13 Things in 13 Years: Lessons in Real Estate


To commemorate the honor of my recent induction into the RE/MAX International Hall of Fame, I offer you a glimpse of what being a REALTOR has taught me. If the next 13 years are as colorful as the last, I may write a book. Names will be changed, of course! You’re welcome.

1. Almost NOTHING is black or white, yes or no.

2. The short answer to most real estate questions is the same thing: “It depends.”

3. Some people can sell their own home successfully, but most cannot because, as the owner, they aren’t able to be impartial. Makes sense, right?

4. There are 2 courses of required education to qualify to sit for the licensing test in the State of PA. Most Realtor-hopefuls believe that passing the test earns them the right to coast a little and breath a sigh of relief. WRONG. That was the easy part and it teaches you a small fraction of what you really need to know.

5. There is no substitute for experience. Where real estate classes end, the School of Hard Knocks takes over. And the tuition is sometimes brutal. It’s not uncommon to think about switching to a different career at least once a year. Much more often for some folks! 

6. Real estate careers: easy to get in… not easy to stay in. Being paid strictly on commission isn’t for everyone. There is no stability and consistency unless you create it. And, since you aren’t (usually) the one doing the actual buying or selling, you have control over activity only to a certain extent.

7. Realtors are actually 10% agent, 10% babysitter (love watching over the little ones so Mom or Dad can look at the house) 10% friend and confidante, 10% problem-solver, 10% magician, and 50% therapist.

8. Don’t want to work evenings and weekends, or 12-hour days in the summer? This career may not be for you. 

9. Occasionally, finding “the right house” isn’t what the client wanted at all. And it’s not until they’ve seen every condo on the market for 2 years that they realize they want to move across the state to be near a sister because they’re lonely.

10. Indulging my passion for photography and graphic design every time I put a home on the market, is a big perk of my job and I feel lucky about that!

11. Whenever I’m tempted to say “I’ve seen it ALL,” something new happens to keep it interesting! And boy – is it ever interesting!

12.  Helping clients who need me is the most satisfying thing I can do, and it’s got nothing to do with money. I feel honored when clients trust me enough to share their lives with me, and I don’t take that responsibility lightly.

• To My RE/MAX Brokers Art Lindquist Sr. and Art. Jr.,
• Staff: Nancy Liebau, Lisa Yan, Elicia Pace and Stephanie Straw
• Mentors Carolyn Carlson, Loretta Schaal and Ned Lehrian 
• My family and friends who put up with my being late/leaving early when work interferes with our plans.
• My clients – many of whom have become friends! I appreciate and value each of you; and where would I be without YOU? 

THANK YOU ALL! You’ve helped to shape the person and Realtor I’ve become, and for that I’m very grateful.  You support and inspire me daily and make me WANT to give more than 100%.

Can’t wait to see what tomorrow will bring!