The world of technology is moving and growing faster than ever, and while this growth is exciting and full of opportunities, the tech world can be an intimidating place to break into for those looking to change jobs or pivot their career. At AppFolio, we value diversity of experiences, and many of our employees have joined us from unexpected industries and backgrounds.
Two such individuals are Garrett Lusk and Eric McInturff in our Dallas office. They have similar backgrounds and were both brand new to the tech industry – starting at AppFolio in the role of Business Development Representative (BDR). At Appfolio, BDRs represent the special human touch of all of our marketing campaigns and are key players in growing our business. It’s a great starting point for a promising career in sales for Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) technologies.
I had the chance to sit down with them to learn more about why they switched to the tech industry, what they like about AppFolio, and where they see their careers in the future.
Q: Where were you working before AppFolio?
Eric: Toyota of Plano
Garrett: Jaguar Land Rover Dallas
Q: Wow, you were both in car sales, how did you hear about AppFolio?
Eric: While searching job postings on Linkedin, I came across the article “Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Awards” and AppFolio was listed as one of the best places to work in 2016.
Garrett: I first heard about AppFolio through a friend of mine who’s now an account executive (AE). In fact, when they started as a business development representative (BDR) here at AppFolio, I had just started selling cars at Audi Plano.
Q: What made you want to go from car sales to software?
Eric: Work/life balance. I loved sales right from the beginning, but with car sales, you’re working 50-60 hours per week, and Saturdays are always a 12-hour shift. As I got older, time with family and friends became much more important, and I felt like I was missing out on life events due to work. Not to mention coming into work on my day off to close deals. I started doing research on SaaS sales and felt that I would be able to still continue my love of sales and unlimited earnings potential while working a much more balanced Monday through Friday schedule.
Garrett: Thinking about my future. I loved car sales – or more so the feeling you get when you close a deal and then take a look at the commission. It was a competitive and fast-paced industry that allowed you to make great money if you were willing to put in the time. As time went on, I started thinking about how I was going to manage a six-day work week while trying to be a good husband – eventually father – then I started thinking about how I would want to retire at some point. It’s not that those things weren’t possible in that industry, but as I looked around I noticed that the majority of the veterans were married to the dealership instead. For me, SaaS was a way to still make a great income while having the flexibility to do more with my life.
Q: Have you experienced career growth since starting at AppFolio?
Eric: Initially I had my sights set on becoming an AE but first wanted to build my experience in business-to-business sales. I started as a BDR, was promoted to mid-market accounts, then promoted to team lead, and after a year and a half, I was promoted to my dream role of AE.
Garrett: I’ve seen a ton of growth already in just three months here at AppFolio. Like Eric, I also started as a BDR working inside accounts, promoted to mid-market accounts, promoted to a Senior BDR, and now I’m a team lead. My goal is to become an AE and right now I’m moving at a faster pace than anticipated.
Q: What are your aspirations for your career and life in the distant (and not-so-distant) future?
Eric: My original goal coming into AppFolio was strictly sales, with a long-term goal of enterprise AE. The Team Lead role allowed me to step into a management role and basically step out of my comfort zone. I enjoyed the change of pace immensely and ideally would like to be a sales manager for our inside sales team down the line.
Garrett: My goal in the near future is to become an AE and then outsell Eric. But all jokes aside, my goal is to work my way up the sales ladder. AppFolio is continuing to grow and there is so much opportunity. As you look around at the insane talent of the reps and sales managers, it’s evident that AppFolio continues to invest in their employees. I look forward to being a crucial part of that investment.
Q: When you’re not at work, what do you enjoy doing with your time?
Eric: Lots of basketball! I also spend a lot of time with family and friends on the weekends either watching sporting events, hanging out at the pool, or taking my pup to the dog park.
Garrett: I’m one of those annoying CrossFitters that finds a way to bring it up in almost every conversation. So typically my wife and I are either hanging out with our little gym community or at home watching movies. We also have a french bulldog named Olivia, so she keeps me plenty busy. Oh, and did I mention I CrossFit?
AppFolio is Hiring
Motivated team players will find a happy home with room for growth at AppFolio, no matter what background you come from. To learn more about our job openings and company culture visit our careers page.
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