As a Realtor, we wear many hats...Advocate - both "Devil's" and otherwise - Confessor, Guide, Jester and Sage - all at the same time. After many years of this work, I have discovered that this personal journey of being the guide for others, has revealed even more to me, perhaps, that I have done for my clients, towards illuminating the road to locating my own dream home... the one located within. The real estate of the heart.
When we listen long enough to our client's lists of wants and needs, hopes and dreams, something more true eventually rises to the surface - It is not that cook's kitchen, that leather-filled den with a writing table, the bucolic rolling lawns and swimming pool in the yard that our clients are looking for - But rather, what those things represent in their lives that provides something special, that has, perhaps, eluded them to date.... A feeling, a sense of having arrived - something that says, "relax - the Universe gets you - you are officially home".
That, and basic shelter, are the two things our clients are actually asking us to obtain for them. Tall order, m'aam. If I might say so, myself. But, through trial, error and ridiculous tribulations, we often manage to do just that. What they don't tell you in real estate school is that the most important job function that you'll learn to do well, if you want to be successful, is to learn to listen to your clients - not only what they say, but what your heart tells you about what they're not saying. We observe our clients, their interaction with their family - the way that they relate to one another and the world around them, and with that information, some well-honed intuition and a little luck, we help them sort through all of the possibilities before them, and land them in the best possible spot for this particular stage of their life and the development of their own personal path before them. Whew. No wonder we're so exhausted sometimes!
Along this road, I have found the greatest pearl of wisdom - not from the many philosophers that I have read, but, ironically, in the words of a song written by Larry John McNally, and recorded by Don Henley: "For My Wedding". It says,
"To want what I have
To take what I'm given, with grace
For this I pray"
And that sums it up for me - what we're really looking for - what our clients are looking for, is to live our lives in the peace and harmony of knowing, "I am content and grateful, wanting that which I have." Whatever that looks like. Happiness is not a destination on the road - rather, it is a place in the heart. By helping our clients come to that realization for themselves, and find their own joy in the balance of the fruits within their reach, rather than perpetually reaching outside of their range for true satisfaction, we truly serve our purpose as their guides on this very important road to finding one's next home.
Say what you will about Realtors - but the truth is, a good deal of us actually derive our greatest pleasure from helping our clients discover these truths for themselves, as they pursue their own dreams. Not a bad gig, if you ask me.