With Thanksgiving around the corner it seems fitting to reflect upon our many blessings. Just the other day, while cruising down Siskiyou Boulevard, I found myself reminiscing about the last 15 years in real estate. The fond memories certainly outnumber the not-so-fond and when I stop to think about it, my career as a real estate broker has brought me so much joy not to mention the numerous relationships that I deeply cherish.
Just outside my office window I often get a glimpse of a head of shimmering silver hair strolling down the street and recognize my sweet client, Lenore. I was quickly taken back years and years ago when I helped her to sell her starter home on Bridge Street and buy her “vintage, walking distance to town” place and how genuinely wonderful she was. From there I started reflecting on the relationships that have emerged from this business and how they have continued throughout the years seeing us through various stages of life.
When I first started out, I was a competitive, recent college graduate trying to prove my 23 yr. old self to all the middle aged Realtors who were certain I would never make it. After all, I was “just a kid.” A few years later, my clients saw me rekindle my romance with my high school sweetheart whom I eventually married, even though we lived in two different counties as we each worked to build our careers. Years later, they were alongside me as we struggled through the pain of infertility and ultimately welcomed not just one healthy boy but then a second.
Together, we bought and sold our homes, seeing great profits and huge losses while accepting the ups and downs of the market along the way. We had joys and pains, sleepless nights and celebratory closings. Looking back I realized there are a very few experiences in the last 15 years that weren’t shared with a client somewhere along the way; my first kidney stone (while showing property), reuniting with my step-mom and the devastation of her unexpected death, my 20th high school reunion (gulp) and on and on.
About five years ago, I found myself in a fortunate position of a thriving business and in desperate need of help. I had so many great clients and I didn’t want to part with any of them, but my control freak personality couldn’t bear the thought of giving them less than amazing service just because I was busy. I made the bold decision to approach my best friend, Dyan and see if she would consider giving up her 9 year career and join me on this crazy adventure. Well, truth be told I didn’t actually asked her for fear she would laugh hysterically in my face, so I asked her husband and before the sun set that night, she was ringing my phone to inquire about the “opportunity.”
I think it’s fair to say I have experienced a lot of life in my less than 40 years; many triumphs and even more failures. I have made good decisions and I have made bad ones but I have to say that one of the best moves I ever made was to ask Dyan to leave her job at Medford Police Department and join my business. I knew she was driven and I always valued her work ethic. All would agree she was wise beyond her years but what she has brought to our business is far greater than anything I ever dreamed. I witnessed her marry Don (my husband’s best friend, for those of you who don’t already know) at the young age of 18 and knew they would make it work. She was too stubborn to fail. I saw her graduate with honors from the police academy and celebrated with her as she moved her way up the ladder gaining the respect of her peers. As a cop’s wife myself, I knew it wasn’t easy wearing a uniform let alone being a young female with a pretty face so to see the utmost respect that was given to her was something she absolutely earned and so deserved. I knew she had moxie and I knew she had class and I could think of no better fit for my business.
On my suggestion, Dyan took a couple weeks vacation from the grind of law enforcement and shadowed me on every appointment, just to be sure she knew what she was getting in to. To my advantage, she had been my friend throughout my entire real estate career so she knew the hours, she knew the sacrifices and she also knew that I had found a way that worked. She didn’t come into with her own ideas but rather with an open mind and a servant’s heart.
When my husband and I decided we wanted to start a family, she knew the importance of me having the down time to adjust to my new family and bond with my baby. She also knew I wasn’t cut out to be a stay at home mom and would come to my house and rock my baby so I could show a house or make a phone call or two and get my real estate fix once again. She embraced my desire for being a mother but also a successful business owner and brought me the much needed balance to achieve both. Between us, we have four kids and each came a year apart so the trials and tribulations of motherhood have connected us in ways we never imagined. We are bonded on the deepest level through the birth of our children as well as the loss of the babies who didn’t survive outside our wombs. Together, we have experienced the pain of disappointment because the criminals in this valley don’t really care that it’s your wedding anniversary and we have special plans and a babysitter.
When Dyan made the decision to join my business I prayed it was the right decision for both of us. After all, she was giving up everything and I really had no promises for her. We dove in, against the advice of many and we made it work – you guessed it, because we are both two stubborn to fail. She keeps me sane among the chaos, not to mention organized. She has helped me to believe in myself when I was defeated either in real estate or parenting. She has also kept me married, reminding me that I am not all that easy to live with either but, most of all she has loved me like the sibling I never had. Since spending the better part of every week together isn’t quite enough, we are now in the midst of building homes…. and you guessed it, side by side. Why not? We have always relied on each other with co-parenting, praying for protection for our husbands and children, for guidance about our business and more often than not one of us is making a trip to Costco with two lists in hand. It just seemed natural to find a roomy spot in town that could handle both our households. When we approached our husbands with the idea, figuring it was probably a good idea to give them a little bit of say in the matter, they were all for it. We’ve been told by several that the bond we share is something they have never seen before and even the skeptics are now believers.
In a very short time after joining my real estate business, Dyan quickly enhanced it and took our volume to another level. At listing appointments we are often pegged as sisters, sometimes a couple and maybe on one occasion a mother/daughter duo (ouch) but without question, it quickly becomes apparent, even to perfect strangers that the love we have for each other stretches far beyond the real estate side of our relationship. I am a better person for knowing Dyan and feel honored she took that leap of faith. This Thanksgiving I am thankful for Dy. Without her, I would be lost and I am not afraid to admit it.