We help people buy houses. More importantly, we help people make homes.
My son came home from college this weekend. While we were making pizzas and having a beer in the kitchen we talked about his classes and his student teaching. He said one of his new favorite authors is Maya Angelou. Ms. Angelou rose to notoriety during the Clinton administration and I took more notice when she began having conversations with Oprah. I can see why my son enjoys her writing as it is earthy and real, like Midwesterners, with whom he identifies mostly. She writes about matters of the heart.
I was reminded of the gist of a favorite quote of hers from a colleague recently. It turns out it was from Maya Angelou, too. She said, " I've learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." The realtor that quoted me that comes to real estate from the ‘caring professions.' Isn't that interesting that she still is in a ‘caring profession'?
Our customers don't call us back years later because we were the smartest guy in the room, they call us back because of how we made them feel. As long as we make them feel like the most important people in the room, we are doing well.
Another Angelou quote makes me smile: "I've learned that you shouldn't go through life with a catcher's mitt on both hands; you need to be able to throw something back." Boy, isn't that the truth! Great thought to share with kids about resiliency.
For us in the real estate profession, a caring profession, this quote is something to remember:
"The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned." - Maya Angelou
We live in an era when a lot of people have come to think their home value doubles every year or two. Of course, they're relearning that concept. A home is a home. It's not an investment.
It's a permanent place for a family, whatever its makeup, to live and pass the days. It's a place for laughter and tears, cooking and cleaning and a place from which kids grow and leave. But it's good when they still want to come home. THAT you can't measure in a CMA or in the tax-assessed value.
I was watching an ABC News interview of a Yale professor who is an expert in real estate economics. I was interested in these numbers. If you bought a house in 1908, you probably would get your money back around 1946. If you bought in 1953 (post-war era), you would get your money back by 1978. Of course, the value of it went up and down and up and down during those years but most people stayed in one home. It was, well, home.
I have been working with a buying couple lately. Their kids are all raised with kids of their own. They've been married 37 years and have been renting for a number of years after some tough times. I am so tickled that I found them a house and it has a view and they can afford it. For them it means stability, a permanent place. It'll be "Grandma and Grandpa's House". Their ache is relieved. I can see it in their faces.
I hope I always remember that it's not just about the house. It's always about a home.
Copyright 2008 Tall Cedar Publishing