Is there really anything you don't know about me?

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 GREC# 169695

From the start on ActiveRain my blog has been a true mixture of me... the person and me.... the broker. I am in this business as a result of a real awful boss at my last job... in fact... 

My first "grown up" job was the Principal's secretary at a middle school here in Putnam County.  To this day the man who hired me, Fabian Fain, I think the world of and I might have retired by now if he'd stayed at the job, but he left and I truly hated my next boss. So I went job hunting.

From that job I was hired as a graphic artist for a local newspaper.  I loved that job.  Not only did it give me a wonderful creative outlet in actually creating ads it was a wonderful place to be and learn.  I learned so much from so many people, it's where I truly fell in love with baseball (thank you Mark Williams), learned to love taking photos, became a stronger person than I thought I could be and found out about friends who stand by you in the worst of times.

One thing that I don't mention a lot because I try not to say things that lead to people thinking ill of others, is that my daughter's father, my x, asked me for a divorce on February 20, 1988 on a Saturday morning.  I was expecting our daughter at the time. The divorce was final on April 20th that year, my daughter was born on June 20th and he was married to someone else on December 20th.  It was a really tough time for me. The people I worked with were fabulous. I had offers from "want me to go in the labor room with you" to "want me to kill him"  And while I didn't take any of them up on those offers I did learn about standing by your friends in a way I never had known before.

Then, I got a new boss and I hated that job.  So I quit.  But in a few days I was working in radio.  I have a wonderful life long friend I met at that job too.  It was a just a short time in my life, but I learned a  lot and I also have some Cd's by Eric Clapton that can't be purchased. Then, I got a new boss and hated that job.  Her name was B. Rich, but well that isn't what I called her and she zero business managing people.  

On my lunch break one day I went into a real estate office to apply to be the secretary.  The broker, Jim, said I was way over qualified and couldn't pay me anything near what I had been making.  I was okay with that and even worked two other part time jobs to pay bills, but that was okay because I was happy at work.  I had just gotten my license and was loving real estate when my broker was about to turn 62 and going to retire.  He talked to a local associate broker and offered to sell him the firm. I knew that associate broker and knew once again I would HATE my job if he became my boss.  So I went and sat across the desk from Jim and said... just tell me how much you want.  I'm tired of having to find a new job because I get a new boss and have NO SAY in it.  

I was 29 and a single mom and I agreed to pay him $175,000 for the lock stock and caboodle. My parents thought I had lost my mind.  I had been licensed for less than six months when I bought the company.  I hired him to work for me for the 2 and half years until I could qualify to sit for my broker exam.  I took the class as soon and I could and took the test the very first day I was eligible under the Georgia law (three years actively licensed).  I was finally somewhere that I could stay and not get a new boss that would make me hate my job.

It's almost 24 years later and I still love this job.  Oh of course I have days that I am beyond frustrated at things and people, but at the end of the day there is no one who can make me not love this job. 

Being my own boss gave me the freedom to work when I wanted and be there for important times for my daughter. She was just 6 years old when I bought the company.  It gave the ability to earn a good living and still set my own hours and not miss ball games. I coached her in little league, I've taught Sunday school for more than 25 years, I was the secretary and treasurer for the local pilot club for a number of  years and I helped start a non profit organization called Freedom Foundation.  Being my own boss gave me courage to do things I might not have done otherwise. 

And when I think about what kind of boss I am, I will just say this one thing.... no one has left my company and continued to work in real estate.  They retired or died. I think that speaks volumes. I never would be the kind of boss that makes people HATE their jobs. 

I have no regrets... not a one.  I don't regret that first failed marriage that ironically happened 34 years and 1 hour ago today.  I don't regret any of those jobs where the things I learned have guided me in this industry. I don't regret my 2nd failed marriage for the sole reason of it teaching me to spot abuse.  I was at the right place at the right time to meet the absolute love of my life. And as much as I love the job I've done the past quarter of a century my three top jobs are wife, mother and grandmother.  Teaching children about God's love on Sunday mornings runs a very close race to my favorite three. 

Since I'm being all personal here... I'd like to express my gratitude for this platform. It is a blog community filled with some amazing people. I have learned so much valuable industry knowledge from so many here.  I've learned some life lessons here.  I've made some of the closest friendships in my life here.  If I don't already know you, I hope you read this and comment and I get to know you better. PS- threw in some historical photos just for fun. Last one is from an amazing group of AR people getting together to share and learn and fellowship.



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Joseph Domino 480-390-6011
HomeSmart - Scottsdale, AZ
Real Estate Made Easy

Wow Tammy, great story. I have to hand it to you. It took a lot of guts to buy the business. I am very glad it worked out for you. I wish you continued success.

Oct 27, 2018 02:39 PM #1
Fred Griffin presently on Leave of Absence
Fred Griffin Real Estate - Tallahassee, FL
Licensed Florida Real Estate Broker

  Tammy, you are an integral part of the ActiveRain Community.  Thanks for sharing your story.   I must make a trip to Eatonton to stop in and say "Hi" to you.

Oct 27, 2018 03:02 PM #2
Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Tammy

What a wonderful story of your life you have shared! I love how you started in the real estate business - that was quite a step to take but it sounds like you have never looked back!


Oct 27, 2018 04:00 PM #3
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Tammy- I'm out of breath just reading about your life so far.  And good for you for buying the business at 29 years young!  I have a feeling that those bosses that you didn't like helped you become the boss that everyone does like!!! And I still remember the story you told of you and your Donald having lunch with your friends and having to take one of them to the hospital!

Oct 27, 2018 04:50 PM #4
Sheri Sperry - MCNE®
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Sedona, AZ
(928) 274-7355 ~ YOUR Solutions REALTOR®

HI Tammy Lankford, -  You are an inspiration to all the women who have to raise children without a partner. Thank you for sharing your story with us.  

Oct 27, 2018 05:01 PM #5
Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy


This was an inspired post. Thank you for sharing your story with us. 

Oct 27, 2018 06:21 PM #6
Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good morning Tammy - that is quite an emotional story but one of overcoming and growing from my standpoint.  You have a very big heart and I am glad to know you.

Oct 28, 2018 04:50 AM #7
Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Tammy... I hardly knew any of that and you've certainly overcome some serious challenges in your life. I've been fortunate in that in the 18 years I spent in the corporate world, there were only two bosses I wasn't fond of... and I certainly didn't hate them.

Oct 28, 2018 05:21 AM #8
Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

You are always so sharing and one thing I believe is true is that the people we work with or for is what usually makes a job fun or not fun.  How many people have you met in person from ActiveRain?  I hope that I get to meet you eventually!

Oct 28, 2018 07:22 AM #9
Sheila Anderson
Referral Group Incorporated - East Brunswick, NJ
The Real Estate Whisperer Who Listens 732-715-1133

Good morning Tammy. I thought I knew your story but didn't know you were married twice b4 Donald. I admire you greatly and think no one ever leaving says something too.

Oct 28, 2018 08:03 AM #10
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello Tammy- - -thank you for this post which is quite honest in its approach.  Here's to continued success. 

Oct 28, 2018 08:15 AM #11
Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

I think I have seen only one photo of you taking with with other realtors. On the first one are you that pretty girl on the left side playing monopoly, a depression era game how to get rich in real estate?

Oct 28, 2018 03:17 PM #12
Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

The more we know about you the better,  you are a special person to us here in the rain.

Oct 28, 2018 05:56 PM #13
Bob "RealMan" Timm
Ward County Notary Services - Minot, ND
Owner of Ward Co. Notary Services, retired Realtor

This is a beautiful post and testimony to your love and faith Tammy Lankford, If I worked under a Broker like you I'd still be in the business today.

Oct 28, 2018 06:15 PM #14
Sally K. & David L. Hanson
EXP Realty 414-525-0563 - Brookfield, WI
WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce

Quite the journey there Ms Tammy....I enjoyed the read !

Oct 29, 2018 02:14 AM #15
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

Tammy, I loved your story of how you got to be the person you are today.   It is true, when a new boss comes in and you HATE it, you have to leave!  What a great story.

Oct 29, 2018 10:30 AM #16
Hannah Williams
Re/Max Eastern inc. - Philadelphia, PA
Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818

Great post Tammy Lankford, there was so much here I did not know about you and I thought I knew it all . You are a strong lady . We do make wonderful friends here in the Rain .

Oct 29, 2018 05:44 PM #17
Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Realtor Top 1%
RE/MAX Gold - Sacramento, CA
Put 40 years of experience to work for you

I don't know how I missed reading so many of your blogs lately, Tammy, as you have always been one of my favorite people on AR. You have class and style and wit. Hard to come by these days.

Plus, I pretty much hated all of my bosses, too. Perhaps because they were bosses and I cannot be bossed.

Nov 03, 2018 09:53 PM #18
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

I can't believe I am just now finishing this post, Tammy! I thought I knew a lot about you but, I didn't know about B. Rich and almost spit my coffee when I read your, "that's not what I called her!" OMG, you crack me up!

We all have twists and turns in our lives but, like you, ultimately I'm exactly where I want to be, with whom I want to be and living the life I want to lead. Somehow it seems to work out in the end. 

Nov 19, 2018 12:08 PM #19
Debe Maxwell, CRS | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

OH and I love the picture at my house - one of my absolute favorites! What a great group of incredible people. You guys ALL rock!

Nov 19, 2018 12:09 PM #20
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Tammy Lankford,

Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville
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