The "day after" September 11

Real Estate Agent with Max Broock Realtors

One of the biggest decisions I’ve ever made in my life occurred on September 12, 2001.


I knew that there would be so many posts yesterday about the tragic events of 9/11.  I spent much of yesterday night glued to the TV with a box of Kleenex. I prayed for all the people that lost loved ones that day.  I had to change the channel when they ran the voicemail messages from the people on flight 93.  It really broke my heart. 

I didn’t know anyone who lost their life in the attacks.  I’m very thankful for that.  However, the events did have a real impact in my life. 


In September of 2001 I was just a few weeks out from getting married…. to a commercial airline pilot. 


Mr. Lipnitz is a pilot for one of the major airlines.  At the time, I was a National Director of Sales for a very large company.  I traveled 80% of the time for business and I was miserable.  I could be in 4 different cities across the country in one week.  I was a very frequent flyer. I logged more air miles in 2001 than my husband did, and the last business trip I ever went on ended on September 10th, 2001.


So I’m guessing that you know where this story is heading. 


The 9-11 attacks really put me back on my heels.  Not just because the utter shock and sadness, but because of the reality I was about to face.  I was about to marry a man who had spent 15 years of his life sacrificing for his passion…. flying.  If you know a pilot, you know that flying is in the fabric of their beings.  As afraid as I was, I knew that my soon to be husband would NEVER consider leaving flying.  I was going to have to learn to manage my fear. 


I couldn’t stand the idea of both my husband and I constantly being in the air.  Even worse, stuck in different parts of the country, far away from home.  For me to stay sane, one of us needed to be here in Michigan on a more regular basis.  I had always been a trepidatious air traveler and I knew that I was the obvious candidate to make a change.  As I mentioned, I was not happy at my job but had always stayed because of the “golden handcuffs”.  In my heart I knew that even if my employer added a zero to my salary, I just couldn’t do it. My days of business travel were now over.


So on September 12, 2001, I resigned from my BIG TIME, GROWN UP JOB.  I had decided that I was going to pursue a career in residential real estate.  I had always thought about it, but was too worried about giving up the financial security of a consistent paycheck.


Five years later….

I’m still married to a commercial pilot.  I still worry about his safety all the time.  That hasn’t gotten any easier.  Professionally, I am happier now than ever!  My worst day selling real estate is better than my best day in the corporate world.  I have NEVER, not once, regretted the decision I made.  I’m a Realtor… it’s in the fabric of my being.  It just took something so tragic for me to figure it out.


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Margaret Rome, Baltimore Maryland
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Glad you made your career change. Sounds like the Real Estate industry is fortunate to have you. I too am married to man who is passionate about his flying. Whenever he flys, I always say "Have a Great Trip!" ButI love it when he phones to tell me he is on the ground. We actually flew to Boston yesterday on  9/11.

And happy anniversary!


Sep 12, 2006 04:25 PM #1
Mitchell J Hall
The Corcoran Group - Manhattan, NY
Lic Associate RE Broker - Manhattan & Brooklyn
I'm glad you became a REALTOR, I know you're one of the best. Real Estate is your passion like flying is your husbands. I too chose real estate because I traveled extensively for business for many years. I no longer wanted to travel. Not out of fear, it just became grueling. Being home is nice. 
Sep 12, 2006 05:35 PM #2
Brian Brady
San Diego VA Home Loans/858-777-9751 - San Diego, CA

That's a good story, Sara.  You seem like you have tremendous passion for real estate so it works well.

Now for me.  I work near Miramar MCAS, the old site of Top Gun.  I can see the jets whir by at lunch-time.  When I'm having a bad day, I become Walter Mitty, daydreaming about being decked out in my white uniform, singing to girls in a bar after cruising at Mach 3 with my hair on fire.

Aww, come on guys, doesn't eveyone have that daydream after being declived on a manufactured home loan? 



Sep 12, 2006 05:58 PM #3
Maureen Francis & Dmitry Koublitsky
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel - Bloomfield Hills, MI
Coldwell Banker Weir Manuel

As you know, our 5 year anniversaries in real estate are weeks apart.  We took our first listing 3 days before 9/11.  

Look at us now.  Practically old fogies (but not acting like industry dinasaurs).

Happy Anniversary. 

Sep 12, 2006 11:59 PM #4
Donna Quanrud
Coldwell Banker Burnet - Eden Prairie, MN
Donna Quanrud Southwest Metro Homes
I too made the switch to Real Estate as a direct result of losing my airline job because of September 11.  In hindsight it was a great decision.  I think I should blog about that.
Sep 13, 2006 03:39 AM #5
Professor X
NONE - Ludington, MI


Happy Anniversery to you and congratulations!  I hope you didn't spend your anniversery like I spent mine!

All I can say is corporate America's loss is our gain!  Everything in this world happens for a reason, and from what I can see in the very short time I have known you, You were born to be a Realtor.

I somehow can also picture you daydreaming about Brian Brady in that naval uniform! LOL

Sep 13, 2006 02:57 PM #6
Sara Lipnitz
Max Broock Realtors - Birmingham, MI
You're so right!  I did like BB's post.  Thank you for your kind words.  I think you're pretty great!
Sep 13, 2006 04:20 PM #7
S. Leanne Paynter ☼ Broward County, FL
United Realty Group, Inc. - Davie, FL
Davie, Plantation, Cooper City & Weston Specialist

I'd say there's no doubt you made the right decision.  I can tell you're passionate about what you do and that makes all the difference.  I also must say that as much as the events of 9/11 sadden me, my heart feels a bit lighter each time I find out that some good came out of it.  Thanks for sharing your story.

Sep 16, 2006 03:44 AM #8
Sara Young
Rock Financial - Bloomfield Hills, MI
I'm happy that you made the decision that you made.  It was just about 5 years ago when we met.  You've made the right decision.
Sep 16, 2006 03:52 PM #9
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