Why I Chose Real Estate.. From Staging Books to Staging People adn Finally to Staging Homes.
While I may have entered Home Staging, as many have done, late in life, Real Estate, home building and marketing a product have always been in my background. So... here is the road I took to get me where I am today.
I am a Texan, not only by birth but also by my outlook on life. It is how I was raised and what will live in me forever. I know... to look at me you don't necessarily see Texan, but I am.. with a Texas can-do attitude mixed with some Southern courtesy... something I hope never to lose.
My childhood was blessed with a large family, which included, besides my parents and brother, many cousins, aunts, uncles, grandparents and tons of extended family. Sunday dinner was nothing if there weren't at least 14 around. My Uncle Charlie (Chan.. yes what ribbing his son, Jr. took) was an architect.
I loved listening to him talk of his designs, mostly commercial buildings. But when he was designing a house and built the small model for it.. I was hooked. I designed my own "dream" home that was all round... no straight lines with a center courtyard that could be viewed from every room.
I wanted to build it and furnish it with all the miniatures that I began collecting thanks to my aunt. I still have a miniature old fashioned ice cream parlor/store.
Playing with dolls had a different twist for me. I'd remove
every book from the shelves and build a home with them. And, if I needed something to finish it off, I'd look for something around our house and transform it into just what I needed. (Sound familiar Stagers?) BTW... I never did get around to playing with my dolls!
In college, instead of majoring in something useful, I got a Masters in Clinical Psychology and my first job was doing Psychological Testing. Interesting, but not that fulfilling for me. I decided to go to a placement agency in Houston, and as they didn't know what to do with me either, they hired me as a Placement Consultant. My first of many commission jobs to come! I loved it and I loved being more in control of what I could make. I eventually managed an office for them.
I'm the one stuffing my face in the top left pic. The bottom is a pic of my mini-store!
Fast forward to the building boom in Houston. My husband (well he wasn't quite then, but he eventually saw the light!) worked for a large home builder. Starting out he had at least 20 houses in various stages of being finished.. and that was just in his community.
He was working 7 days a week and often I was out helping him, which included removing paint from window frames and raking mud. As he rose through management, I learned with him about land development, aquisitions, planning, M.U.D. districts, and running a homebuilding business.
My Grandmother, Katherine & Me
For over 30 years, the majority of our friends were in home building. Our dinner conversations were about construction, sales, development, anything and everything regarding home building and real estate.
And because of the whims of home building, we moved several times. I learned to "stage" my house so it would sell. But as a buyer, I also saw something else. I saw how little it would take for sellers to make their houses more appealing when it was on the market. I was often amazed at what the owner would "put out there" when showing their home. Didn't they know how important it was to "merchandise" or style their home? At the very least, I wanted to grab a pressure washer and attack their sidewalks!
And as many Baby Boomers have done... I reinvented myself into something that offers me a chance to exercise my creativity, work with and help people and be my own boss.
And that's it...it's how I arrived at what I do.... making houses "fit" people!
P.S. Some might ask if I ever get to use my Psych degree? More than you know!!