How I got into real estate (still working on the "Why" of it)

Real Estate Agent with Ozarks' Independent Realty

For several years I worked at convenience stores. I loved it. I was energized by the constant activity. Having 300-400 different people in front of me every day was absolutely beautiful. But then again, I like people. I love people! I had the customers who were just passing through who stopped for a bathroom break and felt obligated to buy something. I had the regulars who came in same time every day, bought the same thing every time, such creatures of habit, they often came in with their checks pre-written in the exact amount because they knew exactly what it would cost. Some of those, I still see in public and instantly think $10 gas, 2 Marlboro Lights in a box, and a coke..." I had the lonely people who knew when it was usually slow, and they would come in, hang out, and talk. Often, this type of person has deep problems and needs someone, anyone, that will listen. I considered it a wonderful privilege to be able to do that for them. Then there were the others, those who are rude, snobby, hateful... Most people who started out like that, I would try extra hard to show them respect, friendliness, humanity, and most of them came around and settled into the second or third types. But some people, no matter how hard I tried, stayed rude, snobby, hateful. I took it personally for the longest time, then one day it was revealed to me that the problem wasn't in me, it was in them. For whatever reason, they had a problem being nice, and I learned to just take their money efficiently, dispassionately, and let them go on their way. I loved my job.

But, something kept nagging at me. People would come into the store and start talking about God. Not the preachers, but the passers-through, the regulars, the talkers, even some of the "snobby" ones would just pop off with "Have a blessed day," or "God loves you, Amber." I had strangers telling me they would be praying for me, and a few who actually prayed with me, there in the store. None of the other clerks had similar experiences, so I started wondering why it happened so frequently to me. I was  Christian, I prayed, sometimes, I believed.... So I finally broke down and prayed about it. And the answer was that God was trying to get my attention. I bet He does that for a lot of people who just stay too preoccupied to notice. But I noticed, and I wanted to know why. Then little things started happening- thefts from the store, more meth cooks coming in to buy or steal ingredients, the snobby people starting to outnumber the nicer ones... Maybe it had always been like that, but I was noticing it more and more, and not liking it. I felt like there was something else I was supposed to be doing. One day, I prayed, there behind the counter, that if He was leading me to something else, He needed to make it clear, because I'm Polish and just was not "getting" it. A few minutes later the local paper was delivered, early- WAY early, and I opened it to the middle (not typical for me). The first, and only thing that caught my eye was an ad for real estate school, and it felt right. When I got home that night, I talked to my husband, and he said to "go for it." But there was no way we could afford it, and we both knew that. So, Gideon-style, I cast out my fleece. I prayed that, if God's will was for me to get into real estate, I needed the money to come to me by the end of the year (we were in mid December), and I pretty much stopped thinking about it. Until December 31st...

A few years earlier, my husband was in a bad accident and we ended up having to hire a lawyer because the other driver, who turned left in front of my husband's oncoming vehicle, had an insurance company that would not talk with us at all. We had, on December 16th, reached a settlement agreement, and were told the money would be in to our attorney's office in 4-6 weeks. But on December 31st, the deadline I gave God to provide the means for me to attend real estate school, our lawyer called. The money was there! I called my husband and his response was simple, "Praise God! Now call that real estate school and get signed up!" And that was the beginning...

I have questioned, from time-to-time over the past 5 years, why He wants me doing this. I know it wasn't for the money! I have been blessed in making enough, and that will have to do, but I didn't get into this for the money. I have been blessed by some of the people I have met and worked with. I have felt honored that I was chosen to help families in this huge transaction. I have had opportunity to witness to a few, and to pray for many. I have met people who needed help understanding and making decisions, and some didn't like the advice I gave. I have had others that I worked with for over a month call one day and say they looked at a house with another agent the evening before and they bought it. Those things make me question why I stay in this business, why I even bother. Then there are those times when, facing large expenses I couldn'thandle, a buyer walks in, says "I want this property, write a cash offer," and it closes the very day I need the money. God is telling me I am in this business for a reason, His reason, and I don't have to understand- I just have to accept it and trust Him. He has always provided for our needs, He has always given me guidance. When I have bothered to listen...


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Jennifer Allan-Hagedorn
Sell with Soul - Pensacola Beach, FL
Author of Sell with Soul
What an amazing post! I bet you enjoyed writing it - I can hear it in your 'voice'!
Nov 07, 2007 08:22 AM #1
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO
Thank you, Jennifer! Yes, I do enjoy "talking" about how God works in our lives. I can now look back and see times He was working on me or leading me, but at the time I had no clue. I think we all need to remember to keep open to the spirit, and ask for guidance more often. He will never lead us wrong!
Nov 07, 2007 09:19 AM #2
Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group
I think you have the answer to all of your questions. Your why is the most important part of your life's focus and goals. If you let God know your whys, and-if they are in line with His Plans, then the Hows will begin to appear. I laid in a hospital bed over twenty years ago with severe burns on my right arm, and therapy that would take months. I won't go into the details, but I will say that I had to really examine my whys... Why did I need this, why did I need to hold my family together, why a serious change in my life could make my life better and make me closer to the needs of my family. That was my main Why, why was I so involved in a Career that kept me a stranger for my kids that were needing me in their lives.  Once I got in touch with the Why, then God showed me how to make the changes. PS>>I was a single parent with 4 sons...Day care and Grandmothers were not what I should have been using to raise my family. I was able to make changes that allowed me to be that parent, Father, and Friend to my kids that makes me proud to this day. I am happy that you can relate to this, and maybe its time to re-examine your whys again. Best wishes on all our endeavours
Nov 07, 2007 01:02 PM #3
Irene Morales Ward
REMAX Distinctive Real Estate, Inc. - Stafford, VA
Realtor - e-Pro - Northern Virginia Real Estate
Amber - That was an absolutely beautiful story full of honesty and faith.  I was there with you behind the counter.  You've obviously found the right path and God has blessed you with a wonderful ability to communicate the written word.  Do wonderful things and make Him proud.  Blessings...
Nov 07, 2007 10:49 PM #4
Amber Bourland
Ozarks' Independent Realty - West Plains, MO

Mike, It always amazes me what we have to go through to realize the changes we need to make. sounds like it took a lot of suffering for you to get there, but I am glad that you did!  i am sure your sons are proud of you, as well...

Irene- thanks! You cheered me up, saying such nice things! What's funny is how much I miss all the people I saw every day. I have been considering getting a part-time job somewhere more in the public again, just to be around more people... but I haven't felt led to do that, yet, so it will wait until when/if the spirit leads me...

Nov 08, 2007 04:46 AM #5
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