Thank you to Jeff Dowler for this contest. Reading other Rainers interesting posts prompted me to write my own. Reflecting on the last ten years conjures up MANY memories of my uphill battle to garner traction and recognition for homes with energy efficient features. But also the many changes in my family and their families. (Christmas in July photo!)
Raincamp came to Scottsdale in 2009 (I think). Attending that event, was a real eye opener. Having tried SEO I had a clue what the site could bring to my business but I had never blogged. Timidely I started, like most, lurking in the shadows. I had no clue how to write but I did okay in English so I gave it a shot!
Downsizing! Since 2009 I've downsized four times. My current home was built in 1979, is just 1494 square feet, and is extra efficient, of course!
I use my house in my classes and public speaking events to show people they can reduce their bills like I did (71%) without installing solar. I'm not denying the "power" of solar but I offer people choices. My bills are so low now that it would take at least 10 years to recoup my investment.
Also in 2009, I started volunteering with USGBC (still volunteer). One of my projects included creating a speaker panel course in 2011 with a lender, HERS rater, appraiser, builder and sometimes a utility company.
I officially became an instructor offering continuing education credits in 2015 on the topic of energy efficiency. Currently, I'm developing an advanced course with Daran Wastchak (left) that's due out in September. The relationships I've gained in energy efficiency are vast and across the country of which I'm very proud.
I've worked to add green features to our Arizona Regional MLS twice in 2009 and 2014 and hosted appraiser courses as a volunteer with US Green Building Council. The recognition of my projects has been very rewarding.
In 2015, I rented out my 2015 home and bought a 1979 home, affectionately known as the "gutter ball." It earned a gut remodel but is also the first Pearl Gold Certified home in Arizona. My company got wind of that since Pearl Certification is an affiliate partner there. The press was fun!
Growing an online presence has been a constant effort on ActiveRain and other sites. One contact on Linkedin just referred me to a developer. We've met and I'm looking forward to listing 9 new homes that will be super energy efficient!
My oldest daughter just celebrated her first year as a realtor in Huntsville, AL. I'm very proud of her hard work and sales efforts. Having been in retail and management for 22 years, she's a natural for real estate!
This has been a perfect career shift for her and most importantly, she's more available for her family in real estate. The freedom is great for my grandchildren!
Her stories and how she earned business are inspiring. We laugh together at her stories and she knows she can always call me for inspiration and feedback.
My other 2 daughters have married and had families during the last 10 years I've gained 5 grandchildren and have 7 total now. My oldest granddaughter is about to start her 3rd year in college, is engaged, and I'm so proud I could burst gaining a handsome young man to the family!
This photo in Dallas was on the top of a Federal Building for my youngest daughter's wedding reception. My son-in-law is known as the
Hard Core Closer." You may hear of him yet! Amy is a huge support for him. Raising 3 boys, she's no sloucher!
My daughter on the right is now a nurse in Ames, Iowa after a stint in Alaska with AmeriCorp.
She's also a talented artist and I love hearing her stories about my granddaughter Emma who loves the universe and I know will be just as talented as her mom!
My family just completed a much needed family vacation in June, 2019. This is the first one in 7 years where we're all together from Alabama, Iowa and Texas. Everyone was there including a cousin on my son-in-laws side, a fiance for my oldest granddaughter, and 2 little girls of my daughter's boyfriend. An 8 bedroom house did the trick in Gulf Shores, Alabama! So much fun! It's wonderful to be able to host everyone that way thanks to real estate!
Thanks to ActiveRain, I can say I have made more friends across the country than ever before. I have friends in other states, but not nearly as many as those of you online and in Arizona. The header photo was from December, 2013 at Anna Banana's home. What a treat and a good time we had. Followed by many more!
ActiveRain got me through the housing recession during those lonely slow times. The reliable resources and friendships have been a HUGE source of personal enhancements. Thank you to you all!