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What A Surprise That Brought a Smile and Several Big Hugs

Real Estate Agent with Dirt Road Real Estate SA676002000

This past weekend our local real estate association, Kingman Golden Valley Association of REALTORS®, had its third annual Street Eats on 66. This event is open to the public with food truck vendors, beer garden, children’s play area and music. All funds collected are distributed to local food banks/charities. So far this event generates over $15,000 annually for local charities.

The current broker and co-founder of Dirt Road Real Estate, Elise Harron  called me Friday night and told me she had a special surprise to make sure I would be there on Saturday. As I was volunteering for the third year, I confirmed I would be there and now curious about this "special surprise."

Imagine my shock when the surprise was the other co-founder and first broker of Dirt Road Real Estate, Judith Ritter  who was an Active Rain Member with a 22nd ranking for AZ. Judy introduced me to Active Rain. Several years ago, Judy retired.  However, I have learned that Judith has decided to return part-time to Dirt Road Real Estate at a limited capacity. My Thrill-O-Meter is off the charts.

What is so special about Judy beyond her amazing endurance (she hikes on a daily basis) is the amount of time she invested to help me understand real estate in general and specifically real estate in Northwest AZ as well as Northern AZ.  During the month of December in 2017, I made a weekly trip, sometimes two weekly trips, to her house in Prescott from Golden Valley, AZ. This was a 2.5 hour drive one way for me. Each meeting ranged from four to eight hours. 

The time invested with her enabled me to be at least with the flow if not ahead of the flow respective to newly licensed agents. Judith had a wealth of information from all of her and Elise’s experiences. I remember Judy telling me in my first two years I encountered more difficult and unusual real estate transactions than many agents never experienced in a decade.

Now nearly eight years into real estate and interacting with countless agents who lack training,  I know how fortunate I was to have that one on one, real estate training. Judy embraced to its highest essence what a hands on broker should be. Her insight today is still as valuable as it was when I met her in 2017. Thank you Judy for being who you are, allowing me to get to know you and most importantly call you a cherished friend.

P.S. Judy told me she is returning to be active here on Active Rain. Here is one of her past blogs, an interesting read.


Posted by

Leanne M. Smith, MS, GRI, rCRMS

2018 KGVAR Rookie Realtor of the Year-55+
219.508.2859 MST
Life Begins Where the Pavement Ends
Connect with me on LinkedIn:
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Leanne - you pulled a lot of good things together in this post.   To me, it's another example of how things are interconnected. 

Apr 16, 2024 06:18 AM
Leanne Smith

Yes life is full of many inter-connections and so glad this one happened.

Apr 16, 2024 07:01 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Leanne,

What great connections you have and now Judy is going to return to Active Rain! Good vibes all around!

Apr 16, 2024 07:53 AM
Leanne Smith

Absolutely, Judy is a true gem.

Apr 16, 2024 07:54 AM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Leanne,
How fortunate that you were connected to Judith Ritter. Your commitment to those weekly meetings in 2017 says a lot about you, too!  I am now following Judith's blogs.

Apr 16, 2024 08:12 AM
Leanne Smith

I know what I don't know and knew I had a lot to know to be at least mildly successful in real estate. Both new agents and brokers of those new agents should take education seriously.  If the new agent is reluctant, it is time for the broker to have a serious discussion.

Apr 16, 2024 08:15 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Leanne- we are blessed when someone comes in our life to take us under the wing and help us get started on our journey. Judith was what you needed!!! Glad to see her returning. 

Apr 16, 2024 07:43 PM
Endre Barath, Jr.
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Properties - Beverly Hills, CA
Realtor - Los Angeles Home Sales 310.486.1002

How interesting, when I retire that is I am finished or I died:) now with that said interesting, would love to know why return? Inflation cannot afford todays cost of living need to get back to work?? do share, Endre

Apr 16, 2024 09:45 PM
Judith Ritter

Greetings, Endre.  I have been retired for 3 years and I am bored.  I really enjoyed this job - both talking to potential clients and working with young agents. 

Apr 20, 2024 12:39 PM
Brian England
Ambrose Realty Management LLC - Gilbert, AZ
MBA, GRI, REALTOR® Real Estate in East Valley AZ

That is a very nice surprise!  I don't think I have interacted with Judith Ritter in the Rain, but I am following her now and will look for her posts!

Apr 17, 2024 05:41 AM
Judith Ritter
Dirt Road Real Estate - Prescott, AZ
Rural Land & Homes Specialist

Thank you, Brian.  I am just now stepping back in and testing the waters.  Thank you for your comment. 

Apr 18, 2024 11:00 AM
Aura Alex
Seattle, WA
Retired Real Estate Pro

Hi, Leanne.

I admire your gratitude toward those profoundly impacting your life and career. I, too, was blessed with mentorship in many aspects of my journey to become an American citizen.

Thank you for sharing.

Apr 19, 2024 12:12 PM
Leanne Smith

Thank you for sharing your history Aura Alex I believe in acknowledging those who have helped us along our way.  My Swedish grandmother was just such a person who provided me with very strong and I believe positive attitudes.

Apr 19, 2024 12:15 PM
Debe Maxwell, CRS
Savvy + Company (704) 491-3310 - Charlotte, NC

Oh, I love Aura Alex's comment!

And, YOU for bringing Judy back to us, Leanne! What a wonderful story the two of you share and I know you are super excited to have her join you back at Dirt Road Real Estate.

Thank you so much for participating in this month's challenge!

Apr 19, 2024 12:24 PM
Leanne Smith

Thank you for the feature and I believe Judy brought herself back to Dirt Road as she was one of the two original founders.  I was able to reconnect with her and do enjoy having that soon to be at least weekly conversation with her.

Apr 19, 2024 12:38 PM
Ginger Harper
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage~ Ginger Harper Real Estate Team - Southport, NC
Your Southport~Oak Island Agent~Brunswick County!

This was awesome.  Great job

Apr 19, 2024 01:26 PM
Leanne Smith

Thank you and make it an exceptional weekend.

Apr 19, 2024 01:26 PM
Jeff Dowler, CRS
eXp Realty of California, Inc. - Carlsbad, CA
The Southern California Relocation Dude

Hi Leanne:

What a wonderful surprise, and reconnection with Judith Ritter at Dirt Road Real Estate, at least part time. I hope we will be hearing more from her here - I see she was pretty active before - and perhaps she'll pop in to one of the Zoom calls on Tuesdays.


Apr 19, 2024 05:20 PM
Leanne Smith

I hope she pops into a Zoom call. Right now she is playing catch up as so much as happened in the last few years. Good morning Jeff Dowler, CRS 

Apr 20, 2024 05:15 AM
Dorte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Leanne,

So nice to reconnect with someone, who was your mentor. I am guessing, she is returning, because she cannot sit still. Retirement is not for everyone, especially very active people, it seems. 

Apr 19, 2024 05:39 PM
Leanne Smith

I believe you are correct in your assessment. Judy is very active physically and my sense is Judy has missed the mental activity. So true about retirement is not for everyone.

Apr 20, 2024 05:16 AM
Nina Hollander, Broker
Coldwell Banker Realty - Charlotte, NC
Your Greater Charlotte Realtor

Good morning, Leanne... people in our lives like Judy are priceless! And there are just too few of them.

Apr 20, 2024 04:35 AM
Leanne Smith

I could not agree with you more

people in our lives like Judy are priceless! And there are just too few of them.


Apr 20, 2024 05:16 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

How wonderful! I'm glad she will be back in your life, and on ActiveRain. Thank you for sharing.

Apr 20, 2024 06:37 AM
Leanne Smith

Me as well, For over 3 years I spoke with Judy almost on a daily basis. When she retired, I did manage to speak with her occasionally.Thank you and good morning Kat Palmiotti 

Apr 20, 2024 07:06 AM
Judith Ritter
Dirt Road Real Estate - Prescott, AZ
Rural Land & Homes Specialist

Thank you all for the great welcome! I am just getting back on my feet figuring out where things again. 

Apr 20, 2024 12:42 PM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

The most important element of any new agent is the mentoring they may or not receive.  It is what keeps one in the business, and you are fortunate to have not only had the expertise available, but to put in the effort to gain it.

Apr 21, 2024 09:40 AM
Leanne Smith

Fortunately I had the sales experience, but lacked the specific knowledge required. Judith Ritter helped me so much and I still appreciate all of her skills and knowledge she so willingly shared and still shares.

Apr 21, 2024 09:59 AM
John Juarez
The Medford Real Estate Team - Fremont, CA

Your admiration and gratitude for you mentor is well placed, Leanne Smith. I think we all have had special friends who have helped to guide us along the real estate path.

Apr 22, 2024 03:06 PM
Leanne Smith

Thank you and yes we do have special friends who have helped guide us along our real estate path or other paths we have walked.

Apr 23, 2024 04:45 AM
Nick Vandekar, 610-203-4543
Realty ONE Group Advocates 484-237-2055 - Downingtown, PA
Selling the Main Line & Chester County

How thrilling to meet up in that way and what a great event as well, helping out the community.

Apr 24, 2024 07:02 AM
Leanne Smith

Yes it was a big surprise and this annual event helps out our community by raising thousands of dollars.

Apr 24, 2024 07:14 AM