I like my job. If I do it well, it pays well. If I don't do much of anything, it pays for what I've done. The bottom line in this field is that you get out of it what you put in it. That's not completely good enough for me. I want more.
Most of my adult life has been involved in some aspect of the helping professions. Real estate probably wouldn't sound like a helping profession, but it can be if you broaden your view.
I was at a adoption party Saturday. While talking with friends, I was relating some of the events that have taken place in the past year. One particular event came up that made me realize that my Realtor license isn't just about me and making money. I can use it to help people in more ways than simply buying or selling their homes.
I had a couple call who were looking for a rental. They were prosperous and successful business owners who had fallen into a bad situation and needed housing. I had talked to them a few years before just as their circumstances were beginning to unfold.
They had built a house on a cost-plus contract. What that means is that if the cost of building exceeds the contracted price, the contractor can continue to the finished construction and pass the extra cost on to the buyer.
This couple had worked hard, and their success had afforded them a great home. So, they built a magnificent home. It was a sprawling 8000 square foot home in an upscale neighborhood. They had contracted to build it for $800,000. When they got the final bill, it was $1,250,000. The contractor had run over more than 30%. He had unwittingly priced them out of their own house.
They managed to live in it for a few years. That meant making the $10,000 a month mortgage payment, but they couldn't do much of anything else. The future looked pretty bleak for these guys. They once were prosperous and happy, and now they were slaves to their house. Their future meant no vacations, no college for the kids, no free time and little of anything else.
That's where we linked up. As the weight of their house began to take it's toll on them, they called me. They ultimately went into foreclosure and they lost their home. What was meant to be their dream home, their retirement home, their final home had become the nightmare on their street.
Not too far from their home, I have a wonderful property that I offered to these folks for just a little over 10% of the former mortgage payment. It's about 1000 square feet smaller than their house. So the adjustment would be minimal. The lower rent meant they could actually save money each month while getting their lives back on track.
When the wife asked me why I had picked them over the dozens of other people who had inquired about the rental, I told her,"Because you need a break." They're a really nice family with no hint of pretense. They just wanted a great house to raise their kids in, and they got it at a terrible cost.
That little break has helped them get control of their lives. I was able to use my real estate license to make a difference in the life of someone who had been beaten and bruised by life. It helped my owner client, and it helped this customer. Everyone won in the end, and once again, I got to walk away smiling and satisfied with the outcome.