Joel Sivertsen

The Path of Self-Realization

In 2005, Joel Sivertsen picked up a book that would change the course of his life. Autobiography of a Yogi introduced him to yoga and meditation, inspiring him to welcome the spiritual dimension to his life.

“When I read that book, I knew to the core of my being that was what I had been seeking, that the answer to what I was looking for was here in meditation,” Joel explains.  What Joel was seeking was meaning and fulfillment, and he knew meditation could help him get there. So, he embarked on a personal journey of sorts, leaving behind his work in commercial real estate to pursue a path of self-realization.

Joel explored self-actualization from multiple angles. He experimented with diet, confronted his fears, and took Tony Robbins courses, but one method stood out above the rest — meditation. He joined a local meditation group and soon became curious about monastic life.

“I thought maybe becoming a monk was the path for me. I moved to an ashram in California, lived there for a year, and became an applicant to become a monk.”  Joel had arrived at the monastery fresh off five years in commercial real estate. In fact, real estate had always been a part of his world. His father built a successful residential real estate career before later moving into the commercial market. When Joel joined his dad in business in 2000, he felt like he had hit the jackpot. But five years later, his father had retired, and Joel was headed off to the ashram to lead an entirely different life.

Joel’s plans to become a monk got sidetracked. He ended up working at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton, cleaning up unexploded ordnance and later worked at several other bases around the country doing the same. Meanwhile, his meditation practice remained strong, as did his love for real estate.

As with all things, Joel’s pursuit of fulfillment eventually came full circle. He met his wife, who is from North Carolina. Lovestruck, Joel put his monastic aspirations aside to focus on his relationship, instead returning to his original passion — real estate.  Joel relaunched his real estate career in 2016, and he now leads Sivertsen Real Estate at Keller Williams Realty United, a group of three agents and two assistants. Joel’s team closed 55 homes for $18 million in 2022.

Joel’s path to North Carolina and into real estate was winding but rich. His journey has made him the person — and the agent — he is today. His strong mindfulness practice helps him be a calming presence during real estate transactions, which can so often be highly stressful for clients.

“Half of my clients are expired listings. They had their house on the market with another agent before working with me, were not able to sell their home, and usually aren't happy with agents in general. I enjoy that for a few reasons. It’s challenging to win those clients over, and I get to step in and take a bad experience and turn it into an amazing experience. When you do that, you have a client for life who will enthusiastically refer you to their friends. And I enjoy being a calming force in a difficult situation. It's a win-win.”
Joel has expanded his real estate business by venturing into the fix and flip market, as well. He completed six flips in 2022 and is tracking to scale that number up to over 20 in 2023.

Personally, Joel is thriving as well. He’s still an avid meditator (he’s active in the local Self-Realization Fellowship meditation group), and he recently became a dad. He and his wife, Kate, welcomed their daughter, Jane Margaret, to the world in late 2022.

“There’s more to me than just real estate,” Joel says with a smile. “But, regardless of the work I am doing, my goal remains the same; I want to be helpful and make people feel good. I want to bring a smile to others' faces.”