those are the two things that have stuck with me at heart. And I wanted to do it when I was younger with my children and my husband, but my husband didn’t want to. So after I had divorced with my husband, I had an extra room and I said, “What can I do?” My daughter said she was done with cheerleading, the only thing that she wanted to do was speech and debate. So I said, “Well, I’ll retire from being teen mom, parent, all this and all that. So don’t call me unless it’s an emergency.”

What else can I do? I had an extra room and I’m busy, and I didn’t want anything that was going to interfere with building my business, because I wanted to be able to still create and pursue my dreams and not be tied back. My sister at that time had reminded me that, “I thought you said that you wanted to be a foster parent or you wanted to help children.” And she was already a care provider and a foster parent. That was a great idea and I started it off just to see if I could do this. And my first years, I think I had my sleeve on my shoulder and I think kids understood that.

And it was like, “Do I want to do this anymore?” And I had one that really just did me in and I was ready to quit. And my daughter had said one thing to me. She says, “Mom, if you allow one person to destroy what it is that you say that you want to do, then that’s not fair.” You know what I mean? You can’t allow someone just one. And that made me think about it, but I had to do it a different kind of way this time coming in, and look at it differently, that I had to not show even though I care and that’s why I’m here doing it, but because you’re not telling what levels that your kids are at. A lot of can take advantage of a situation. So here we are 20 years later and I’m still doing what I do.

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow, that’s amazing. Well, and blessings to you, because everybody is not able to take kids in like that and do that, so praise God for you and your sister and your grandmother.

Katrina Major:  Thank you, thank you.

Melyssa Barrett:  That’s amazing. Shifting gears a little bit now to Major Financial, because I know you have this passion for making sure that people have access to financial education, that they’re able to generate wealth, as well as protect and preserve it. So how do you go about making sure that you have the people that are ready and willing to take on that information? Because I think even just getting out there, the fact that you have all these degrees and that you have the ability to wear several different hats is definitely a benefit as people engage with you on their own wealth journey.

Katrina Major:  Well, just like you and I are talking right now, it’s just a conversation and listening with individuals. So what is it that you want for your life? And that’s what I look for. I love meeting people, which, that’s what I do, that’s part of my business, that’s my passion. I’m just living my dream as we say. And I love to conversate, I talk too much. But that was one of the things that I did figure out earlier in life, what am I good at? And I figured that I’m good at running my mouth. How about that?

Melyssa Barrett:  We all have strengths.

Katrina Major:  And that is my strength. So I have a problem in speaking with people and wherever I go, I have a conversation. And no telling where that conversation may go and people like to talk about themselves. That’s one of the biggest things, that people like to talk about themselves. And only thing that I do is listen to what you’ve got to say. And by listening to what you have to say, that I’m that one, that I have the solution. If I don’t, I’ll find that solution or figure it out. But that’s what it’s about. It’s about meeting people where they’re at, helping people, and like I said, people like to talk about themselves.

And you never know what’s going on with someone. They may need to have an ear to listen to, somebody to hear them. And so why not it be me to be able to look at you, to give you and make you feel good about whatever situation that you have, and also know that you can have somebody in your corner? And a lot of times, people are not looking for answers, they’re just looking to vent. Sometimes in that doing so, that end of the question is, “I don’t know what to do.” When you say to me, you don’t know what to do, then I say, “I know how to help you.”

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it.  I know you’ve done so many different things with respect to you being a certified credit specialist, a real estate agent, all of those things. I know there are issues currently going on with appraisal bias, where, if you are trying to get an appraisal and you’re Black and you have pictures of your family or whatever, and then you swap them out and people essentially think you’re a White household and you get hundreds of thousands dollars more in appraisal value than you would if you were in the Black family.

And I know that’s an issue that I think HUD is taking on more broadly, but in the markets that we’re in, there tend to be a lot of challenges in terms of accessing real estate just because of the cost. I mean, California in itself is such a high price market. Are there things that people can do, who are thinking about buying a house, that they should be kind of thinking about?

Katrina Major:  Yeah, there are. Okay, let’s go, because you asked me two questions there. For the appraisal, as us being as a minority, then that is why it’s so important for us to stick with our minority. As being out here and knowing this, a lot of my appraisers are African-American, that means that we’re going to get a fair appraiser. Now, if I have to use someone else other than, then I do clean it up from my clients. But I do explain to them why and what has been going on. But that is, you’re absolutely right, HUD is looking at that and there have been several lawsuits that have stretched from that because of, it has been blatant, just like redlining and all of those other things about want to keep us in a certain area or, “We can’t lend,” or all of these predatory practices as they say.

So you have to make sure that you are being represented, and it’s my goal to educate you from beginning to end, what our challenges may be, what’s going on. And then you asked about being a buyer today, I recommend that everybody still buy. Because what has happened is what people don’t look at and government always say. They’re [inaudible 00:24:38] about 50 to 100 years and they know exactly what they’re doing. So the historical lows that you’ve seen, what, 2%, 3%? That was only because of the pandemic and they didn’t want to have another ’08 on their hands because if you’re not working, you can’t pay your mortgage.

So they created this to refinance at a lower rate to give you the thought or that perception that you are saving some money, which you are, but actually, they’re getting paid again before because you had to refinance. So that was a win-win for them in order for you to try to keep your house. In regards to the interest rates, interest rates have always been high. Back in the day, the average you were looking at were about 17%, 18%, the only difference is the price. But that’s why it’s so important that you understand inflation. No matter what and however the years, there’s going to always be inflation and you got your money and your dollar got to keep up with inflation. So averagely, when you’re talking about inflation, it’s a national 3.2%, California 4%. So if your dollar is not growing 4% or more, then you’re behind the eight ball. And then with all that’s going on now, inflation is very high. Have you noticed lately?

Melyssa Barrett:  A little bit, yeah.

Katrina Major:  Everything costs, everything is going up. So how are you going to have your funds and your dollars work for you? This is what we talk about, this is what we want you to understand. And then you’re going back again to back in the time, whereas families are starting to come back together, because it’s taking everybody to be able to manage. Because our youngsters are going back home because they can’t afford, because they’re not making enough money. Parents, whether you’re losing your job or whatever the case may be, which means that you need assistance from everybody to be able to continue to pay your mortgage, rent, whatever the case may be, eat, all that. So there’s a burden on our society in regards to what’s going on, but it’s not going to change.

They’re looking at, well, housing market crash. People still buy it. I’m just closing deals every day. It’s not as frequent because there is a shortage of homes. There are more people in this world than there is homes available and affordable. So that is the challenge of what’s happening here and everywhere. People have to remember, no matter, just because you want to move of state, it’s still about the economy and where you’re at. So if you have go to, let’s say Texas, well, their income is different than ours, so maybe cheaper, but you’re getting paid less. So you’re still in the same kind of situation. There are all kind of programs out here combat the issues that we’re talking about. There are programs out here, now they’re doing co-opting, whereas to help you because of you’re a first time home buyer, to help you be able to establish assistance in regards to down payment assisting, closing costs.

And then also now they have a program that… And if they help you with X amount of dollars, then they will have some equity in your home of the X amount of dollars that they assisted you with. So that’s like a co-op kind of thing, to make it affordable. They’re coming out with more, trying to work on more affordable housing in certain areas. And to increase the limits of some of these programs to help individuals to be able to afford. So they’re looking at a lot of ways to combat for people to be able to become homeowners and still don’t feel the pressure.

And then there are also protectors out there that you want to utilize in the event of. This is what I’m here for, is to help you look at all levels of your life, from your money situation to your housing situation, to help you be able to establish where you at on paper. Because we always have things in our mind and where we’re at, but we don’t really have that true picture, so that’s always why you have to put it down on a piece of paper to take a look, to see exactly where you at and how are you going to navigate yourself to create the abundance that you’re looking for in your life.

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it, that’s great. Now, since we’re passing by and we talked a little bit about inclusion and how we should be able to come together as a culture, what do you think we need to know in order to do that? Because there’s so many different things out there going on right now to stop us from getting somewhere.

Katrina Major:  Well, I think that number one, it’s great to have new things in place, but I also believe in old things being. And we have to go back to the old days about helping each other.

Melyssa Barrett:  Oh, I’m like, “Tell me which old days you trying to go back to, because, see you there.”

Katrina Major:  But I mean about as a community as a whole, we have to create our own communities again. And that’s what you’re talking about, inclusion, because everybody helped everybody back in the day, Black Wall Street. We need to create our own like we used to, to be able to sustain, because of the fact is that it has always been the writing on the wall that they’ve never wanted us to be a part of anyway. I happen to watch this segment, that they were talking about all races, what the future looked like for every culture. And this was an Asian scientist and he talked about every race, about what was projected, what they see out into the future. But guess who they didn’t speak of?

Melyssa Barrett:  Who?

Katrina Major:  Us, as an African-American culture. So the commentator, he picked up on that. And so he says, “Well, I noticed that you spoke on every culture but the African American culture.” He said, “What about it? They weren’t equated in the equation.”

Melyssa Barrett:  Wow.

Katrina Major:  Right. So for someone to say that on national TV, you understand that part? So we have to get back to basics, as they say, creating our own again and being our own advocates. And I think that… Which is by design, that I always tell everybody when you watching TV, you think it’s for entertainment. But there’s subliminal messaging, I say, that they’re putting things from the games to TV, everything, that people are becoming desensitized and not caring like we used to. And we as a people always got to remember where we at, because they’re going to always remind us no matter where we go, who we are, what we do. So it is enough of us to be able to create, which, they’re starting to create what Black Wall Street again.

It is our job to be a part of it. But I also say when you’re talking about inclusion, which we have gotten away from those morals and values that we were raised by, and people are running, I say amuck with no regard, no respect of each other. We’re the number one consumer, there’s no way. And we’re the number one most powerful culture in the world, because we’re the one that keeping everything running. So if we take a little bit of that and look at where we at, and it’s again about leadership, they’ve always tried to stop us in regards to leaders. How many leaders do we have that are [inaudible 00:32:59] everyone that we’ve had, they’ve tried to destroy one way or another, because if you’re not going with their flow of thinking, of being, of everything, and I’m not going to go into it a little further, about things that I think about that. I’m going to leave it like that. Okay, leave right there.

Melyssa Barrett:  We going to leave it right there.

Katrina Major:  We going to leave it right there. But I think that you have the idea of where we’re at when you’re talking about inclusion. And inclusion is so important, but that means including, not separating and dividing.

Melyssa Barrett:  So then in terms of, do you want to talk a little bit about, give us a little flavor of Major Financial in terms of how you help people generate, protect and preserve wealth?

Katrina Major:  As I said earlier, Major’s Financial is that resource. I’m that concierge service. Everybody’s always looking for something. When you’re looking for something, I may have that answer.

Melyssa Barrett:  Whether it’s credit repair or insurance, or what are some of the things that you touch on?

Katrina Major:  Well, I touch on a little everything, that’s what I said, so what you just talked about. Well, I got a degree in criminal justice, so that was to be able to advise us on the things that we need to know. Eventually I’ll go for my law degree, so then I can really, truly advise us. Then I got a business degree, but there’s talk about what about business, what it is. And it’s also to encourage us to be able to dream your passion. And I wanted to be that resource and that concierge service from A to Z. I also have 25 years of being a resource specialist, 18 years of plus years, I think I’m going to be more than that, of becoming a realtor and being a broker. That means that that’s on the level of being able to educate you from A to Z.

And if I don’t know that answer, guess what? My spirit does. Like you, Melyssa, for what your passion is and what you do by the inclusion and all the other things. And also my relations. This is what’s so important when you talk about I have relationships with everybody. And all the services, and this is what all of my experiences, this is why I brought it to the table. But it was and it took a long time and that’s why I have all of these certifications, that’s why I have all of the knowledge, was because to be able to direct my team, to help us to be able to answer all of those questions that you may have. And that’s where all of my clients, my clients do not need to go to nowhere else, because like I said, they only need to call me. And when they call me, then I’ll have that answer. If I don’t, then I’ll just reach out to someone that I know. And that’s what we talk about, your sphere.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yeah, talk about your sphere, because you have said that multiple times.

Katrina Major:  Well, your sphere is the people that you know, who you work with and who you collaborate with. Let’s say as being a real estate, well, I can tell you but I’m not the lender. I’m not the one to help you get your money, so I need to send you to someone that’s reputable, that I know that’s going to be able to help you and answer your questions, make you feel comfortable, in order that you’re going to get the proper information in order for you to make the right decision and what you’re doing, moving forward for the largest purchase that you’re ever going to do. But also, I’m still there for you.

So if you still not understanding that letter, guess what? You say, “Katrina, what are they talking about?” Blah, blah, blah. And I’m going to say, “I got the answer for you. I’m going to make it clear for you.” If you need a plumber after you done closed, or maybe even between there, I got a lot of people following me still that may need a plumber, may need an A/C person, may need a gardener, may need all of those things. I have my Rolodex. That Rolodex of people are my sphere that I talk about. So if I don’t have the answer, then I go to my Rolodex, and my Rolodex is going to be for someone, that whatever your need is. And if I don’t know, guess what? My Rolodex will. If they don’t have the answer, guess who their sphere may be?

Melyssa Barrett:  Look, now young people don’t know what a Rolodex is.

Katrina Major:  Oh, see, that’s just telling. But a Rolodex, that’s just like the phone. But your Rolodex is for kids and for the younger generation now, that’s like your cell phone.

Melyssa Barrett:  Your contact list.

Katrina Major:  Your cell phone has all of your contacts in it. And you may label your contacts, the gardener, my teacher, all of that. So your cell phone with all of your contacts is your Rolodex. Before they had a cell phone, they had a Rolodex, and that had all of that information that you have on your phone. I’m telling my age, huh?

Melyssa Barrett:  People thought you were young, but now you talking about a Rolodex.

Katrina Major:  I’m young at heart, how about that?

Melyssa Barrett:  I love it, I love it. Well, I know you’ve been a legal secretary, a paralegal, also a notary. I mean, it looks like you are the lifelong learner that is going through every aspect of a transaction to make sure you have what you need to help people in so many different ways, which is awesome.

Katrina Major:  Absolutely. And about knowing that I can’t do all of these things that I have, but it’s good to know. But it’s my team. Because anytime that you have a team, it doesn’t mean that you’re relying on your team. So if I have to step in, then I have the experience, I have the knowledge, I have the know how. It’s all about teamwork, so everything that I do is not all just on me. It started that way, but it is about team. It’s my team that has, so I have my team of individuals that are credit specialists. I have my team that, financial capability, but I have all the certifications, all the things that I need. So I need to make sure that they’re giving you the right information. It’s about team, it’s not, even though I have all this stuff and it is geared to make sure that you have the right information, that’s the bottom line.

Because from what I’ve seen and growing up, including with my own experiences, and I can give you an example. Now, when I went for my real estate, I went to school, so I got a real estate degree. In regards to getting all the information that I needed to do to go take my test, I’m asking questions. “What do I need to do? What can I do? You guys got my transcript on all the stuff that I did.” But what they didn’t tell me was that with everything that I did, I could have went and [inaudible 00:40:07] and not my real estate. What people don’t understand is that there are two components. A broker is saying that you’re at that level of being able to be your own boss, and then you have your team, which are realtors, which are not brokers.

A realtor is not the one that’s going to be responsible, the broker is the responsible one. He’s responsible for that realtor, for all their transactions, teaching them, educating them, all of those things. And then he gets a certain portion, your commission. So whatever level of you coming in, you don’t have any experience, that may be a 50/50. Everything is about commission. The more experience you get, the more commission you get, up until you are practically like me, I almost had 100%. But I just haven’t went and sat at that time that I started. I didn’t even know this, number one, here we go. I didn’t know this until I started in new home sales. That was my first gig in real estate and I was so blessed with that.

But my mentor happened to see my resume and she said, “Well, Katrina, how come you didn’t go sit for your broker’s license?” I said, “What are you talking about?” And she says, “But you have everything here, you could have sat for your broker’s license.” I said, “Nobody told me that when I was asking the questions that I needed. And I asked the right questions and nobody told me the correct answer.” And so this is one of the reasons why I am so adamant about getting the proper information, because I’m one of those candidates that I’ve went through life and have went through a lot of things that weren’t giving me the right information that could have streamlined my process.

Or I could have did it a different way. So now after 18 years, I’m fixing to ,go sit for my brokers because before I was making money, I didn’t care, that part. So all of these things sit really in with me of why it’s important. Because if you’re given the right information, that means that you won’t have to have some of those trials and tribulations that have when you’re not given the problem. So I want to be that bridge and my company wants to be that bridge. That’s what my team and I do.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes, that’s great. And it brings back all of the affirmative action stuff, because we were talking about how just to be able to open the door, that door was closed for you because you didn’t know. Here’s opportunities. Thank God we have mentors and people that will help, but that can be very frustrating.

Katrina Major:  Absolutely, and it is. And a lot of times, that’s a bigger thing. Another thing is that when you get your door slammed on you or you get disappointed, then that makes you give up. And you never pursue your dreams or your aspirations and things like that. Nobody says that life is going to be easy, but if you can have those resources that are available to you to make it easier, then you’re more likely to succeed, whatever your dreams are. I’m still for, I didn’t tell you, but when we were talking about foster care, I have acquired my administrator license, which says that I can open up facilities now. So going through the process of getting my 501(c)(3), things that I don’t have no experience in.

Learning these things and going on for the things that we have to do, I tell people every day, but the things that I got to do even to run my business, to whatever, from those obstacles that presented itself, I could get discouraged, and I do get discouraged. But what it says is that for everything else that I’ve learned, is that you keep on going and you keep on, regardless of whatever those obstacles are. You’re going to get discouraged, you’re going to get a lot of these things. And like I tell my kids many times, I’ll be like, “I’m just go back to a job and just leave this alone and all of this because it’s not as easy as I thought it was going to be.” But it’s my passion and God has made it a way from me. I left corporate America in 2014. Next year is 2024, so that makes it 10 years that I have been independent, working on me and building my business.

Melyssa Barrett:  Awesome, awesome. Well, congratulations, because we all know how courageous you have to be to step out and actually transition into independence like that. It becomes challenging. And what a great way to end, to help motivate people to step out. You can do it, be independent, and we have a way of making things work, God is in control. I just want to thank you for joining me for this conversation. It has been wonderful and I am so appreciative to know you and wish you the best as you continue to grow.

Katrina Major:  Well, thank you. And you know what? When you’re talking about, it’s been about five years since we met each other, but we met each other through an organization. That’s the part, it’s about getting out here. And this is what I do, but it’s a pleasure. And thank you for allowing me to come on and talk about these things that we need to talk about in regards to our culture, what we need as a people. And I love the fact that you are doing the diversity and inclusion, because this is what we need and this is what people need to hear, to understand and be successful in their endeavors in life.

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely. It is in everything we do, diversity, equity and inclusion. So we hope that we get to the inclusion part, but I know we’re still working on diversity and equity.

Katrina Major:  Absolutely. And it’s going to happen, but it has to take all of us, right?

Melyssa Barrett:  Absolutely.

Katrina Major:  And like I said, for us to come together as a culture and as a being and create that inclusion for us. And then once we do that, it’s going to always be a challenge, but I think that once we able to do that and once more people become more open-minded, I say, then we’re more prone to be able to have some of those endeavors and successes as society.

Melyssa Barrett:  Yes. All right, well, that is the Katrina Major. Thanks again for joining me and I look forward to hearing more about what you’re doing. Thanks for joining me on the Jali Podcast. Please subscribe so you won’t miss an episode. See you next week.