Blogging from Brookside in Kansas City: Ten Years On--Changes and Challenges

Ten Years On--Changes and Challenges

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

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR

(Brookside/Armour Hills resident, local business supporter, NPR fan, Habitat ReStore volunteer, thankful for the gift of another day!)


Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate/Kansas City Homes

816 510 1262


Comment balloon 11 commentsMary Hutchison, SRES, ABR • July 22 2019 07:27PM


Hi Mary... and now you do have a free account! You've had quite the journey the past 10 years... and I enjoyed reading about it. In NYC I sold "old" homes... typically pre WWI and WWII coops, but inspections were not something we worried about.

Posted by Nina Hollander, Your Charlotte/Ballantyne/Waxhaw/Fort Mill Realtor (Coldwell Banker Realty) about 1 year ago

Hi Mary:

I so enjoyed reading this! You've certainly experienced a lot of changes, in business and your personal life. Having the kids move away is a big shift, isn't it? And now you are halfway there to 1 million points! Thanks for taking time to reflect on the last decade and share your thoughts.


Posted by Jeff Dowler, CRS, The Southern California Relocation Dude (eXp Realty of California, Inc.) about 1 year ago

Hi Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR I loved your post! Lots of changes over the last ten years. I too have bought and sold older homes and it's a whole other can of worms. Having the knowledge you have to assist your clients is priceless. We think a lot alike - many of me clients end up as friends and it's been a gift over the years!  PS loved your 10 years ago and updated photo of your family!

Posted by Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!, 602-380-4886 (HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000) about 1 year ago

Hi Mary-I truly loved reading about your last 10 years and what a beautiful family photo...a bit like a Before and After photo!!!  My husband is retired and I am so thankful that he loves to tinker!  He is always researching a project or working on something in the garage!

Posted by Kathy Streib, Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224 (Room Service Home Staging) about 1 year ago


I enjoyed reading your post.  I loved your family photo of ten years ago, and at the wedding.  Wishing you a wonderful journey in the years to come.  A

Posted by Ron and Alexandra Seigel, Luxury Real Estate Branding, Marketing & Strategy (Napa Consultants) about 1 year ago

A happy and healthy family! What more could we ask for?

I love your photos of ten years ago, and the recent wedding. You all look wonderful and happy!

Posted by Kat Palmiotti, The House Kat (406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty) about 1 year ago

Hello Mary - a great idea to show the changes of your life ten years ago to a more recent photo.  A great way to accompany this nicely organized post.  

Posted by Michael Jacobs, Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393 about 1 year ago

Enjoyed reading your 10 year challenge ... I guess we all have the Recession in common.  Loved your Two pictures ... 10 years leaves so many memories -- some good - some bad.  I'm glad I got to read your story.  You have a beautiful family.

Posted by Diana Dahlberg, Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563 (1 Month Realty) about 1 year ago

Sounds like a nice 10 years.  Congrats on making it to 500,000 - it's a big deal!

Posted by Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089, Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info (Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers) about 1 year ago

Certainly enjoyed your trip down memory Lane...welcome to the 500,000 + club !

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Real Estate Agents - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) about 1 year ago

Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR - You have a lovely family. They are everything. Without them, a business doesn't really matter as much as we think. Lovely photos of your family too!

Posted by Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP, Selling Homes Changing Lives (DFW FINE PROPERTIES) about 1 year ago