I never thought I would be on the selling side of Real Estate. As a young single mother I lived in apartments and never even thought about owning my own home. My late father believed in buying homes and had several investment properties while I was growing up and after I went on my own he acquired more.
It wasn't until he passed away that I was forced more or less to find out about real estate to help my mother manage the one building he did not liquidate before he died. Lucky for me I was working in a Fortune 500 company where the administrative staff had to belong to a union. It was in Chicago and the Communications Workers of America were still strong and had us as part of their barganing chip.
Due to that union, as part of their retraining, I was able to take my real estate licensing course at my local community college. No one was more surprised than myself when I took my state test and passed it! I still was pretty clueless about the process or our teacher had not explained it well enough or maybe I had jst fallen asleep since I was taking the class in the evening after getting up at 4:30 a.m. to catch an early train (after dropping off my son at sitters, driving to train station) and commuting back home by 6:30 p.m. to make it to class.
For whatever reason, I did not realize that I had to get sponsored and by a strange twist of fate I decided to see if I could qualify for my first home later that year. In talking to the agent that was showing me houses I mentioned that I also had my real estate license. He asked me if I was "sponsored" and long story short - I ended up working for his firm because they took "part time" agents. Later I found out that back in the day - if you could breath, most brokerages took you to build up their numbers.
So all this brings me to giving back and why I try to give back to the community in general.
I attend the annual real estate convention held by the National Association of Realtors as often as I can. As part of that they hold a Volunteer Build where they partner with the local chapter of "Habitat for Humanity" and we join in building affordable homes for the local host city.
I absolutely love doing it! The group of volunteers is a broad spectrum of the real estate members and just like the "average" realtors mostly females over 50! So here is the latest look at last year's build in San Francisco.
With the median home price of $800,000 and more than likely the average price of a home in San Francisco proper over a MILLION it makes my area look really affordable.
To my fellow realtors, I hope you find some way to give back to the communities you live in during 2014. To our potential buyers and sellers - know that we are more than sales people, we are advocates for property rights, we are your neighbors, we are involved in giving back in one way or another!
Find an agent that you are comfortable with, who understand your needs and who deserves your loyalty as much as they give to you during your home search or sale!