Door County Real Estate 2009-2019:
A Decade of Change
Change is constant, change is good, but for me, change can be hard.
I might like to hang on to things a little bit longer than necessary, even when I know I SHOULD be making a change. I like comfortable. I like familiar. I think we all do.
So when I decided to accept an Active Rain challenge to post on ten changes (personally and professionally) I have made in the past decade, it was almost shocking to me to see how much I have grown, personally and professionally, as well as how far I have come in my business and profession. As a self-proclaimed workaholic, I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my career, because I can set my own hours, meet wonderful people, see wonderful things, but it's certainly challenging. Here are ten (or more) items that have changed for me while practicing Door County real estate since 2009. I am for all things Door County, the consumate Door County cheerleader, and while I write this I also reminisce about what has changed in Door County over the past decade.
Door County is beautiful year round, is surrounded by water and is a haven for the silent sports community all year long, with great shopping dining, world-class artists, theatre and music and much more.
1. I actually celebrated my 15th year in the business this year. What I thought would be a good diversion when my children got older has become a passion and a (very busy) full-time business. Over the past decade, I worked with Woodland Realty ReMax beginning in early 2009, which morphed into Coldwell Banker the Real Estate Group in 2010. I left The Real Estate Group in 2015 to join The Kellstrom-Ray Agency, which is an independent brokerage. This was a win/win. I have been the top producing Broker at that office, with my sales growing annually, since 2016.
2. During the past decade, we saw the explosion of Facebook, Instagram, drones, Wordpress, YouTube and other new items that have become staples of the business. Additionally, the boom of new Artificial Intelligence that walked into all facets of our lives and society has helped us in many areas (right now, while I'm writing, Alexa is streaming 90s music and my Roomba is vacuuming for me (gotta love technology)). In 2010, I also launched my own website, moredoorcounty.com, which has been successful in generating leads and assisting consumers in learning more about Door County and Door County listings for sale. No matter where I hang my hat, my website has remained consistent for me, and generally has outperformed the corporate websites of my company.
3. HGTV exploded in the past decade, and it also decided that it very much liked filming on Door County as a Peninsula surrounded by water with many unique homes. We've had crews from different HGTV companies on the Peninsula several times, with more details to come. I learned how to be miked without shame (they have to hook you up for sound and if you wear a dress, it can be a little bit embarrassing), how to drink a mocktail (which is repeatedly refilled between takes) while trying to pretend 8:30 in the morning is 5:30 in the afternoon, and discovered that the hardest thing was being instructed to "walk naturally".
YEP, that is a very sheepish me with Drew Scott and Jonathan Scott,
a/k/a the Property Brothers . They are that tall and I am that short.
4. In the past decade, I sold a home, bought a home, and am now preparing to build a home (and sell the one I bought in 2012). The thousands of homes that I have listed and/or sold have really given me some great ideas for the new build. I have worked with some really creative people that have taken homes and given them new life (more to come on this topic soon).
5. I always analyze MLS statics, but I rarely look at my own data. When I looked at my production for the past decade from January 1, 2009 through today, July 28, 2019 (which included not, three, but FIVE recession years in Door County real estate), I realized I sold nearly one hundred million dollars ($97,261,797, to be exact) in MLS transaction sides, making me one of the top five producers for Door County real estate from 2009-2019. Considering we went through a recession and I had some personal challenges in the past decade while raising two daughters from tweens through college, that is a statistic I am proud of. I also know that 2019 will be my best year to date (in my entire career).
6. Per #5 above--it takes a Village. I could not have gotten where I am without some great friends in the business, without my public service career in both Liberty Grove and Sister Bay (where I have met fantastic people) and without my incredible customers and clients--who use my services repeatedly and refer me to others. As this has grown annually, I consider this an important step I have made from 2009-2019.
One of my favorite things....bringing new people and new businesses to Door County.
Collin and Sara opened Roots Inn and Kitchen in 2015/2016 and in 3 short years expanded and turned it into one of THE Door County destinations. I was proud to help them, and we did the expansion of the Roots Pioneer Cabin the following year.
7. Where would I be without my (inadvertent) discovery of Active Rain in 2012? I honestly don't know. Right now, I'm the #5 blogger for the State of Wisconsin as recorded by Active Rain, and I have blogged about my life, my listings, my sales, and especially about Door County. Our MLS is limited to only so many characters, and Active Rain allows me to put color, taste, great photos and vision into my listings. They say a picture is worth a thousand words....I think blogs are worth fifty professional photos. They show the soul of the Door County properties that I represent. And I even get calls from blogs I did from the beginning in 2012.
Photos are fab, but it was my blog and some YouTube video that sold and inland lake home in Door County that the owners loved but needed to leave. This picture tells a story, but Active Rain allowed me to tell much more.
8. In 2011, I met the man that became my future husband, who is a Door County sheriff deputy, so I've been a "cop wife" since 2013. It's a group of us that worry every day that our husbands strap on their bullet-proof vest until they come home. My stepson also serves as a deputy for the Green Bay police department. But my husband, Tim, has been instrumental on his days off as my "sign guy, get keys made guy, weed-whack by my signs guy" and so many more things, especially to tell me road conditions in the winter if I'm planning on showing property. He is my constant behind-the-scenes cheerleader, and the last 8 years with him have been some of the happiest of my life. He'll get a license when he retires, mark my words (he'll be great in sales and he knows every INCH of Door County after serving 29 years).
9. I spoke about technology above, but I didn't include the thing that makes it more readily possible to do more transactions today than a decade ago---the incredible advances in electronic signatures and digital signing. Not just for us, but for our title companies....plus the advances in surveys and home inspections which bring more safety to the consumer. Our rules and regulations on the local, state and national level have also changed in the past decade to keep up with our changing society, with more education required as well as updated forms on a regular basis, which help us to better serve the public.
10. As I ride off into the sunset (the Door County sunset, of course), I'd also like to mention that my faith is what gets me through every day, and which has sustained me for the past decade. I am thankful and grateful for what I have been given, for second chances, for everything that I have been blessed with in the past decade. I have had experiences that I have learned from that are simply priceless, and I need to remember to give thanks every day.
A true Door County sunset from one of my waterfront listings.
Every once in a while, someone on Active Rain (it's you this time, Jeff Dowler), gives me the chance to stroll down memory lane, and what a difference a decade makes. This makes me look forward to the next one! This blog was for the Active Rain challenge What a Difference a Decade Makes.