"You May Say That I'm a Dreamer, But I'm Not The Only One"

Real Estate Appraiser with Donovan Group Realty

  Today was volunteer lunch duty day at my daughter's school. This is her first year at this school so I still have not met most of the parents of other kids.

  I like to try to meet as many of the parents as I can when these opportunities come up. It always helps to know more families there at school to make the many events more enjoyable.

  Inevitably during the introductions, we get around to "What do you do for a living?" and while I am proud to say that I am self employed and working in real estate, the constantly recurring reaction of sympathy is almost comical. Almost.

 Most people comment that it must be tough out there, or that I'm lucky to have a job in this economy. But today one of the parents took some time to note all the people they know who worked in this industry at one time or another in one capacity or another and failed. Honestly I don't know what would compel someone to speak so discouragingly to someone they barely know.

 My tact was just to deflect it and note that I do have some actual experience in this industry to help me reach my goals. Hopefully they're able to understand my determination and know that I have a very positive mindset. While I know that this industry will always be a tough one to survive in, I do think I have what it takes to make a difference to my clients and for my family.

 Even though the opportunities that still abound are apparent to me, I suppose those that have not worked in this industry have a hard time understanding how people can still make a living at it. All they hear about is home values sucking the cash out of investment and mortgage banking, causing national economies to fail around the globe. Now that I just typed that I guess I can understand why the feel like it would be impossible to still create a successful career in real estate!

 I think this is another reason that all of us here participate in AR. The comfort of knowing our struggle is not our own, that others succeed and we can succeed by supporting and helping each other. As Mr Lennon said "I'm not the only one".


Posted by

Andrew McGrath - South Coast Metro Orange County

Comments (10)

Keith Landis
Keystone Home Finance - NMLS#834342 - Conventional - FHA - VA -USDA - Jumbo Programs - Direct Phone 412-726-1654 - Pittsburgh, PA
Pennsylvania - "Your Pennsylvania Mortgage Source"

a contrarian view point is always the best source of making cash,  buyers right now are snapping up discounted real estate with rock bottom rates

Investors with their eyes open would never say this is a bad time for real estate

May 04, 2011 05:32 PM
Sarasota & Manatee Counties FL
SaraMana Properties - QuickFreeMLS.com - Bradenton, FL
QuickFreeMLS.com - Listings In Paradise

Keep up your good attitude and you will continue to do just fine!

May 04, 2011 05:36 PM
Tony & Darcy Cannon
Aubrey and Associates Realty - Layton, UT
The C Team

Andrew, Great, upbeat post!  I think that Real Estate will rebound.  It may take years to reach the highest point that it attained earlier, but there really isn't any new real estate being built and it is much more than just an investment vehicle, shelter is one of the basic human necessities!  Let's face it, anyone that work the lyrics of Imagine into a blog is doing a great job!

May 04, 2011 05:42 PM
Andrew McGrath
Donovan Group Realty - Santa Ana, CA

Hi Keith-Great perspective, it's an opportunity to educate a prospective client. Thank you.

Hello John-I certainly will. I've maintained it this long, not goint to give up on it now!

Hey there Tony, thanks for your comment. I agree that it will be a long slow road, but it will rise again. If I can make my bones now, I'll be fine for all the ups and downs to come.


May 04, 2011 05:44 PM
Irene Lai-Chan
Rando Real Estate - Modesto, CA

I remember those days volunteering at school.  Don't forget to sign up for field trips, as chaperon.  I like those and missed going on field trips.  However, with the budget cuts in California public schools, there aren't many (any) field trips these days.  Sigh!

Good luck with everything.  Did I mention the investment properties are "flying off the shelves" here in Modesto CA, especially the ones that are below assessed value (per tax record).

Last but not least, I dream of those days when schools have no furlough days and more learning time for school kids. 


May 04, 2011 05:46 PM
Samantha Davault
Alexander Chandler Realty - Fort Worth, TX
Fort Worth, TX

Why is it that people are always so sympathetic and negative about real estate.  They have no idea what opportunites are available for self motivated individuals to not only succeed but thrive and do it on your own terms setting your own hours.  I am pretty quick to be sympathetic to those out there that struggle with a job that has an income cap and set hours always wondering if there might be downsizing or layoffs.  No thanks.  I will stick with real estate.

May 04, 2011 06:14 PM
Tim Lorenz
TIM LORENZ - Elite Home Sales Team - Mission Viejo, CA
949 874-2247

I have always believed and taught that people who know us enjoy helping us.  If we ask for the business it does come.

May 04, 2011 06:30 PM
Kathy Clulow
RE/MAX All-Stars Realty Inc. Brokerage - Uxbridge, ON
Trusted For Experience - Respected For Results

Andrew - much of what people see and read is put out there by us ..... people are reacting to what we say and write ..... it is bad enough that the press only writes about the bad news but do we really have to compound it.

May 04, 2011 06:43 PM
Jon Solomon
Javic Homes - Tampa, FL

Nice post, Andrew.  As a home builder, I often get the same reaction.  I approach it in a similar way and ultimately find that people always want to talk about our industry.  Once you demonstrate your depth and breadth of knowledge, your passion and sill becomes clear.  Thanks again for the good post.

May 04, 2011 11:03 PM
Andrew McGrath
Donovan Group Realty - Santa Ana, CA

Hello Irene-I also enjoy being involved and present at school. Flexibility in my schedule is one of the best things about being self employed. Also, I grew up in Merced just South of Modesto and know the area very well. I just stopped by Vintage Faire Mall over Easter and was suprised at how much it had changed!

Hi Samantha-I've personally seen both sides. As my appraisal business suffered in late '09 I took a position in the valuations dept of an REO asset management company. Cubicle city, clock in..clock out. It was suffocating, and when my time came in the 3rd round of layoffs in less than a year I was actually glad for it. I knew I could never go back to that and it forged my resolve to stay self employed and find new avenues to succeed in.

Your are correct Tim! If we put ourselves out there we often find more than enough people will make themselves available to us.

Kathy-I couldnt agree more. The reality is that we are in tough times, but everybody is painfully aware of that. What we can do is show them how to take advantage of the opportunities that tough times create.

Hi John-You 'nailed it'! Ha! I crack myself up!! Seriously though as a home builder you know exactly what I mean. People are endlessly facinated by real estate, which gives us a nice way to connect.


May 05, 2011 04:02 AM