The Myth vs. The Reality

When I passed the state and national real estate exams last Nov., I thought I had some idea of what lay in store for me as a new broker.  After all, I’d had a ringside view of witnessing my managing broker, Carla Braddy, in action for three months.  I had watched her interact with buyers and sellers, generate contracts, and list houses.  She had also generously spent time training me on file maintenance, lead generation, and general real estate practices such as online research and how to navigate the local MLS.  Now that I had the credential, I thought I was ready to go.


And go I did.  One of my first realizations was that real estate agents spend much more time in their cars than they do in the office.  My mileage log became a live artifact very quickly.

Getting Clients Around

Which leads me to explain about my car. Yes, Carlotta (her name) might be a hot, little Italian mode of transpo. and consistently described as “cute” by bank tellers and fast food drive-thru workers who see her on their screens, but as a way to transport clients my first experience with her and clients was eye-opening.
My clients were a lovely couple but they weren’t gymnasts or pretzels.  I was mortified when the woman became stuck in Carlotta’s back seat and the man’s knees were nearly touching his nose in the front seat, seeing as how he was over 6’ tall and Carlotta’s interior space mirrors her overall size, as in very small. Fortunately for me in that instance, they offered to drive us around to see properties after that first day out touring as sardines.

Obfuscation — What the Heck Does that Mean? —

Compared to Knowing What You Need to Know

Another myth buster for me was the theory of real estate, as covered in my extremely thorough test prep course, and how it differed from the reality I encountered.  Take language, for example.  In six months of active duty practice, I have yet to need to know the distinction between a fee simple determinable and a fee simple subject to a condition subsequent in a freehold estate.  What has been immensely important, however, is knowing what a GIS map is (and how to access and print one); knowing which irrigation ditches service which parts of town; knowing all the different types of loans available to clients; and the names and phone numbers of plumbers, electricians, and inspectors.  Also, I quickly learned what a key player my cell phone and all it can do as a mini-computer is to my daily ability to successfully access needed resources for clients.  My learning curve on all types of new technology skills was steep.  I learned how to create graphic designs for advertising and flyers; how to research the Assessor’s and Treasurer’s sites; how to order flood certifications and zoning requests; how to begin every day by purusing Navica with our buyers’ list in front of me; how to post to social media and blogs; and how to audio-text on the fly and then edit for the inevitable auto-corrects that sometimes are embarrassing.

Helpfulness Abounds

Entering the world of real estate I had the what turned out to be a wrong impression that it was a cutthroat, competitive, dog-eat-dog industry.  The reality I’ve experienced is that fellow agents, both veterans and new agents like me, have all been very kind and helpful.  They have shared their knowledge and gone out of their way to help me learn.  I’ve never felt as if anyone has tried to undercut me or our business in the name of getting more business for themselves at our expense.  Maybe Coming Home Realty exists under an umbrella of magnanimity, but, for whatever reason, I’ve been grateful for the support and encouragement I’ve received not only from my supervising broker but also from other brokers and the Board office.

Phones And Dirt

One other myth vs. reality buster I’ve encountered concerns phones.  We have a landline, but I often wonder why.  Nearly all of our business is conducted on our cell phones and when we have people want to come work for us in an administrative capacity and they offer to answer the phones for us, I think what a boring job that would be if that were their only task because our cells blow up with calls and texts every day and our landline sits silent most of the time.

Now for a word about Colorado soil.  Never did I comprehend how hard our dirt is until the first time I had to plant a For Sale sign in front of a seller’s house.  There Carla and I were pounding and pounding; pouring water from our water bottles into the holes to soften up the dirt in and around the stake posts; retrieving more water from a fortunately full and flowing nearby ditch; shoring up our wobbly effort with piles of rocks all around the base; and hoping fervently it would stay up.  Not to be.  An hour later we received word our sign had fallen down.  Since then we’ve invested in a rubber mallet and buffed up our arm strength.   I have also become adept at evaluating the available soil composition at the sites in the name of selecting the best possible 2 square inches x 2.  Success is in the details!

Homes Are What They Are

In my pre-real estate broker innocence, I had assumed all houses looked just like their pictures.  I now know how a professional photographer can create magic.  Having said that, however, Carla and I always try to see the homes we service with compassion.  They are the best they can be.  It does no good to approach them with negative judgment about what needs to be fixed or changed.  The sellers are also coming from a place of being the best they can be and there are reasons for their decisions.  The buyers, moreover, are buying at their best level as well.  I believe part of why our company is successful is because we honestly do work our tagline of “Kindly Matching People to Their Dreams.”  The “kindly” part of this can extend to treating properties as well as people with respect.

Gifts from the Heart

Finally, I’d like to end this perspective piece with what I previously thought a real estate relationship involved vs. what it has been and is in our practice.  Before I became affiliated with Coming Home Realty, I thought the nature of a real estate relationship was that agents provided clients with a service and then gave them a closing gift to signal the end of the transaction.  What I have now experienced is that our clients give us much more than we give them.  For one thing they give us their trust.  That’s huge in business these days.  Also, they teach us every day and, as former schoolteachers ourselves, we highly value education in all forms.  They also honor us by giving us referrals, heartfelt notes of appreciation, and invitations to be a part of their lives even after our transformations (what we call transactions) with them are concluded.  In one special case, a client gave us her prized African violet plants because she knew they wouldn’t survive the trans-continental trip during their move.  I’d like to end by dedicating this post to Joy Dale, a treasured client.  Look at her flowers bloom!

It can be disconcerting for the myths we believe about something to differ drastically from the reality we discover. But, in my case, as a freshly minted real estate agent, it’s been all good.
We encourage you to stop by 729 Main St. to see our location for yourself and meet us (Carla and Jill) in person.