Most of my life has evolved around real estate and it's been wonderful a majority of the time. When you're 11 or 12 and your whole family is licensed with Grand pop and your Mom being brokers, Dad and your brother being associates keeps you in the loop at mealtime trying to figure out how this business operates. You hear things you may know and if an answer is not at hand you might even be asked a question or two. A perspective through the mind and eyes of a child could deliver an answer you seek. I know that on more than one occasion I offered that perspective and it was correct.
The difficulty was getting anyone to admit that your reasoning was sound and successful. One thing was certain, a son or daughter in any real estate family is going to have an interesting schedule and a lot of entertainment especially during their high school years. Rarely do you sit at the dinner table and chat like most friends and their families did. Your mission was to meet at XYZ Rrestaurant at 9pm or later and be able to return to the office for an 11 o'clock client meeting. I could never understand why my dates did not grasp the situation. Insert sarc mark here!
The calls came in fast and furious at times. We had three offices back then and all phone exchanges were interconnected even at home too. In those days we were never allowed to let the phone ring more than 3 times, licensed, or not you take the call and write or relay the message ASAP. No computers, no smart phones not a digital piece of anything at our disposal. If you had to, you got in the damn car and drove to deliver the message. You knew you had arrived when you were issued those barrel type security keys to access the keyboxes on local listings. Impressive little things. Lose one and you would have to pay the Board $50.00 for a replacement. A fifty dollar deposit was required also. You can rest assured they weren't gonna be left hanging. Much like today!
My Grandfather's business was much more laid back. His home was also his office, distinct and separate from the home albeit attached via a common hallway and basement. He liked gadgets and had an answering machine screen his calls. His field of choice became property management. A logical choice since he had decades of building and selling duplexes, quads and small apartment buildings under his belt. He managed nearly 3,000 doors. He laughed at himself for working in the office in his underwear. I laughed too, I got it, not too many others understood. That's a luxury you earn when you've been in the business 50+ years. His cameras of choice were a state of the art Polaroid and a split frame 35mm. If you walked into his office everything was in complete order and organized. I have to mostly credit his bookkeeper for that, her name is Grandma. My love of fast cars began with hers, a '65 Sunbeam Tiger, black with red leather interior. If you've never heard dual downdraft Weber carburetors sing you're missing out. It was Bad Ass (my term)! He, Grand pop, loved his Cadillac, a triple black, Big Ass (his term) Coupe deville.
The parental units had their own filing system. My Dad would usually watch in wonder because organization was NOT the case in my Mom's office. You could see memos and notes written on just about anything from napkins, menus, shreds of newspaper, paper towel rolls even tongue depressors and Popsicle sticks strewn about nearly everywhere. What a sight, especially when she had to empty her purse to find that one scrap of paper, however, somehow and some way she could almost always find what she needed relatively quickly.
When Federal Express came along and not yet called FedEx she was hooked. The U.S. Postal Service instantly became passe' and nearly everything went out the door via FedEx. Letters were $9.99 overnight if memory serves me well. It did not matter if the information was heading across States or a couple of streets away the convenience of the pickup drew her in. Budget minded she was not, although, her tenacity in business compensated for the many extra dollars spent. Work hard & play hard was her theme although her idea of play was often lacking. In those days I worked with them for about 8 or 10 years before going our separate ways. As it always is in real estate the departure was swift with a simple Sayonara you all.
There were no perks, no fantastic commission split, no bonuses, it was work 7 days a week with open houses every Sunday plus Saturday, Thursday evening and most holidays all too frequently. Did I learn a lot? You bet! And got away as soon as I could. My brother had departed for the Sunshine State long before I did and I finally found out why. When your Mom doesn't pay a commission you fully earned it hurts and there are consequences. He expressed his well. Yes, she felt my consequences a few years later for doing the same thing to me. We did not speak for two years and I was not about to hang my license with her again.
My friends say things like Family First and similar phrases
while all I ever heard was Real Estate First. This continues
to be true for her and it's sad for the Grand kids also, Too sad!
Real Estate's great though, but Never
the End-All-Be-All, gotta Love it!