What Asperger's taught me about real estate...

Real Estate Agent with Douglas Elliman Real Estate

My son has Asperger's Syndrome and the world can't keep up with him.  He is brilliant, beyond creative and has a bigger heart than most.  I know what people are thinking when they glare at me, because he is behaving in a way they don't understand.  I have heard the giggles as we walk away. So what has my son taught me about real estate?

1. Tolerance - Not every buyer will fit into the mold of the ideal buyer.  Some are easy to work with, some more difficult.  It takes patience and willingness to understand their unique situation.

2. Educate - Not every listing will fit your buyer's preconceived idea about what is ideal. Its my job to educate people about the unique and wonderful aspects of EVERY listing. 

3. And most importantly - POTENTIAL! Each and every listing has the potential to sell.  I work just as hard on the move-in ready houses as I do on the handyman specials.  I need to show every buyer the potential that each property has to fit their needs.  Each contact I make in my life is a potential client, if not now, then in the future. 

The people that judge my son without making an effort to know him are missing so much!  I know that someday he will invent something that will change the world.  He has unlimited potential and its my job to showcase it and educate the people around him. 

A successful real estate agent will take the time to listen to each client and understand their unique needs. They will also take the time to educate each client on what it takes to sell a listing and each buyer about the unique potential of every listing.  Tolerance, Educate, Potential.... that's what Asperger's taught me about real estate.


Comments (6)

Matthew Johnson
Keller Williams Premier Realty - Woodbury, MN

Great post Katy, thanks for sharring!

Oct 28, 2010 06:37 AM
Debra Harbaruk
Re/Max City Realty, Commercial Dr Condos - Vancouver, BC
Vancouver BC Realtor

This is so true Katy. It is amazing what we can see when we have both our eyes and our minds open!

Oct 28, 2010 06:38 AM
Lynda White
Bluegrass Homes & Farms Realty, Agent Know How - Louisville, KY
Admin. Mgr., Keller Williams Realty

Katy, how old is your son? My son Zach is 19, and he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder - Not Otherwise Specified (PDD-NOS) at age 3. PDD-NOS is under the Autism Spectrum...Autism IS a Pervasive Developmental Disorder and so is Asperger's. They almost diagnosed Zach with Asperger's but he lacked one criteria.

I totally understand the glares. I so worried that Zach would be unpopular in school, but I needn't have worried. He's got more friends than anyone would ever need and they all think he's the greatest. I would describe his mind is "fun." I suppose because life in society's eyes is not supposed to be all fun (wonder why?) some people view him differently.

I'm reminded of the time he was in preschool at age 3, where he got sent to the principal's office for speaking out in class when he wasn't supposed to. His favorite movie was Forrest Gump, which he watched OVER and OVER and had memorized. The principal was trying to be stern with him, and he told the principal in a just-as-stern voice that he needed to change his socks (referencing Lt. Dan when they first arrived in Vietnam). I don't know how the principal was able to keep a straight face.

I was told by someone in the medical field I was being uncooperative for not giving him Naltrexone, a high-risk drug normally given to liver patients that was being used experimentally for certain autistic type patients. Uncooperative? It turns out he didn't need it after all. With a little behavior therapy and diet modifications, he is doing great - in fact he got a 4-year scholarship to college. Hang in there, it does get better!

Oct 28, 2010 06:58 AM
Katy Cardinale
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Northport, NY

Thanks Lynda.  My son is 7 and doing really well.  A recent incident with a stranger prompted me to write this particular blog.  But he is in a great school with wonderful teachers.  He has real friends and being with him always brightens my day.  I truly believe that he is the one that has everything right.  The rest of us just can't keep up with how fast his mind moves.  If we were all just like him, the world would be a better place. 

I'm happy to hear that Zach is doing so well.  Thanks for responding.
Take care,

Oct 28, 2010 08:49 AM
Charita Cadenhead
eXp Realty - Birmingham, AL
Serving Jefferson and Shelby Counties (Alabama)

Katy open minds open doors.  Those who are not receptive to receiving others and all of their differences will face more closed doors in their lives.  You and your son however, will need a pair of door knockers to prevent tender knuckles from knocking on all of the doors that will be opened to you.

Oct 30, 2010 04:07 AM
Katy Cardinale
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Northport, NY

Thanks Charita,  I thank God that my son was born 7 years ago instead of 35 years ago when I was a kid.  He has so many opportunities now that we get to pick and choose.  The programs available to him simply weren't available back then.  We have come a long way!

Nov 01, 2010 01:37 AM