Why I chose Real Estate! From the eyes of a Precocious Little Girl

Real Estate Agent with HomeSmart International AZ Broker BR030809000

Why I chose Real Estate! From the eyes of a Precocious Little Girl

This little girl was a lucky girl! When her parents went to look for a new home in Duluth, MN they chose thewww.phoenixpropertyshoppe.com baby of the family to go with them that fateful day. She was so excited because she got to wear her 'grown up coat and hat' and play house (as her Mommy told her they'd be doing)!  When the real estate agent opened the front door, the little girl was so surprised to see a lady wearing a blue coat and hat - just like hers , well kind of like hers.  The lady handed the little girl her card and asked her if she would like to be her assistant?  Of course she was all smiles because she knew all about business as her Daddy took her to his office quite often and she played office really good, or so he said!  He even let her help put checks in their right order! That was an important job and somehow this little girl knew that 'showing' the house to her parents was important too. That was the day this little girl fell in love with real estate.

Fast forward to college......all throughout school I was always buying books on buying and selling homes but since I had no money I figured I'd just have to wait till after graduation.  Ha!  My senior year I went to an estate auction intending on buying some antique furniture to sell and make a profit to pay for school expenses.  Low and behold the house was also being sold and it seemed like such a smoking hot price. I just had to put a bid in on it - I just had too! (Of course it was a crazy idea at the time!) When the auctioneer asked for the final bid up went my number and then I heard SOLD and he was pointing at me!!!  OMG what did I do now?  I knew I'd have to write a check out for $2K that day and I wasn't sure I could cover the whole amount - now what? I left the auction and drove immediately out to my parents lake home to ask them what to do. I could only imagine what they'd be saying!  Luckily my Dad was ok about the whole thing and helped me buy the house because he probably thought it was a really good deal or maybe he wanted to see what I could do with the project. I knew I had to pay him back after I remodeled the house and sold it for a profit. Long story short - I was able to pay him back and make about 6K profit which at the time seemed pretty good to me. Whew!  Would I ever suggest doing that to any of my clients - absolutely not!  Had my Dad not saved the day I would have been out $2K and learned a big lesson.  That's why to this day I make sure First Time Home Buyers understand the process of buying a home!

After graduation I didn't go into real estate right away.  A friend and I took off a few months to go backpacking out west and we ended up in a little town in Colorado called Eagle. Somehow I met the Countywww.phoenixpropertyshoppe.com Extension Director and he offered me a job as the Assistant Extension Director.  Why?  Because he like my mix of education and experience both with working with kids and marketing. Seemed like a good deal at the time so I went back to MN, packed up my stuff and moved to CO (much to the shock of my family and friends). Now keep in mind my entire salary for the year was $13K that first year so I knew at some point I'd go into real estate.  As it turned out I loved that job and stayed there for 5 years and learned to live on a very small salary.  But - the perks were great as I skied at Vail, taught tennis and racquetball and a few other classes and made a few extra bucks. It was a great learning experience and a whole lot of fun!

Fast forward to 1987. I had moved to Flagstaff with my new husband. Finally I had the chance to get my real estate license and do what I always wanted to do - help people buy and sell homes.  I was fortunate to end up with a small local company with a broker that taught me the ropes - and well.  He was a very smart business man with a calm manner. He reminded us often to always take care of our clients - first. Always. I loved being a real estate agent from day one.  I actually held an open house that first day -and - guess what - I sold the house!  I called my broker and said - HELP - what should I do?  Calmly he said - write up the offer and bring it to me. It worked!

www.phoenixpropertyshoppe.comIn 1993 I moved to Phoenix as my parents and sister lived there. I had taken a series of leadership semiars over the previous year and my support team coached me on creating what I really wanted. I was missing being around my family so I packed up and made the switch to a broker in Phoenix.  Moving to a big city took a bit of adjustment but I figured it out pretty quickly. I never showed homes without mapping them out beforehand!! Getting to know the different cities and neighborhoods was a lot of work and at the same time it was exciting to be working in such a huge area (rather than a small community of 50,000). I worked with one of the biggest agencies here in Phoenix  up to 2006 and I enjoyed my fellow agents and brokers.  It was a 100% shop so I basically ran my own 'business within a business'. Up to this point my real estate career had been pretty much 'smooth sailing' but the waters were about to get choppy. 

I had been thinking about opening up my own shop for a number of years and in 2006 that's exactly what we did. We opened the Phoenix Property Shoppe in August of 2006. My husband is also an agent so he runs the back office and finances and I handle the clients and contracts. We're a good team!

Enter 2008 and needless to say I don't need to re-cap what happened to our market.  Crash and burn says it all. By that time we had leased and furnished a big office and had a staff plus agents on board. Little did I www.phoenixpropertyshoppe.comknow at the time it was going to be a free fall for years to come.  By Sept of 2008 I knew I had to re-invent the business or give it up.  That's when I lept into the internet marketing world and immersed myself 24/7 to figure out how to keep the business running and cover our expenses and make a profit.  That wasn't an easy task and we had quite a few bumps and bruises along the way.  No matter what I was determined to get back up on the 'climbing pole' and shift what I needed to shift to make things happen. It was a balancing act of epic proportions to say the least.  Thankfully it's now 2011 and we're about to turn the corner and have our best year since 2007.  We've moved the office to a small executive suite and we've cut back on expenses (or as we like to say battened down the hatches). Along the way I've learned so much in this 'down market' (which for those of you that weren't around in the last 80's and early 90's) is DRASTICALLY worse and much longer lasting than that period.

I am full of renewed energy and enthusiam! I can honestly say that I still love real estate!  And I so enjoy working with my home buyers and home sellers! I"ve got the most amazing clients!   If I were to start all over now  I'd chose the same career. Real Estate has been in my blood since I was just a little girl and I'm quite sure I'll be doing this until I retire (which will likely be never!) What makes real estate so fascinating to me (despite all the trials and tribulations this past year) is that it's constantly changing. There are new ways of doing business, new ways of marketing on the internet, and a constant stream of new rules, regulations and contracts.  Most importantly - I get to work with fabulous clients that become clients for life - and friends as well.  Match made in heaven for sure!

Whether it's smooth sailing or a tough balancing act - real estate is my chosen career - and I love it!



Posted by




Anna “Banana” Kruchten

Broker, CRS, CRB

HomeSmart International


Certified Residential Broker  CRB

Certified Residential Specilist CRS

AZ DRE Certified Real Estate Instuctor


 Your Referrals & Testimonials Are Greatly Appreciated!











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Michelle Burgos
RE/MAX PowerPro Realty - Pembroke Pines, FL
CDPE, Short Sale Expert, Pembroke Pines,Miramar,Davie,Hollywood

Very nice story.  You were courageous to pack up and move to an unknown territory.  I commend you for taking that risk at such an early age.  Congratulations in your successes.

Jul 30, 2011 02:38 PM #1
Wanda Kubat-Nerdin - Wanda Can!
Red Rock Real Estate - St. George, UT
So Utah Residential, Referral & Relocation REALTOR

I love this post Anna! What an amazing journey that has brought you to here and now. Congratulations on your industry success!

Jul 30, 2011 04:00 PM #2
Sheldon Neal
Bergen County, NJ - RE/MAX Real Estate Limited - Maywood, NJ
That British Agent Bergen County NJ

Great story Anna ! And terrific photos to accompany it ! Best of luck with the contest :o)


Jul 30, 2011 04:06 PM #3
Dawn A Fabiszak
Private Label Realty ( Denver metro area, Colorado - Aurora, CO
The Dawn of a New Real Estate Experience!

Anna ~ you were such a cute little girl!!!  I enjoyed reading your post!  Sounds like an interesting journey.

Jul 30, 2011 04:55 PM #4
Tni LeBlanc, Realtor®, J.D.
Mint Properties, Lic. #01871795 - Santa Maria, CA
Tenacious Tni (805) 878-9879

Anna - Your story and example continue to inspire me.  You understand what this business is all about -- people.

People are what keeps me going and loving this business!  My worst day in real estate still beats my best day as an attorney.  I, too, still love this business.

Jul 30, 2011 05:13 PM #5
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

You had quite a journey Anna.........I loved the first paragraph about you as a little girl in that coat and hat showing your parents the house..............that agent had no idea the impact she had on you.

Jul 31, 2011 12:01 AM #6
Virginia Dean
Keller Williams Tulare County - Visalia, CA
Real Estate Done Your Way

great story Anna.  When you told about the little girl in the blue coat, it reminded me of a scene from one of my favorite movies, the original Miracle on 34th St.  Near the end, a little Natalie Wood has her mother and fiance stop at a house for sale and she runs into the house to find her bedroom and the swing in the backyard.  Of course Kris Kringle has arranged all of this.

I am sure you will have continued success because of the way you practice Real Estate and the way you treat all of your clients.

Thanks for sharing and have a great Sunday.

Jul 31, 2011 01:13 AM #7
Silvia Dukes PA, Broker Associate, CRS, CIPS, SRES
Tropic Shores Realty - Ich spreche Deutsch! - Spring Hill, FL
Florida Waterfront and Country Club Living

Hi Anna-Banana, what an amazing story of endurance and persistance! Would have loved to see your expression when you won that auction! :-)

Jul 31, 2011 02:55 AM #8
Dick Greenberg
New Paradigm Partners LLC - Fort Collins, CO
Northern Colorado Residential Real Estate

Hi Anna - Great story! It seems like you were always on this path - but I'm gald you got to take a detour to Eagle and do the ski bum thing and live in Colorado. And I'm not surprised you're one of the survivors of the real estate "readjustment". Thanks for sharing.

Jul 31, 2011 03:45 AM #9
John M. Scott
BRE # 01442690, Scott Keys Properties - San Francisco, CA
Broker / Owner San Francisco Bay Area

Yours is a fascinating story Anna. I think we've all had ups and downs - I'm glad you survived yours and are on the way to a better year!

Jul 31, 2011 08:23 AM #10
Anna Banana Kruchten Broker, CRB, CRS
HomeSmart International - Phoenix, AZ

Michelle I grew up in a family of risk takers so it didn't seem like one to me.  Adventure was more like it and it's a big world out there.

Wanda - thanks! It's a been a wild ride this last few years but we're on the other side.

Sheldon - it's been a fun one, hasn't it!

Dawn....ahhh thanks!  I was such a little tyke!

Tni - that is exactly what real estate is about...people.  Caring about them and helping them achieve their goals. And wow - thanks for your kind words.  You are an inspiration to myself and many, many others.  I alwasy thought how great that would be to be an attorney and an agent. You have amazing wisdom and clarity.

Roger - no she probably didn't know that.  How fun that would have been to find out who that was and visit her now.  I do the same thing with each and every kid in a family....and they all love 'helping' and being my assistant!  It's really quite special to me.

Virginia - that Kris Kringle can create anything!  Thanks so much!!

Silvia - OMG - it was the moment of truth for me - but I had a good feeling about it as well. Within hours I was at my parents place.......kind of fun to remember the whole thing!

Dick - actually I wasn't a ski bum!  I had a high profile community postion and had the chance to travel all over CO and the states....plus write a column for newspaper, train 100 volunteers, run a county fair and do all kinds of stuff I would never have imagined!  Pretty awesome opportunity for me at that age. Hey - we all had to either shift or find another passion.  JDI is my old saying....favorite of mine.

John, it's been mostly an up journey. And with contrast comes great opportunity to grow and I sure had to do that this last few years.....more than ever.  Lot's more to continue.......

Jul 31, 2011 09:49 AM #11
Gloria Todor
Century 21 Absolute Realty - Springfield, PA
& Doug Durren (484) 431-3686 in SE PA

Hi Anna, Great to hear your story about your match made in heaven with real estate.  Great photos to go along with your story, in particular the one of you doing a balancing act! 

All the best.

Jul 31, 2011 11:20 AM #12
Roger D. Mucci
Shaken...with a Twist 216.633.2092 - Euclid, OH
Lets shake things up at your home today!

When I was selling furniture and now that I am managing a property, I ask every kid that comes in with their parents if they want to work and be my assistant............they love it and so do I.........parents do too.

Jul 31, 2011 01:39 PM #13
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Anna- you still look like the little girl in the picture... what a great winning smile.  And, what a journey.  You are one of the lucky ones who has known what you wanted to do at an early age.  You just had to wait a bit for it.  Just think.. opening the Phoenix Property Shoppe in 2006, then 2 years later facing what we've all faced.  Good for you for your persistence and determination!  (oh yes, and good for your dad for supporting you and getting you off on the right foot with your first house!).  

Jul 31, 2011 02:31 PM #14
Brenda Mullen
RE/MAX Access - Schertz, TX
Your San Antonio TX Real Estate Agent!!

Wow Anna!  It is obvious that you were meant to be in Real Estate :)!  What a terrific story!  I think you're pretty amazing and very inspirational :)!

Jul 31, 2011 02:40 PM #15
Karl Falk
Summit Mitigation Services - Monument, CO
Summit Mitigation Services

Great Anna.  Great to "see" a little more.  When you coming back to CO?...:)

Jul 31, 2011 04:45 PM #16
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Anna --- you have proven that precocious children can make the journey to success quite well.  Thanks for telling your story.

Aug 01, 2011 05:31 AM #17
Jim Frimmer
HomeSmart Realty West - San Diego, CA
Realtor & CDPE, Mission Valley specialist

You were a precocious little girl? Not you! Say it ain’t so!

Aug 01, 2011 03:14 PM #18
Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

Anna Banana, i just loved reading all about you. What a neat story and I love your attitude ( no big surprise) - you are one smart and tough gal. Much continued success.

Aug 05, 2011 07:57 AM #21
Deb Brooks
Brooks Prime Properties Wichita Falls Texas - Wichita Falls, TX

Anna Banana! I loved it. Now, how did you get away with a 2k house? That blew me away. When you were college age, since you're only 39 now like me, houses were much more expensive than that! I thoroughly enjoyed every word.

You're just like a banana.

Tough skin on the outside and all mushy in the middle!



Aug 16, 2011 01:15 PM #22
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