I was born in Washington, DC and raised in the Northern Virginia suburbs, where I attended Fairfax County Schools, Northern Virginia Community College and the University of Virginia Extension. I did my Real Estate training at what used to be called NIRE, now Moseley. When I lived in the Metropolitan area, I was a member of the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors, where I served on the Lockbox Committee and the MLS Committee (more about that in a minute). Here in Tennessee, I've been a member of Greater Nashville Association of Realtors and Williamson Co. Association of Realtors. I retired my license in 2007.
I started my long and varied real estate career in 1983, in the Property Management Department of Town and Country Real Estate in Fairfax, VA. I was one-half of the Maintenance Department, scheduling repairs for over 700 properties. Once I passed my licensing exam I transferred to the New Homes Department and was the site manager for a homebuilder in Burke who didn't think telephones, electricity or running water were necessary in the sales office. I made the best of it until he ran into my sexy new sports car (the only sexy new sports car I've ever had, being a Soccer Mom at heart) and refused to give me his insurance information. I could deal with sharing the porta-potty with an all-male construction crew, using the pay phone at the community center across the street, and reading contracts and floor plans by flashlight, but that was the last straw. I transferred into resale homes and never looked back. (In answer to a question asked earlier, I finally got the insurance information from him, but it took the presence of my 6'6" boyfriend-at-the-time to make it happen.)
I can honestly say that I truly loved being a Realtor, especially during the Reagan administration. Entering the business in a climate where multiple contract presentations were the norm, it was easy to get lulled into thinking that it would always be like that. Unfortunately, it wasn't. When the market slowed in the DC area in the early 90s, I found myself in the position of having to reinvent myself and the ways in which I approached the real estate business. I was part of the commitee that oversaw the introduction and implementation of the PC-based MLS in the Washington Metropolitan area, and the one complaint I heard most often from veteran agents was, "I shouldn't have to know how to use a computer to sell a house!" In response to that mindset, I started a consulting firm called The Real Solution, which focused on the technological needs of Real Estate agents - everything from configuration of new computer systems and upgrades of hardware and software on existing computers to make them compatible with the PC-based MLS, to technology training to help agents update their business methods to be relevant in the age of computers. I also offered desktop publishing of property brochures and flyers for those who weren't artistically inclined. It was my desire to share my knowledge and enthusiam for technology that led me to my second career in the field of computers.