Before real estate, what did I do?

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

My first "adult" job was a school bookkeeper/Principal's secretary, I am grateful to Fabian for hiring me and teaching me a lot.  I was actually still a teenager, but married and paying my own bills.  After just a year the superintendent changed and he was out for blood with the principal I worked for and transferred him to another school and I got a new boss that really just wanted me out because the former principal has hired me. Mid way into my second year I was out of there. (1984-1985)

Next I was working as a graphic artist and was the night shift supervisor for years at a newspaper.  I loved my job and most of the people there.  I was actually on vacation when the company announced "re-organization" and I got a new boss.  I wasn't thrilled and within 6 months I was out of there.  I went overnight from having a job I loved to having one that aged me 10 years in a span of 6 months.  I was grumpy and it was good for my baby girl. Quitting that job was so very liberating. (1985-1991)

My next job was at a radio station.  I was hired by Dave and Al was my supervisor and I met Tonya and Troy and to this day we remain friends.  I met a few others there I remain in contact with via Facebook as well.  Fun job, met lots of great folks and saw myself doing it long term.  But when the owners replaced my boss with a woman who clearly did not like me, I knew my time there was short lived.  "sigh"  Quitting that job was fun.  I really messed with her after I knew I had landed my next job.  She paged me relentlessly and I put my pager in her desk drawer. (1991-1992)

So when about two years into my time at Lane Realty I was finishing up my real estate classes and taking my test to get my license and my broker said "I'm going to retire and sell" I was floored.  He actually almost made a deal with a former associate broker that I really did NOT want to be my new boss. That person eventually did buy a brokerage and it's no longer in existence today and he's no longer in the business.  While he was waiting to hear back after making "that guy" an offer I made him an offer of my own. (1992- present)

So what it boils down to in the end was those three previous times and the "almost" time of having a job that I absolutely love being turned into something that I truly hated made me take the leap of faith to buy the firm I worked for and take control of  my own destiny.  I was a young single mom to a 6 year old.  I was just 29 years old.  I actually borrowed part of the money from my parents.  When I had "that" conversation with them they were skeptical.  They even made an appointment to visit my broker to ask if he thought I "had what it takes" to run the business.  I beamed when my former broker's answer to that was "well she's been running it her way since she walked in the door."

It's 24+ years later and I am still go to work happy and love what I do.  It's rewarding, lucrative, and always has offered me the flexibility to be with my family more when I needed to than any traditional job could have.  I've doubled the size of my company both with a new physical space and love the agents currently licensed here.  I feel like "family" with the agents at my firm.  So I'm glad that I got those three new bosses that I didn't like.  It gave me the courage to NOT let it happen to me again.  I've always considered it fate that I ended up where I did when I did, but when the time came for me to step up to the plate I looked the pitcher dead in the eye and said "bring the heat".  Bad experiences can be turned around into something good almost every time.  I've always been a silver lining kind of gal.  And the silver lining to the three times I hated my job because I didn't like who I worked for anymore turned out to be my saying "not again".  So it was really the combination of the save "event" happening over and over like groundhogs day (the movie) that was the event that led me to where I am today.

How did that former life experience shape my real estate career?  Well being that two of them were advertising gigs I certainly had a heads up on marketing to most new agents and I feel I still do.  I always get compliments on my ads.  And every job I've ever had... from the first one where I bagged groceries and picked up trash at the convenience store in my neighborhood when I was 8 to save money for a new bike, I have worked with the public.  I have always gotten along well with others and my mom always said I've "never met a stranger" and I love people.  The bookkeeping gig certainly got me ready for the "financial" aspect of running a business and balancing the books and paying the taxes.  Understanding media from the newspaper and radio lead me to believe "don't put all your eggs in one basket" so I continue to do some print ads and even some radio and movie theater spots that might not bring direct business, but I believe they are important for branding and keeping my logo familiar and top of mind. And being the secretary of a real estate firm gave me an insight to business from every level... I met buyers and sellers, I set appointments, I typed offers, I worked with attorneys on title problems, I spoke with lenders to get updates for the agents and became very aware of the processes from listing presentation to follow up after closing.  I believe that everything I have ever done prior to real estate has shaped my career.

 And I had courage even when things were seeming to head into a recession to build a new office (in the photo) and trust that God and being a good broker would give me a way to pay for it.  That was 13 years ago and I haven't missed a payment yet.  I also more than halfway through that mortgage.  Just over 7 years to the end of the payments. And I'm blessed with the freedom that I get to have my grandson at my job whenever I want. I remarried in 2002 and my husband now also has his real estate license and helps out when needed. In fact he just sold a house because he ended up showing on a day we were all busy recently. I love my life.  I love God, family and work.

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Rainmaker
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Sam Shueh
(408) 425-1601 - San Jose, CA
mba, cdpe, reopro, pe

Excellent blog. You have a cute cowboy baby also.

Try to standardize all fonts you wrote in several different fonts as each time after baby cried you change to a different type.

Have a great weekend,

Sam

Oct 05, 2019 01:35 PM #1
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Sam Shueh thanks for the heads up on the fonts, I wrote it somewhere else on my computer and pasted and it looked fine when I hit publish, but must have been some cary over code, so I wiped the code and repositioned the photos to fix it.

Oct 05, 2019 02:16 PM #2
Rainmaker
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Ron and Alexandra Seigel
Napa Consultants - Carpinteria, CA
Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy

Tammy,

Enjoyed reading re all your past lives, and I love your can do spirit which you clearly illustrated.  Your grandson is adorable.  Wishing you a great October. A

Oct 05, 2019 03:13 PM #3
Rainmaker
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Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hi Tammy - what a great story and I like how you came to owning your own brokerage.  Stepping stones.  

Oct 05, 2019 04:05 PM #4
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Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900!
Get Results Team...Just Call (408) 252-8900! . DRE #00901962 . Licensed to Sell since 1985 . Altas Realty - San Jose, CA
Family Helping Families Buy & Sell Homes 40+ Years

Tammy,

Thanks for the history! Who knew your first "adult" job was a school bookkeeper/Principal's secretary!

Oct 05, 2019 07:19 PM #5
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Ron and Alexandra Seigel  A- I think he's especially cute myself too.  Oh and smart.  His parents are building his second home right now and he loves visiting and running around before all the walls are in place.

Michael Jacobs I had a great broker and he really got me ready for the job.

Oct 05, 2019 07:26 PM #6
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Michelle Carr Crowe,Altas Just Call...408-252-8900! I should write a follow up about my pre-adult jobs... there were a lot of diverseness and people skill building there too.

Oct 05, 2019 07:27 PM #7
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Jeff Dowler, CRS
Solutions Real Estate - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Tammy:

I really enjoy reading about your life before real estate, and all that you had to deal with. Life often deals us hands we do not expect or anticipate, but we still have to cope...as you clearly did, and it made you a better person!

Jeff

Oct 05, 2019 09:49 PM #8
Rainmaker
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Nina Hollander
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Charlotte, NC
Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor

Hi Tammy... sometimes as we go through life we don't realize what we are learning that "sets us up" for a more positive future. Clearly there's nothing better than being in charge of your own destiny as you found out.

Oct 05, 2019 09:58 PM #9
Rainmaker
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James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning Tammy.

I had a few odd jobs before I was old enough to do what I had a calling for. I retired in 2006, and started this career in 2008.  Love what I'm doing now, would not go back to my former profession

Oct 06, 2019 03:26 AM #10
Rainmaker
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Raymond Henson
eXp Realty of California, Inc. (lic. #01878277) - Elk Grove, CA
Realtor

Way to take control of your career and your job.  And congratulations on being so close to paying off your loan.  That is an accomplishment!  Great to hear that you can spend so much time with your grandson.  Our grandson is 13 months old and we know how special it is to have that time with him,

Oct 06, 2019 06:03 AM #11
Rainmaker
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Brian England
Arizona Focus Realty - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

Well, you definitely tried a few different things before you found the career that you love!

Oct 06, 2019 06:12 AM #12
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Jeff Dowler, CRS definitely have a lot under my belt so to speak, but I love what I do. 

Nina Hollander I believe I learned from every job I ever did... and I have had some fantastic role models as bosses over the course of my teenage years as well.

Oct 06, 2019 12:37 PM #13
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Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

James Dray I've loved a lot of things I've done and could even see myself doing something different, but as long as I'm happy and saving money I'm good.

Raymond Henson grandchildren are the best.

Brian England and who knows what I'll be doing in 15 years.

Oct 06, 2019 01:11 PM #14
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Grant Schneider
Performance Development Strategies - Armonk, NY
Your Coach Helping You Create Successful Outcomes

Good afternoon Tammy Lankford, -  what a great story and life is good for you.  It is great to work to live rather than live to work.

Oct 06, 2019 02:26 PM #15
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2,869,448
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

Grant Schneider yes it is.  Without a doubt I am very blessed and I enjoy what I do, those I work with and my family is always first.

Oct 06, 2019 09:19 PM #16
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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

 

I love this entry into Jeff Dowler, CRS contest. So glad to see you back and blogging. Great positive success story!

 

But this rally made me smile ...

'She paged me relentlessly and I put my pager in her desk drawer. (1991-1992)'

Oct 07, 2019 07:58 AM #17
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Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

hi Tammy-I have always loved reading about your life around Lake Sinclair and still remember how you and Your Donald had to take a friend to the ER while you were all having lunch at your home. Keep sharing your stories. 

Oct 08, 2019 07:54 PM #18
Rainmaker
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Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Fort Worth, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Tammy Lankford, yours is a story even a Fiction Writer couldn't make up! I do remember how you became a Broker and that was pretty remarkable as it seemed like it fell into your lap. I don't know and I don't care to know how good your business was when you started but when it came to having your daughter and Donald, you struck gold! The fact that you're still in business more than 24 years later is a sign to me that you are a Champion!

Oct 14, 2019 08:32 AM #19
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Anna Banana Kruchten - Phoenix Homes Sales
Phoenix Property Shoppe - Phoenix, AZ
603-380-4886

Hi Tammy Lankford, love love love your stories.  You sure learned the art of kicking ass early on!  And this is my favorite part....,

 

"well she's been running it her way since she walked in the door."

Oct 16, 2019 04:11 PM #20
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