Journey 317: Real Estate as a Mirror

Although I am based out of Joplin MO, as a realtor I can actually help buyers and sellers anywhere in the state of Missouri. Typically the majority of the transactions that I close are in the immediate Joplin area. And last year, all of my closing where on houses sold in the vicinity. But something unusual, for me, something out of the ordinary, has been happening. Of my last six closes in the past two months, and including my pending closings, half have been or will be away from Joplin. And I just made an offer on behalf of buyers on a property 78 miles away. 

 

After an out of town closing this morning, I’ve been thinking today about the significance. I don’t believe anything happens by accident or coincidence. All that happens during my journey teaches me and reveal truths to me, or amazes and delights me. When something happens repetitively, it gets my attention, brings my awareness up and causes me to ponder. 
Here are my thoughts on this string of closes that are in outlying areas. 

At Keller Williams, we have sayings called BOLD Laws. One of them is: “Your business grows to the extent that you do.” I love that the realty company I am with cares for us as people first, and agents second. They encourage personal growth and provide classes designed to grow me and my business. 

  
A couple of years ago, I began to test this “law” by setting the intention during a BOLD class that I would focus on my personal growth and see what happened. That was in the fall of 2013. My Year of Firsts took place in 2014, followed by my Year of Journeys this year. Business wise, they’ve been good years, and I can see the correlation between my life opening and opportunities opening too, and not just in real estate. Today I mused that perhaps growth isn’t just about number of units sold, but also has to do with expanding my territory, extending my reach, and enlarging my domain, both in life and business. That appears to be happening!  

This thought followed. I also embrace the adage that my outer world is a reflection of my inner world. A mirror, so to speak, that gives me glimpses into my soul. About six years ago, during a chaotic time in my life with much upheaval going on, I was in a car accident, hit by a driver going the wrong way on a one way street. That was quite a shocking look into the mirror of my outer world. Things began to rapidly shift in my life after that. 

 

Looking into the mirror of my outer world today, I see reflected back to me a life that is continuing to open and a soul that is expanding. Like my closings in new and distant places, I am journeying down new and unfamiliar paths. I am growing still. And my heart is full and overflowing with love, peace and joy. Creativity has awakened. I am having fun, in my real estate business, in my artistic endeavors, and in life. 

Now that awareness has caused me to look deeply into the mirror, I don’t know what will happen next. More closings in far away towns? Or is something totally other waiting just around the far bend in the path. I don’t know but I don’t need to. I’m excited to see where the journey takes me next. 

  

Journey 30: Walking My Clients Home

walking each other home beach

I love the quote by Ram Dass that says, “We’re all just walking each other home.” For me that perfectly captures the idea of journeying together through life, sharing in the travels, keeping each other company as we all head toward Home. Capital H. Sometimes I get to walk with someone for a long time. Some, I’ve been walking Home for a lifetime. Sometimes it is a short journey, a brief encounter that nonetheless makes an impact on me and on the traveling companion, and I always hope to encounter that sojourner again further down the road.

And sometimes, because of my current profession, I get to literally walk people home, a new home they have found after we’ve searched together for a while. It might be a first home, a larger home, a smaller home, a country home. Just as often, the walk I take with someone is away from a home as my client finds himself or herself at a crossroads, or experiencing a life changing event. Those journeys as just as crucial and oft times, those are the walks where I hold a hand or offer a shoulder to cry on.

Today, I got to walk alongside several clients, as they completed their walks toward new homes, or began a new journey, leaving a cherished home behind, or in the case of one couple, I accompanied them as they walked away from the home where they raised their family….and then toward the next home that is part of a new adventure. I spent a good portion of my day at title companies, and while there, I had the privilege of watching life unfold in amazing and varied ways. The closing is the time of greatest joy for me as a realtor. I know people think it must be because that’s when I receive a paycheck. The money is nice, and a necessity, but the joy comes from being present while a client gets a brand new key, and another leaves with a check that funds the way to the next part of their journey. There can be a little bit of anxiety or stress present at the closing table, and today was no exception. However, for the most part, people are happy, excited, relieved. I am the quiet observer of their genuine emotions and the smoother of paths if an unexpected bump arises.

I was very mindful today that there is a host of people who walk with me on this journey, with my clients’ best interests in mind. To the lenders who diligently push through mountains of paperwork to provide the funds at closing, to my allies at Keller Williams who oversee the closing process, (especially Melissa, Valerie and Whitney), to the cheerful and self-less closers, receptionists and behind the scenes staff at the title companies…today First American Title and Abbey Title…and to the other hard working realtors (Joni and Stephanie) on the other side of the transactions, I offer my deepest gratitude for all you do to make my job easier. I so appreciate that when there are challenges, you all keep going, so my clients and I can keep going. When there are delays, you smile and put us at ease, so that my clients and I know it will all be okay. You cheer us on, by playing your roles so well.

And to my clients today, I thank you for allowing me the honor of walking this far with you, for sharing your lives with me, and your fears, your dreams, your hopes for the future. I loved watching the laughing young couple with their 5 month old daughter buy their first family home. Their excitement was contagious. I hurt with the couple selling their dream home as their lives chart a course they never dreamed of two years ago. And yet, there is a fresh start now, for both of them. And the ability to fund new dreams, new lives. And I sat quietly with the couple who allowed their home to become new for a family just starting out, packing up 20 years of belongings and memories, laughter and tears. Immediately after that chapter closed, we walked to the door of the house that perfectly fits their needs now. We celebrated the exciting direction their lives are taking.

This was my day, after hours of preparation: smiles, hugs, handshakes, pats on the back, handing over new keys, and silent entreaties of peace, encouragement, strength and joy for all. And  waves and waves of thankfulness for those who made it all happen, stayed late, prepared docs, checked files, sent emails, held a baby who would not sleep so mommy and daddy could sign docs. It’s been a full day, completing a full week. I am spent and oh so content.

 

Day 59: Close 4 Transactions in 1 Day

Image

This was a great first today! Previously, I have closed as many as three transactions in a single day. On the last day of February, and a Friday at that, I closed four.

One of the things I enjoy most about being a realtor is closing the sale, and not because that’s pay day for me. I’m not complaining about that either! But for me, being able to hand a buyer a set of keys, or a seller a check, is a wonderful experience. I love the excitement that lights up the faces of new home owners as the last document is signed and they realize the house is now theirs. And often for the sellers, there are sighs of satisfaction that the sale is completed and they can now move on to whatever is next on their journey.

My role, as a realtor, is to come alongside a buyer, a seller, an investor, and help them accomplish their goals in real estate. It can be a stressful time for those who are moving. Often there is a life transition taking place at the same time: a new job, a new baby, the last child leaving home, a death, a divorce.  If I can ease their stress by handling the details and making sure the transaction goes as smoothly as possible, then I have done my job. I also soothe, encourage, hand hold, wipe tears, hug and celebrate. This is a people business, not a house one. And emotions accompany people. I am honored when I can offer more to my clients than showing a house or writing a contract.

Today’s closings were the end of these transactions, but not the end of the journeys or the relationships with these precious people. Thank you, Kaleb, Amber, Mona and Terry, and Steven and Rachel, for allowing me to be your realtor! I am grateful.