I Throw Like a Girl

Why Real Estate? Why Now? Part Deux

Posted by Carol on December 10, 2009

(To read part 1, click here.)

So far, I am really loving real estate. I realize it is early in the game, but I am enjoying every part of it. I even enjoyed my real estate licensing class.

It felt so good to learn something new, and actually pass the tests. It made me feel better about the days I worry about early Alzheimers because I can’t find my keys.

And now that I’ve joined an office and am going through their training, I realize that this is a career that I can’t image ever being bored with. Burnt out, possibly, but bored? No.

And I get bored very easily.  The only “thing” that has been able to keep my attention for any length of time is my husband. He is definitely NOT boring! Anyone who knows him IRL can verify this for me!

In real estate, there is always something to learn and no two transactions are alike.

However, as I mentioned in my last post, in spite of “thinking” about it for about 15 years, I still almost chose not to try a career in real estate.

Earlier this year when I knew we would be moving to Colorado, I decided that a new move would be a good time for me to make a career change. I my past lives, I have been a teacher, a pharmaceutical sales rep, a pet sitter, a stay at home mom, and an office manager. I knew that when we got to Colorado that I didn’t want to continue any of those careers.

Well, except for stay at home mom, but I soon will be involuntarily retired from that when when Darling Daughter goes off to college next year.

Knowing there was not much I could do from New Jersey to start my real estate career in Colorado until we moved, I decided it was a good time to do some research. I bought several books about real estate careers. One may or may not have been a “Dummies” book.

I really liked everything I read about the “business” of real estate, yet, something didn’t sit right with me when it came to how the authors recommended prospecting for new clients, and dealing with the clients they did have.

The advice seemed condescending and disrespectful to their clients. And as for prospecting, as they say in Jersey, Faggettabouttit!

Let me tell you something about me. I am a very nice person. However, if you are a telemarketer and you call my house, one of two things will happen.

  • I will either screen your call on caller ID and just not answer (but if you keep calling I will eventually answer because I will be so angry).
  • I will answer the phone and tell you to never call me again and then hang up on you.

Recently, one company kept calling and I got so tired of hearing their message on my answering machine that the next time they called I asked them if they were familiar with the consequences of calling someone on the “do not call” list. They stopped.

If you are my friend calling me and every time we talk you are either trying to sell me something or ask me for a referral, I will simply stop taking your calls.

Yet, this (cold calling and bugging your friends and family) is what most real estate “experts” recommend for finding new clients. Add door knocking (blech) and other equally unpalatable ideas and I’m out. Sadly, I resigned myself to the fact that as interested in real estate that I was, I could not in good conscience do what the experts said I had to do to be successful in real estate.  And I’m not in this to fail. So, I guessed that a career in real estate wasn’t for me after all.

Fast forward a few months and we’re all moved in our new home in Colorado. Our real estate agent is also a personal friend and we become Facebook friends. One day, L, our agent posted a link on her page to an article written by Jennifer Allan, real estate agent, author, trainer, and speaker, about (not) asking for referrals. I clicked the link, read the article and a light bulb went off in my head.

There was someone out there who feels the same way I do and yet is successful in real estate. It can be done! Her book, Sell With Soul advocates attracting business to you by being competent and caring about your clients more than your paycheck.

What a concept!

The subtitle of her book is what sold me: “Creating an Extraordinary Career in Real Estate with Losing Your Friends, Your Principles, or Your Self-Respect”.

That was exactly what I was looking to do! My hope in a real estate career was restored and I signed up for my licensing class.  And the rest, as they say, is (recent) history!

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Why Real Estate? Why Now?

Posted by Carol on December 8, 2009

The other day, I was at my real estate office and one of the commercial agents asked me and another newbie, “Why are you getting into real estate NOW?”

“Because we’re crazy!” I answered.

I think the question came more from his own frustration with the market than from his concern for our sanity. But once I got him to smile, I explained that it was just the right time in my life to start a new career and I’d rather start while the market is slow, so I have time to learn to do things the right way, one transaction at a time, rather than when the market is going crazy and I feel like I’m drowning from lack of experience.

Real estate is something I’ve been interested in for a long time. About 15 years ago, when my kids were still very young, I attended a real estate career seminar offered at a local office. I don’t remember too much about the meeting except that the room was packed (it was the mid ’90’s and the real estate market was booming). The man leading the seminar said something like, “if you are willing to work hard 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, you will have a successful career in real estate”.

At that point my desire to remain a stay-at-home mom very involved in her kids lives kicked in big time. I stood up, made my way through the crowd and walked out. I think I remember the speaker looking at me like I had two heads as I waved goodbye.

However, I remained very interested in real estate.

And here we are today. I am a few months away from being an empty nester, we just moved to a new state, and I need a job. The timing is right for me to start a new career.

And yet, the move to real estate still almost didn’t happen.

To be continued…

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Walking

Posted by Carol on December 5, 2009

I had the opportunity to go to the movies by myself today. I know some people feel weird going to the movies alone, but I kind of enjoy it. When you’re with someone else, by the time the movie starts, you’re not supposed to be talking  anyway. Unless you can’t afford to buy popcorn. Then, talk away and pretty soon everyone will be sharing throwing their popcorn with at you.

I went to see The Blind Side starring Sandra Bullock. It is the true story of professional football player, Michael Oher. I read an interview with Sandra about making the movie. She got to sit down with the wealthy white woman whose family took in Michael as a homeless teenager.

In her interview, Sandra said that meeting Michael’s “mother” restored her faith in people who claim to be Christians. She said it was nice to meet someone who actually “walked the walk” instead of just being all talk.

While I don’t think God is calling me to bring a stranger into my home, I do think He would like me to ask myself, “Am I walking the walk, or am I all talk?”

Do I only walk where I feel it’s “safe” to walk? Am I the same around my Christian friends that I am around my family? Am I the same when I’m at work as I am at church?

Are there 2 Carol’s that the world sees or am I a reflection of the One whose name I claim to follow?

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So, You’ve Pretty Much Given Up That Blogging Thing

Posted by Carol on December 3, 2009

Ugh! It’s been too long since I’ve written anything here and I miss it. I miss you.

I don’t know if anyone is still bothering to check if I’ve written anything, and I wouldn’t blame you if you weren’t, but I’m going to start writing here again if it kills me. I don’t really think it will be that painful though.

My problem has been that I haven’t considered too much to be blog-worthy lately. The way I usually write is that an idea forms in my head and stays there for awhile, growing and developing until I feel it is ready for The Blog.

Or, something really funny happens that I just have to share.

And neither has happened lately. So, I can either wait for something to strike me (not lightening, hopefully) or I can just start writing again.

I don’t usually write about my day. You know, got up, had two eggs for breakfast, ran 5 miles (yeah, right) and so on. But, I think that’s what I’m going to have to do for a while or Darling Daughter’s recent proclamation will come true –

“So, you’ve pretty much given up on that blogging thing.”

To which I responded, “No, I’m still gonna write, eventually”.

Kind of a role reversal, don’tcha think?

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Agnus Dei by Michael W. Smith

Posted by Carol on November 26, 2009

On this day of Thanksgiving, let us give thanks and praise to the One from Whom all blessings flow…

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Do It Anyway by Mother Theresa

Posted by Carol on November 7, 2009

(I bet you thought this was by Martina McBride) 🙂

 

People are often unreasonable, illogical,

And self-centered;

Forgive them anyway.

 

If you are kind, people may accuse you

Of selfish, ulterior motives;

Be kind anyway.

 

If you are successful, you will win some

False friends and some true enemies;

Succeed anyway.

 

If you are honest and frank;

People may cheat you;

Be honest and frank anyway.

 

What you spend years building,

someone could destroy overnight;

Build anyway.

 

If you find serenity and happiness,

they may be jealous;

Be happy anyway.

 

The good you do today,

people will often forget tomorrow;

Do good anyway.

 

Give the world the best you have,

and it may never be enough;

Give the world the best you’ve got anyway.

 

You see, in the final analysis

it is between you and God

It was never between you and them anyway.

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Writer’s Block

Posted by Carol on October 17, 2009

Recently a very sweet friend on Facebook asked me why I haven’t posted anything on my blog lately. She actually said she missed me! It warmed my heart to know that at least one person in the blogosphere missed my ramblings on I Throw Like a Girl!

I got back to her and told her there were 3 very good reasons why I haven’t been writing much. One reason was that I just finished 3 1/2 weeks of full-time real estate school (which included full-time homework when I got home each day). 

The second reason is that College Son’s laptop is broken, so I let him take mine to college over two hours away, leaving me to fight for the use of our home computer with Darling Daughter who is taking classes at the local community college. Somehow college work takes priority over blogging.

Go figure. 

But the third and probably biggest reason that I haven’t written much lately is writer’s block. I usually have a whole bunch of ideas swirling around in my head about which to write, but lately, not so much.

I actually do have an idea for a new post, but I need my laptop for it because all my pictures from NJ are on it and the post needs those pictures from NJ or it won’t make much sense.

Another one of my Facebook “friends” (I use quotes because he doesn’t know who I am IRL – I read his blog, so I “friended” him) is a true, honest-to goodness writer. He has a book being published and everything. Anyway, he recently wrote about writer’s block. His advice was that when you have writer’s block, you should just write about it. 

So, here I am.

Writing about it.

Hmmmm….

So far, that’s all I got. 

Oh well, I guess I’ll just update you as to how life has been since we moved to Colorado in June.

For some reason I feel compelled to number my points. 

1. Colorado is great! For the first time in many years we live close enough to family to see them on a regular basis and I love it. Almost every weekend, we have a house-full of nieces and nephews and cousins running around. Priceless….

2. Colorado is great! But I still miss New Jersey. I miss my church, I miss my friends, I miss the familiarity of it all. I loved the fact that almost everywhere I went, I would run into someone I know. Here, not so much. Yet.

3. Colorado has given us a new hobby. My husband went crazy and bought some dirt bikes. He got me a four-wheeler because he knows how I fare on two wheels.  So far, this has only led to one trip to the emergency room and it wasn’t me! I suppose I could write a whole post about that, but I wasn’t there when the accident happened and the story really is very anti-climactic. 

4. Speaking of broken laptops, if you have one, I highly recommend NOT taking it to the blue and yellow store with a Squad who promises to fix it. $250 plus dollars later, the laptop is still unusable. It has a new hard-drive, and a wiped memory, but no internet capability or a backspace key. Grrrr….

5. As you may have already gathered, I am working on getting my Real Estate license. This is something I have wanted to do since my kids were little. I even went to a real estate career seminar once way back when my kids were about 2 and 5 years old. (Now they are 17 and 20 years old). The speaker started the meeting by saying, “If you are ready to work hard 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, you can have a successful real estate career”. At that point, I stood up and walked out. I think I may even have said, “See ya!” as I left.  Looking back, I think the speaker was trying to weed out people like me from the crowd. In my research, I found out it is possible to have a successful real estate career and still have a family and personal life. I’m going to give it a try anyway. I am almost an empty-nester, so I’m ready to find something to do with the next phase of my life.

That’s all for now folks! I’ll do my best to be back here more often with the high quality of ramblings you have come to expect from me.

See ya!

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Please pray for Andrew

Posted by Carol on September 21, 2009

Dear Bloggy Friends,
This is not one of those chain emails that when you check it out on Snopes.com you find out it is false or way out of date. A precious woman who reads my blog and comments regularly, Melanie, has a 12 year old son, Andrew, with a life threatening brain tumor. To follow their story, please go to http://bellamella-melanie.blogspot.com/ and start reading at her August 25th entry.

I haven’t written much lately and I’m running off to my real estate class in a few minutes, but I felt this was too important to not ask my wonderful friends in Bloggsville to pray about.

Hugs,

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Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip -It’s DipTacular!

Posted by Carol on September 4, 2009

BooMama is hosting a DipTacular Recipe Carnival. Since this is the most wonderful dip recipe I know, I am sharing it with all of Bloggsville . Thanks to my cousin Debbie for sharing it with me in the first place! Click here for more great dip recipes just in time for football season!

Buffalo Chicken Wing Dip

  • 3-4 chicken breasts
  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • bottle of blue cheese dressing (small)
  • Mozzarella cheese to sprinkle generously on top
  • 1 bottle wing sauce

Boil chicken until cooked. Shred chicken and simmer in the wing sauce for 30 minutes. Spread cream cheese in baking dish. Add chicken with wing sauce. Top chicken with blue cheese dressing – about 3/4 of bottle. Top with a couple of hand fulls of mozzarella. Stir until mostly mixed. Bake at 350 degrees until hot and bubbly about 30 minutes. Serve with Frito chips scoops.

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What I want to be when I grow up…

Posted by Carol on August 26, 2009

I just took a quiz on Facebook that says I should be a Prime Minister. Hmmm…I suppose that means I need to leave the country since we don’t have a Prime Minister here. I think I will choose a tropical island nation to rule. But I think I prefer the title of Queen instead of Prime Minister.

How hard could it be? I mean, the quiz asked me things like what my favorite color and numbers were.  If liking the color green and the number 7 qualify me to rule a nation, what am I doing here at this popsicle stand? I probably will also need to choose a cabinet of advisors. Any volunteers? I’ll take you into consideration even if you don’t like the color green.

Since it might take me a while to find a tropical island nation willing to give me a chance, I need to figure out what I want to do in the meantime here in Colorado, USA.

For a while, I considered trying to get back into pharmaceutical sales. Then I remembered how much I hated that job. I think that kind of rules pharmaceutical sales out. Not hating the job is an important quality an employer is probably looking for in a candidate. 

So, that leaves something that I have been thinking about for a very long time. Real Estate.  I have actually been thinking about this from the time my kids were pre-schoolers (now they are old – one in college and the other in high school). I am on the verge of being an empty nester and until now, I have never felt the time was right for me to attempt to build a real estate career. One reason was all of our own moves. It didn’t make sense to try to get a license in one state, knowing that at any time, we could be asked to move to another. But now that we are in Colorado, it would take an act of God to get us to move out. As my husband says, he is “dug in like an Alabama tick”.

Yet it is my own experience both buying and selling more than our fair share of homes that has me interested in helping others through the process.

I have to decide what I want to do about this soon. The next round of classes starts mid-September. They are four weeks long and are not inexpensive. I know the market is slow right now, but there are signs that show it may be beginning to turn around. Plus, I’d rather learn in a slow market, than one that is going crazy. 

But I’m still open to ruling a tropical island. Any takers?

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