What an interesting challenge this is! To write about the changes in my personal and professional life over the past ten years. Perhaps we should have a challenge regarding what to expect in the next ten years?!? OK, here we go:
*In 2009, I was trying to get through the recession. The housing market had crashed, so many people I knew were out of work and it was a dark time. Fortunately, when I started in real estate in 2003, we knew we could survive on my husband's income if the new career was a flop. So in 2009, our income took a hit but I was determinted to see it through.
*As the market slowly started to improve, I decided to leave the small four person team I was on and strike out on my own. I loved being on the team and working with the three ladies--but I realized I wanted to do my own marketing and put my own name on the yard sign--not theirs.
*Sometime over the past ten years, it may have been 2009, I joined Active Rain and started my blog. I don't remember how I found AR, but I was curious. I had read several posts, liked the community feel and thought 'well, I'll give it a shot'. I remember thinking, "oh gosh I'll never earn enough points to get the free public blog!".
*Then I decided to start a blog about my neighborhood, the Brookside/Waldo area of Kansas City MO. This area is mostly locally owned businesses, very walkable, and charming--the house prices range from over $1million to $100K for a fixxer upper. I wanted to focus on local happenings, new businesses and promote the area--no negative posts. I remermber my husband saying "why are you writing a blog?" He thought it was a silly idea. Neverless, I persisted! And I have subscribers!
*A big technical change helped my business over the past ten years...electronic signing! Gee, I remember when fax machines were introduced! To have electronic signing in this business is such a time saver and so handy for agents and clients alike.
*Through the years, I've learned a lot about other neighborhoods and parts of Kansas City that I was not familiar with. The ever-expanding suburbs, downtown condo life, new builds and up-and-coming areas.
*I've also learned to pass any possible business by that is in an area I am not familiar or comfortable with. Some agents will go anywhere to sell anything. I've found it's a better use of my time to refer a client to an agent that is an expert in the area they want to be in.
*Big changes in our little Brookside house: both of our kids left home and husband retired. My daughter was married a year ago to a wonderful Brit and moved to Birmingham UK. My younger daughter moved away as well, fortunately within a few hours' drive for occasional visits. Having my husband stay home most of the day is a change. It's made me think about what I will do to be active and engaged when I don't work as much or decide to leave the job.
*Most of my business involves homes that are well over 50 years old--some over 100 years old. There is a real learning curve for buyers who want to live in an older home--especially regarding inspections. So I've learned what are the more serious concerns, what's 'typical old house issues' and every once in a while I come across something I've never seen before! Now I prepare buyers (and sellers) well in advance for what to expect during an inspection.
*I've made many dear friends over the past ten years through real estate. It's a joy getting to know new people, and then have them become close friends. Especially now that the girls are gone, cultivating new friendships is very important. I regularly meet people for lunch or happy hour; have attended weddings, funerals and parties--all of these folks brought into my life via this job. At the beginning of every year I think "oh, who will I meet this year that becomes a good friend?"
So...that's my list. Some of the biggest changes over the past ten years. Fortunately the family is happy, healthy, and I'm grateful for every single day.
Ten years ago:
One Year Ago at Our Daughter's Wedding