Ask An Ambassador: You Can Grow Your Own!

Real Estate Agent with Transaction Alliance 513.520.5305 SAL.2002007747

On our back deck we currently have 6 tomato, 2 bell pepper and 3 jalapeno pepper plants in containers.  My parents had extra starters for the tomato plants and gave me 2 each of 3 varieties.  The peppers we planted from seed and they've got a lot of growing yet to provide fresh peppers, but we know they will in due time and long before the first frosts of the year.

In a box we've stored many seed packets from a heirloom seed place in Michigan (it's where our pepper seeds came from), but those seeds are being saved for our next home (next year?).  Being more self-sufficient is a big part of our plan for our next home.  Solar panels and batteries, a well (well not much choice about that on the mountaintop if you want water!), a greenhouse, plant some fruit trees, and our bees will have a new home.  Obviously those plans involve more effort than just going to the local grocer, but the net is we get to pick (literally) what we want to eat.

Some of those things will pay off quickly.  Stored electricity and being prepared to be off-grid as needed has immediate feedback.  Growing some of our own food obviously has a lead time of several months or years.  The fruit trees won't be bearing quickly, and our bees have provided us honey for years, and can continue to do so.

In real estate, we have the option of going to the real estate "grocer" to purchase what we need.  Zillow, and a bazillion lead companies are more than happy to help us gain business for a healthy share of that closing table check.  Nothing necessarily wrong with that, it's a business model that works for plenty of agents.

However, just like the tomato plants on our back deck, we also have the option of growing our own.  You can start from seed, or starter plants, or transplant an entire business, but you can be independent of others' fees for business.

Planting blog posts and IDX pages may take months, even years to start to fully pay off, but doing the research and directing your blogging efforts to meet consumer needs can provide "ready now" and "needs nurtured" leads for your business ONCE you have sufficient evergreen work established.  Coupled with maintaining your sphere, referral network and other business sources and you can maintain a nice pipeline of business no matter the twists and turns of real estate cycles. 

The return on investment is significantly positive once you learn how to grow your own business.

Until next Tuesday, just Ask An Ambassador if you need help,

Bill & Liz aka Bliz

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Serving Warren County Ohio & Adjacent Areas

The Liz Spear Team of Transaction Alliance
Elizabeth Spear, ABR, Ohio License SAL.2002007747

William (Bill) Spear, Ohio License SAL.2004011109  Kentucky 77938
Ask for us by name if you visit the office!

Bill Direct:  513-520-5305
Liz Direct: 513-265-3004     
Fax: 866-302-8418


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Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Bill and Happy Independence Day!

As always you feature an analogy that fits perfect with your message. I have opted to go for the option of growing my own business and it has served me for 31 years in real estate!

Jul 04, 2023 09:31 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

And your area has to know you well as a result!

Jul 04, 2023 12:30 PM
Anna "Banana" Kruchten
HomeSmart Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ

Bill what a great analogy to growing a thriving, sustainable real estate business!  This next winter we hope to start a little container garden, as we love home grown tomatoes etc. Some of our friends have started to do so and I love it when they share their bounty!


Featured in BananaTUDE!


Jul 04, 2023 10:02 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We're exploring our options for our next place.  Containers, raised bad, in ground, greenhouse?  All of the above?
Thanks for the group feature!

Jul 04, 2023 12:30 PM
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

What a delicious way of comparing your gardening with growing your business. Looking forward to next week's "Ask an Ambassador. Liz and Bill Spear.

Can someone please tell me why I am craving homegrown tomatoes?

Jul 04, 2023 10:55 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

At least it's a tomato and not a key lime pie :)

Jul 04, 2023 12:31 PM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

I hope that we can all grow our own without any problems pretty much everywhere in one day.

Jul 04, 2023 01:43 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

with effort, it can be done

Jul 04, 2023 04:31 PM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Prospecting in real estate is also known as farming. It makes sense

Jul 04, 2023 03:42 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

A few seeds here and there and some will germinate.

Jul 04, 2023 04:31 PM
Buzz Mackintosh
Mackintosh REALTORS - Frederick, MD
“Experience, reliable, leadership”

Home grown tomatoes and real estate leads are the best! Can't wait til August when my beef steaks are ripe....nothing better than eating the fruits of your labor!  🍅

Jul 04, 2023 04:10 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Buzz, until I started looking at the heirloom seed site, I had no idea of the vast variety of tomatoes (and other fruits/veggies) there are.  We've got an assortment to try at our next place to find out what we like and will thrive there.

Jul 04, 2023 04:34 PM
Dr. Paula McDonald
Beam & Branch Realty - Granbury, TX
Granbury, TX 936-203-0279

I love this analogy and I prefer to grow my own! Referral business is the best.

Jul 04, 2023 04:36 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Always great to have past clients send us business!

Jul 04, 2023 06:03 PM
Peter Mohylsky, Destin BeachPro
PMI. Destin - Miramar Beach, FL
Call me at 850-517-7098

Grow your own but not every plant lives long enough to produce fruit.

Jul 04, 2023 05:49 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

Many of my early posts had no chance of bringing us business.  Over time, we learned what works for us and what doesn't.

Jul 04, 2023 06:04 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

You need to add  some things to cam to your gardening efforts. Another way to be ready for the lean months of winter. I’ve made 2 dozen jars of various rhubarb jams- strawberry rhubarb jam and orange rhubarb jam etc. there must be some relation to your farming analogy in jamming …

Jul 05, 2023 03:35 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Canning is another thing my mom knows how to do and has done most of my life.  Veggies, jams, jellies, etc. my parents have plenty stocked up.  I've added a book or two to our library so we'll be ready to start once we get settled in.

Jul 05, 2023 07:45 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

What a fantastic analogy! You're right about planting our gardens - some of the fruit might take years to ripen and some not. Radishes are fast! In my garden, I just saw sign of squash and tomatoes and peas starting to product fruit. Whoo hoo!

Same for blogging/nurturing real estate - some things just take time, effort and patience!

Jul 05, 2023 05:34 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've been working on determining what will do well for our new location.  A lot of exposed rock, so I suspect digging may not be the easiest thing in the world.  I've collected some resources from the local farmer's extension and would like to get the street easement planted with flowers as soon as the major earth moving is complete.  A small number of fruit trees need to go in early too since that's a years down the road payoff. 

Jul 05, 2023 07:47 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Raised beds are probably a necessity for our new place, even if that means the dirt needs replaced periodically.

Jul 05, 2023 08:38 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Liz and Bill Spear -- our ground isn't great for planting because of the soil make-up. So we use raised beds and had fertilized dirt delivered. works well! Here's a photo from this morning....

Jul 05, 2023 08:03 AM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

I love hearing about your plans to live off the grid.  It seems like it can certainly be done without having to give up a comfortable life!

Jul 05, 2023 06:06 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

We'll still have access to the power grid, but want to be capable of being totally independent as we choose.  Lots of panels and a collection of storage batteries backed up by a whole house generator (propane) should give us plenty of flexibility.

Jul 05, 2023 07:48 AM
Bill Salvatore - East Valley
Arizona Elite Properties - Chandler, AZ
Realtor - 602-999-0952 / em:

I do love the advancement we continue to make with growing things.  Oh, by the way, my Tomatoes are done for the year.  Too hot this time of year here. 

Jul 05, 2023 06:27 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

For us, I've got a small number of marble sized green tomatoes just appearing, plenty of blossoms, more to follow.  With 6 tomato plants, we'll have more than the two of us can eat :)

Jul 05, 2023 07:49 AM
Edward Gilmartin
CRE - Boston, MA

Always disappointed to learn that many HOAs won’t let homeowners grown vegetables in front yards

Jul 05, 2023 08:46 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

No HOA where we live now nor our next place.  We can plant what we want, where we want as long as we observe property line set back requirements.

Jul 05, 2023 08:53 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

With so many things in life, you reap what you sow and when it comes to real estate if you put in the effort to market, it will pay dividends.

Jul 05, 2023 10:47 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Blogging took a bit for us to pay off, but it's been a steady supply of possibilities since then.

Jul 06, 2023 04:41 AM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude


Sounds like things are well planned out for your future home - how do you transport bees?

And of course in real estate you have to plant the seeds that will grow your business, and of course take care of them properly. Blogging is one way to grow that real estate garden but some seeds grow better than others. Great analogy!


Jul 05, 2023 05:16 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

The bees can have their entrance blocked, then strap the hives up tight and load them on a truck or trailer.  We have a local beekeeper that hires out for transport, so we'll probably have him take care of the move for us.

Jul 06, 2023 04:42 AM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

First of all, great analogy. Like you, I prefer to grow my own veggies and clients alike!

You could have written more about your plans for sustenance on the mountain - I found that fascinating. I wonder what the process is to move your hives though? 

Also, I have had partial seed packets that I didn't use THAT YEAR and threw them out! I had no idea you could keep them year-after-year. I don't know how on earth I didn't know that but, you taught me something else in your infinite wisdom, Bill! Thank you!

Jul 06, 2023 06:52 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

for moving the hives, see above on Jeff's comment.

for seed life, if kept cool and dry, typically they'll last as below without significant impact on germination rates:

  • 1 year: onions, parsnips, parsley, salsify, and spinach
  • 2 years: corn, peas, beans, chives, okra, dandelion
  • 3 years: carrots, leeks, asparagus, turnips, rutabagas
  • 4 years: peppers, chard, pumpkins, squash, watermelons, basil, artichokes and cardoons
  • 5 years: most brassicas, beets, tomatoes, eggplant, cucumbers, muskmelons, celery, celeriac, lettuce, endive, chicory

(Source: Johnny's Selected Seeds

Jul 06, 2023 07:14 AM
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Like anything else worth doing, It takes a bit of effort. I think that’s the point though and by taking our time, it can turn out right..

Jul 07, 2023 06:01 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

Yes, it does take effort, whether gardening or blogging.

Jul 07, 2023 12:11 PM
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

What a great analogy!  I love homegrown food and business!  Takes time and energy and the outcome is abundantly above and beyond! And when we have the abundance, we can share with those in need.  That's God's multiplication process!

My favorite say about apples:  Isn't it interesting that you can count the number of seeds in one (1) apple, but you could NEVER count the apples from one seed?

Jul 07, 2023 11:19 AM
Liz and Bill Spear

God has it figured out, we just have to be willing to do our part!  I'm enjoying watching the tomatoes appear and start to get bigger :)

Jul 07, 2023 12:12 PM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

This year we have corn, okra, watermelon, lots of variety of peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, squash (several kinds) and we've started to get some stuff.  I also planted cucumbers and tomatoes for Cooper and he's LOVING the little ripe yellow cherry tomatoes he's getting.  My mom planted him a lemon tree, but I expect it will be three years before he has a lemon from it, but the tree is growing nicely and in a big pot that can be garaged for winters.  The first couple of winters probably on top of their frig in the garage will keep it warm enough.


And in the slower market (mainly because of mid priced inventory being slim to none) it pays to have the fields ready for sellers to find, but today in my market the listing agents are certainly the winners.


PS- are you putting a freeze dryer in the new house.  That's in our plan for our... stay here until we die house.

Jul 07, 2023 12:55 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

I've got the seeds for everything you listed, except okra.  I can't stand okra, perhaps I've got an issue with having to cut them as a kid in Louisiana, might as well be playing with insulation!

No current plans for a freeze dryer, but I have looked into them.  If we actually grow even close to what we can, we'll need some different ways of storing the food to last.

Jul 08, 2023 06:50 PM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

When I saw the title "You Can Grow Your Own" I thought you might be giving up real estate and moving into agriculture...a special kind of agriculture.

Jul 08, 2023 05:52 PM
Liz and Bill Spear

John, Me personally, I've never touched the funky weed :)

Jul 08, 2023 06:51 PM