Why I Chose Real Estate - My Accidental Real Estate Career! All Because of a Horse!

Reblogger Dan Edward Phillips
Real Estate Agent with Dan Edward Phillips

Clients are always interested in how and why an agent chose real estate as a career.  This is a great post on that subject from Barbara Hensley of RE/MAX Hometown in Heath, Texas.  Thank you Barbara for the wonderful post!

Original content by Barbara Hensley

Why I Chose Real Estate - My Accidental Real Estate Career!  All Because of a Horse!


I moved to Rockwall, Texas on Lake Ray Hubbard over thirty years ago.  I was a stay at home Mother of two daughters, and I was excited to be moving back to Texas after a year in San Fransico and one in Chicago, both great cities, but it was good to get home to Texas and and live near my Mother again.  I was enjoying a brand new home and visiting with my Mother.  I joined a bridge group on Tuesday mornings and was starting to play golf one day a week with new friends.  My two daughters were settling in at new schools and making friends and, yes, I was busy and even that early already loving my new hometown of Rockwall.  Little did I know!

My oldest daughter, Beverly, had been taking English Riding lessons in Chicago where we leased a horse at a stable and it was a heart breaker for her to move and leave her new found love.  To help mend her little broken heart I told her we would look for a home with a little acreage and buy her a horse when we moved back to Texas.  This was NOT to happen!  Every home we liked was not on land.  The homes on land that we could afford all had homes we did not want.  Issue?  Nope, I just pulled out Plan B and I told her we would get moved in, find a pasture to lease and buy her that horse.          

DONE!  Moved in a new home we loved!  Bought a horse!  Leased a pasture!  Pasture was owned by a real estate Broker!  This is the start of my story that now spans 30 years.  One day my daughter was riding in the pasture, and the owner told her to have me call him about something important.  I immediately thought the worst - what had happened?  Had she left the gate open?  I had always liked addressing any issue face to face so rather than call him on the phone, I hopped in my car and drove to his office to see what he wanted.

This is the real truth, friends, I could not make this stuff up!  

I rushed in to Broker Billy's (this is his real name!) office and asked, "Did something happen?"  Broker Billy gets up from his desk, smiled and said, "Oh, no, the girls are always wonderful, never a problem with those girls."   Then he asked the question that was ultimately responsible for tilting my world in a completely different direction.   

"I just wanted to know if you would want to go to work in my real estate office selling real estate?"  That is it...that is what he wanted!  My reply came pretty quickly, "Oh, thank you, but I couldn't do that.  I have to be home when my girls get out of school, I am busy decorating my new home, I now live close to my Mother and visit her each week, I joined the Tuesday morning bridge group, and I am playing golf once a week with my new friends.  Thanks anyway."

"Well, I was just thinking it might work for you.  You only work when you want to and you make a whole lot of money!"  I kid you not - those were his exact words, over 30 years ago.  I remember that day like it were yesterday.  Now those were sort of magic words!  Really?  Really?  No, Really?  Work when you want to or have time?  Make a whole lot of money?

Before I knew what was happening I heard myself say, "Well, hmmmmm, you know I think I can do that!"  Right out of my mouth followed by, "I KNOW I can do that!"   Fast forward two months later, real estate license in hand, girls off to school, I walked in the real estate office and my life changed forever.  Within a month, I knew that Broker Billy had not spoken the truth, or at least the truth as it would apply for me.  Well, perhaps he had, as it turns out I always did "want" to work!

Snap shot of that office - great location.  All men sales people,  most part timers, a female secretary.  No rules, no training. How my passion swelled up and grew into the angel or monster it did, I will never know. But I caught it, I was hooked from day one. The housewife, homemaker brain of mine took over and I was on a mission to learn everything about my new career.  There was not much learning available at the office as it was run by the good old boys.  I did grow to love that good old boy local hometown broker and I will always have a soft place in my heart for him.  There were not marketing classes back then, but I did have a natural talent for marketing. 

I am most proud of having been recognized over the years as "the lady who put Rockwall on the map".   This for a girl who could not even read a map when her real estate license arrived in the mail!  My slogan, "Don't Move to Dallas Until You See Rockwall" started it all.

I walked in to a title company, introduced myself and said, "I am here to learn, I know nothing!".  Manager Gale (also true name) became one of my best friends and helped me anytime I yelled for help.  This new real estate job of mine was starting to fit like a glove!  Real estate seemed to "rain" on me! I found myself listing and selling every thing in sight.  There were days I might go to a closing two, three or even five times a day.  I rarely ever had a week pass without a closing.  This stuff was fun!  I was helping people!  It was a whole new world!  I managed to keep my house sparkling clean and dinner on the table by getting up early, lots of planning and list making, preparing dinner in the morning and having it ready to finish up in half an hour once I got home.  Somehow I juggled time with my girls and we all had fun.  I did not last long at the bridge or golf thing - that fell by the wayside pretty quickly. 

After one year in the business...a new builder friend of mine and I purchased the real estate office where I had started the year before.  I did not have my broker's license yet, but the builder had one.  Then a little later I bought out his share.  That was the beginning of an amazing road, an unexpected career, given the nudge by a horse.  

Highlights of my journey include: 
1. Built largest real estate company in the area w/over 50% of the total market share before selling that company to what is a now a nationally owned company. 
2. Winning the Realtor of the Year for the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors! Me, out on the east side of Dallas, across Lake Ray Hubbard!  Never happened before or since!
3. Winning numerous national awards for marketing and relocation.
4. Honored just last year as one of the first Icons of Rockwall Real Estate.

My proudest achievements in the business were receiving the REALTOR of the Year/Easterwood Award and attending and graduating from the Greater Dallas Association of Realtors Leadership Program. Serving as a Director for Greater Dallas Association of Realtors and Texas Association of Realtors for several years resulted in an appreciation of how fortunate we, as REALTORS, are to be living and conducting our business in this area.

The horse was already named when we bought him, his name was Blue, I am not sure way.  We always called him our horse of a different color!  The location for my main office for my three office real estate firm was located across the street from the pasture I leased for our horse, and where Broker Billy asked that I call him....many years ago - this was my view from on the hill across the street!  

I have seen my PASSION for the area and for real estate grow and grow through all the ups and downs and twists and turns of the market.  I am still living and loving Rockwall!  My children are grown and I put them both through college with my real estate earnings.  I have four amazing grandchildren.  All this....in spite of....and because of my becoming a Realtor. 

Accidental career or destiny?  I am just thankful to that darn horse!


Why I Chose Real Estate - My Accidental Real Estate Career!  All Because of a Horse!

                   Don't Move to Dallas...Until You See Rockwall on Lake Ray Hubbard

Out and About...

And the Surrounding Hometowns of the Lake Ray Hubbard Area
Heath, Fate, Royse City, Rowlett, Forney & Sunnyvale

Barbara Hensley
The Barbara Hensley Group @ RE/MAX Hometown 

Search for Homes in Rockwall please visit



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Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

Dan - thank you for the re-blog!  I am always honored when people read my posts and even more when someone thinks it worthy of a re-blog - THANK YOU! 

Aug 01, 2011 07:12 AM #1
Joshua Zargari
MJ Decorators Workshop LI staging and home decorating - Lynbrook, NY
MJ Decorators Workshop

It is fascinating to see how people choose their career...

Dan, have a great day.

Aug 01, 2011 08:02 AM #2
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Barbara, you are most welcome, it is an excellent post!


Aug 01, 2011 09:29 AM #3
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips - Eureka, CA
Realtor and Broker/Owner

Good Morning Joshua, Thank you for stopping by and your great input.

Aug 01, 2011 09:29 AM #4
Dan Edward Phillips
Dan Edward Phillips, Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA - Eureka, CA
Humboldt and Del Norte Counties, CA

An excellent post to put back up again, very important information.

Dec 01, 2011 04:31 AM #5
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