Every now and then I like to reflect on why I became, and remain, a residential real estate broker. When I started, in 1980, men didn’t pursue this job; they became commercial brokers. Residential was a “woman’s business.” Over the years I have been treated like a servant (that happens a lot), I have ACTED like a servant (many beds made, curtains unhung, bathrooms cleaned etc.), and I have endured the know-it-all attitude of people half my age who in fact know much less about my business than I do. So why stick with it?
· First, it’s fun. Residential property is endlessly interesting, as are people’s choices about the use of space, furniture, and style to create a personalized environment.
· Second, the psychodynamics are fascinating. Who’s in charge? What is the client REALLY looking for? Who actually decides which offer is acceptable? We brokers listen and intuit throughout our professional relationships, which are short but intense, because without knowing the answers to these questions we are not effective advocates.
· Third, it’s diverse. To succeed as a residential agent, you have to do a lot of things well: you need great interpersonal skills, a strong enough personality to close, a sensitive enough personality to work with many different character types, a lot of math, analytical ability, and enough drive to keep going even when things continually go wrong, or just don’t go at all.
· Fourth, and most importantly, what we do is deeply important. Shelter is a basic human need, and creating a home underpins the human desire for a sense of place. Where we live locates us in the world, and how we live reinforces our own identities and tells others important things about who we are and what we value. I have always been proud of my work, and that of my colleagues, to facilitate the creation of something so fundamental and profound.