Fast Ball “This is Not My Life”
Sometimes I feel like I mark the passages of my life by the homes I sell. As a drive neighborhoods, I pass old listings or see homes that I’ve helped buyers purchase and I think “oh, that was when my daughter was in grade school” or “that’s when my son got his first guitar”, etc! After 25+ years in the biz, I’ve seen a lot of homes!!! I fell into my profession totally by accident (if you believe in accidents). It’s an industry cliche’, but true nonetheless, that I was sadly facing the demise of my marriage and with two little mouths to feed (and not a lot of help) when I started my real estate business. I was teaching dance, performing with a local dance ensemble, being a mother and quickly saw the reality of my situation. My income was not going to “carry the load”!
Somehow I knew my skill set included consultation, sales and service. But, after multiple interviews and realizing lack of experience was in my way, someone said “have you ever considered selling real estate”. Of course, my answer was “no”. I don’t think youngsters dream of selling real estate….fireman, Princess, movie star, Doctor, Astronaut…yes, but not “Real Estate Broker”!
After taking the required courses and passing the state exam, I was encouraged by the number of Broker/Owner/Managers willing to hire me. I guess I didn’t realize that giving me a desk, a phone and a slap on the back was fairly low-risk for them! And, so began my real estate career in Eugene, OR. I worked diligently to fill in the “gaps” in my classroom training (i.e: learn everything you actually really need to know) and began the challenge of building a business (while carting children here & there and waiting tables at night initially to cushion being totally self-employed)!!
Again, when I decided that I was Portland-bound in ’91 (more opportunity in a larger market), I secured the position of representing a line of tile to pay/pave the way, as I re-started my trade in a new market. Real estate is not a “what you know” but a “who you know” business (and I knew no one)! Some of my first (and still cherished clients) were and are the architects and designers that I called on to peddle my tile!!
The real estate profession is exciting/exhausting, buoyant/brutal, relevant/relentless, inspiring/intimidating and most of all challenging…definitely not for “wussies”! I wake up everyday “looking for my next job”! The last couple of years have been hard; sharing a lot of pain, heartache and frustration with clients is never a good time. But, when people ask, “is this the worst market you’ve ever experienced?”, I think back to starting as a “newbie” with two small children, two jobs and interest rates at 13% and say “absolutely not!!!”
PS: thank you to my dedicated, focused and always interesting client base that has supported me all these years!