I don't usually get personal on my blogs. Not sure why, I am an open book in real life and on Facebook but for some reason bearing it all on a blog just hasn't been my thing. But this year, it's time to change that. As this year draws to an end, my relationships are heavy on my mind.
I made a pretty big move a year ago this time, from McEnearney Associates to Century 21 Redwood Realty. I won't get into all the specifics of why, but let's just say, I am very happy I made the move and feel I've found a place where I fit in. Selling real estate can be pretty isolating sometimes. Sure we are out with clients a lot, talking to agents and lenders, inspectors and contractors all the time, but we don't really work with people that much. I work from home a lot, basically because it just saves time. I can crank out more work if I just open my laptop then if I drive into the office. Yeah and an extra 40 - 60 minutes a day, when you are a working mom, are invaluable. So having an office to go into, where you feel welcome and supported is very important, even if it's not that often. The culture of the office on social media is even more important, because we work from home so much. My new place is very active on Facebook, and it makes me feel connected to them all even when we aren't in the office. That really matters, more than one might think.
This move lead me to find my most amazing assistant/buyer's agent/right hand, Liz Crawford, who has helped me build my business up by 70% over last year. I never would have found her, had I not moved to C21 Redwood, even though we were both previously at McEnearney, we never knew each other. It's funny how life sometimes just puts you on the right path. My mom Sharon is still assisting my team as well, and hiring Liz has helped my mom focus in on the parts of the business she does best. Which is exactly why I wanted to bring someone like Liz on board.
Century 21 Redwood focuses on keeping their agents engaged, focused and pumped up. We recently had our holiday party and I was given an Agent of the Year Award for being #2 in sales volume in our Arlington office. It felt great to have an incredible year of very hard work rewarded like that. I've never been at a brokerage who showers their agents with so much support and motivation before!
Client relationships this year have been nothing short of amazing: I had mostly repeat clients selling the homes I sold them 3-7 years ago and/or buying new ones, or direct referrals from past clients. Words can hardly describe how grateful I am that these relationships have stayed strong over the years and that they've trusted me enough to work with me for the second and third time or refer me to a friend or family member.
Having these great client experiences has also made me know which new clients to focus my energy on, and which not. I was lucky enough to receive some completely new clients from my new brokerage, and meeting and helping these new people was nothing short of amazing as well. There are some truly fine people in Northern Virginia and somehow they found me in 2014.
Lastly, with all of this positivity in relationships, I've had few fall to the wayside. It hurts, but I turned 40 this year and with that, I developed an instinct to protect myself and quickly let go what doesn't work - both business and personal. This is not something I've been able to do in the past. I look for the good in everyone, forgive and forget easily and sometimes put up with behavior that's not helpful to me because I like to see myself as being able to salvage any relationship issue through trust, support and open communication. This year, I decided not to do that anymore, let a couple of friendships run their course and amazingly, new stronger ones have sprouted, nearly immediately. It's like these old relationships were plants that had died, taking up place in my spiritual garden, and as soon as I removed them, new, healthy plants were able to grow and thrive - and so was I.
Similarly, I let that happen with some clients who weren't working out. Once you quit investing time into a hopeless relationship - client or friendship - it's amazing how the world opens up for you to pour your heart and soul into the good ones with a renewed vigor.
So I am very happy where 2014 has taken me and extremely excited for what this newfound perspective will bring in 2015. I hope everyone can experience some clarity like this as the year comes to a close.
The photo is of my mom and Liz and me at our holiday lunch. For these two I am incredibly grateful!