The First Time is The Sweetest!

By
Real Estate Agent with GreatWest Realty DRE# 00827565
https://activerain.com/droplet/5hgV

There has certainly been more than one transaction emblazoned firmly on my psyche. All have had their unique circumstances making them special.

In 1981 when I first became licensed as a real estate agent, I hung my license in a little Century 21 office, not far from home. Sacramento, and much of the country, was firmly entrenched in recession and high mortgage interest rates hovering around 18%. When I first connected with the broker of my office, he was reluctant to take on new agents since the housing market was so diminished. Yet, after a few moments of conversation, he basically told me, we could give it a try.

The next couple weeks were spent back in school learning “how to sell real estate,” and how to complete the various contracts and paper work, which were far simpler back then than they are today. Can you imagine a one page sales contract, with no disclosures? Things rapidly changed after that!

At the end of the last day of training, I stopped by my office on the way home. The broker smiled as he handed me a new gold jacket, like those worn by most Century 21 agents at the time. After trying it on and finding it fit perfectly, I thanked my broker, and headed for the door. “I’ll be back first thing in the morning,” I said.

On the way home, I had one more stop, It was at the local grocery store. Once needed items found their way into my cart, I patiently waited in line at the checkout counter. When it came my turn, and I rolled the cart to the counter, the clerk said, “Oh, I didn’t know you were in real estate.”  I replied, “Oh, you didn’t?” She went on to mention she and her husband were looking to move into a larger home, and they also needed to sell their existing house.

Later that evening, I found myself at their home, while we explored areas of the Greater Sacramento vicinity they wished to live, and the features they desired in their new home. We also discussed marketing their existing home, which I was delighted to find had an assumable 7% mortgage, with little equity. In the early 1980s, it was the few homes on the market with that special kind of financing in place, I almost always sold to buyers wanting to buy.

After a few sessions of touring homes together, we found a delightful home which suited their growing family beautifully. And, it also had the assumable low interest rate mortgage in place, making it easy to purchase with a down payment consisting mainly of inheritance money from a grandmother. Not long after, their first home sold, and both transactions closed without much incident.

I will always remember the serendipitous way I obtained my very first clients while standing in a grocery store checkout line. Real estate professionals mainly count on heavy duty marketing, extensive training and skill while finding our way to success. But sometimes a little fortuitous luck comes our way.

In the following years, those first clients sent even more buyers and sellers my way, helping to launch my career in real estate.

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Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Barbara Todaro 02/13/2019 04:10 AM
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Rainmaker
2,406,470
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Margaret Goss - After the Century 21 office closed a decade later, I switch to a name tag on my clothing.  It does make a difference.

Brian England - Networking is an important component to our profession.  But, that gold jacket paid dividends too.  

Joe Pryor - I think it is a good idea too! 

Carol Williams - I absolutely did.  I was shocked that I could be out of school for no more than an hour or two, put on a gold jacket and obtain my first client.  

Sheri Sperry - MCNE® - I had been warned in the classes that it could take six months to launch my career.  But, I was fortunate that it didn't.

Feb 13, 2019 12:58 PM #29
Rainmaker
2,406,470
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Lisa Von Domek - That's a good way to put it.  The stars were aligned! 

Sheila Anderson - During the time I first launched my real estate career, a lot of agents were leaving because the market was so bad.  My understanding was the jacket had been ordered by an agent, who had left the business.  It was still in the original box, never worn, and fit me to a tee.  Another fortuitous piece of luck. 

Curtis Van Carter - Ah yes, I remember those WRAPs.  Looking back, it makes one wonder when folks worry when our current interest rates inch up.  Home buyers never had it so good!  

Richie Alan Naggar - Thanks!

Feb 13, 2019 01:02 PM #30
Rainmaker
2,406,470
Myrl Jeffcoat
GreatWest Realty - Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Real Estate Agent

Sharon Lee - Thanks, Sharon!

Elizabeth Weintraub Sacramento Real Estate Agent, Top 1% of Lyon Agents - Hey, I almost became a Red Rug Realtor.  Red is my favorite color, and my coloring isn't the best in a Gold jacket, but, the ambiance in my first office was something I couldn't pass up. 

Carolyn Roland-Historic Homes For Sale In Delaware and S. Chester County PA - Ah yes, the "good ole days." 

Mike Cooper, GRI - It really was an easy transaction, all the way around.  Later when I began the more difficult ones, I wondered what the Hell happened!

Feb 13, 2019 01:06 PM #31
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

What a great story.  I bet that broker was delighted he didn't turn you away.

Feb 13, 2019 02:51 PM #32
Ambassador
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Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Featured in the group:  BARTENDER, MAKE IT A DOUBLE.

Feb 13, 2019 02:52 PM #33
Rainmaker
564,155
Pat Starnes-Front Gate Realty
Front Gate Real Estate - Brandon, MS
601-991-2900 Office; 601-278-4513 Cell

That gold jacket sealed the deal! I had one for a short period of time, although it wasn't the most flattering color. I'm glad yours brought you a client the first day you wore it! That IS the sweetest. 

Feb 13, 2019 05:54 PM #34
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Debe Maxwell, CRS
www.iCharlotteHomes.com | The Maxwell House Group | RE/MAX Executive | (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods

Oh my gosh, I love this story, Myrl! This is chock-full of great tidbits that demonstrates why your career has been so successful. All new agents should read and re-read this!

Congratulations on the gold star - well-deserved!

Feb 13, 2019 09:17 PM #35
Ambassador
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Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS
RE/MAX Northwest. - Tacoma, WA
Tacoma Washington Agent/Broker & Market Authority!

I love this story Myrl Jeffcoat thank you for sharing this experience 🤓

Feb 13, 2019 10:31 PM #36
Rainmaker
2,702,231
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It’s almost like that first kiss with that love of your life when you’re in the right career, you know what mean?

Feb 13, 2019 10:49 PM #37
Rainmaker
2,702,231
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Paul, I find that inspiration canvcome from so many different places and a story like this is definitely relatable and makes you feel like you can do a lot of great things! That’s why I love it! Paul S. Henderson, REALTOR®, CRS

Feb 13, 2019 10:50 PM #38
Rainmaker
270,197
Shirley Coomer
Keller Williams Realty Sonoran Living - Phoenix, AZ
Realtor, Keller Williams Realty, Phoenix Az

Great Story! That jacket, just like a name badge lets the world know you are in real estate.  Glad you weren't a "secret agent".

Feb 14, 2019 04:58 AM #39
Rainmaker
2,892,790
Scott Godzyk
Godzyk Real Estate Services - Manchester, NH
One of Manchester NH's Leading Agents

What a great story Myrl Jeffcoat , I have gotten a couple of new listing at the grocery store in just the last year,running into people, saying hello and they start talking. Soon i am at their home siging up their listing 

Feb 14, 2019 05:41 AM #40
Rainmaker
5,121,016
Roy Kelley
Realty Group Referrals - Gaithersburg, MD

Image result for valentine's day images

Feb 14, 2019 07:04 AM #41
Rainmaker
374,121
Rosalind Nicholas
RE/MAX Condos Plus Corporation, Brokerage - Toronto, ON
Toronto Condo Real Estate Agent, Toronto ON

Your comment "The agent just getting off their floor time slot would tell me the phone wasn't ringing.  Yet, the moment I took the seat, the phone would ring off the wall.'

Reminded me ..... a few years ago, one of my colleagues said, when she was on duty in the office nothing happened, and yet when her team-mate was on duty, the team-mate got leads.

Funny how the universe works!

Feb 14, 2019 07:41 AM #42
Rainmaker
692,050
Jane Chaulklin-Schott
TEAMCONNECT REALTY - (407) 394-9766 - Orlando, FL
TeamConnect Luxury Homes - Orlando, Florida, 32836

Myrl, I have always loved my Century 21 Gold Jacket...It 'worked' for me.  Century 21 was the 2nd stop in my real estate career.  Following receiving my Illinois real estate license in 1979, I began in Chicago with the KOCH BROS., America Invesco - Condos and yes 16%-18%  interest rates.  They had an aggressive program and it was quite challenging and rewarding to receive one of the Excalibur Crystal and Gold trophies handed out once each month in the main Chicago Loop Headquarters.  Your story brought back  memories.

And Myrl, when I got my Florida Real Estate License, 7 of us  in my family - all licensed -  started with a C 21 in Metro Orlando and the Gold Jackets.  Myrl, we would purposely walk the aisles at our well-known Publix (huge southern states grocery chain), wearing those 'gold' jackets and experiencing the very story you posted today.  I have often wondered if when people go to the grocery store that their minds are also open to family matters  -  such as selling or purchasing a home.  One thing I do believe, is that they are very open in communicating real estate.... They stop you and not the other way....

Today we own and manage our own Real Estate company in Orlando...Sort of miss my GOLD jacket.  Hahaha ~  It sold for me even if I was in a rush or not in the mood :)  I understood well,   Myrl Jeffcoat , your story.

Feb 14, 2019 03:20 PM #43
Rainmaker
303,634
Liz Lockhart
Riverbend Realty, Cape Girardeau, MO - Cape Girardeau, MO
GRI, Cape Girardeau Real Estate

I love that story! While I was a C21 agent, I once got a new client while I was pumping gas. I had on my gold jacket, and the lady just walked up to me and said, "Do you sell real estate?" Why, yes, yes I do.

I went to her FSBO home and had a listing agreement before I left. She said that she was tired of dealing with "crazies" who were financially unqualified and with holding open houses when nobody came.

Feb 15, 2019 02:29 PM #44
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Debb Janes EcoBroker and Bernie Stea JD
ViewHomes of Clark County - Nature As Neighbors - Camas, WA
REALTORS® in Clark County, WA

What a wonderful story. I do remember the gold jackets and obviously they worked well identifying agents to the public. I 'm going out on a limb here too and suggesting your manner and interactions with the clerk had been positive in the past, if not, I doubt she would have trusted you with the sales. So, it also is a testament to treat people well, ALWAYS. 

Feb 16, 2019 07:21 AM #45
Rainmaker
1,152,808
Jane Peters
Home Jane Realty - Los Angeles, CA
Los Angeles real estate concierge services

That must have felt so good and eased you into the life of a Realtor®. The first one is usually the hardest to come by and you really aced it.

Feb 16, 2019 01:47 PM #46
Rainmaker
1,103,836
Joyce Marsh
JOYCE MARSH REAL ESTATE COMPANY - Daytona Beach, FL
Million Dollar Guild, Luxury, CLHMS, CNE, SRES

Myrl, that is a great story. Talk about being in the right place at the right time. Timing is everything. But, you had to prove yourself even after that first meeting and they obviously felt comfortable and confidence in your abilities even as a rookie.

Feb 17, 2019 06:46 AM #47
Rainmaker
133,646
John Henry
John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. - Orlando, FL
Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design

This reminds me of a story about a priest who was invited to dinner but did not have time to change into 'evening' attire and thus was relegated to a side table in the corner of the dining room.  He thanked the hosts midway and went home and came back decked in his finest.  The host sat him at the head of the table at which time he started with the soup again and was spooning it into his coat sleeve.  The hosts were astonished and asked why he was doing it.  He replied that it was his clothes that apparently mattered most and so should be appropriately rewarded.

The story goes back to about 16 to 1700 in Turkey.  The priests are called hocas and the name of the hoca was Nasreddin.

I want an 'architect' coat that announces exactly what I can do and that I am capable of executing any request for a home design!

Mar 14, 2019 09:15 AM #48
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Myrl Jeffcoat

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