Hi. My name is–well, my name’s not important–but I’m the Rookie Realtor’s spouse.
Every week, for the past few months, my “better half” has whined, ranted and raved in this column.
Now, it’s my turn.
First off, I don’t think that writing this type of weekly article is such a great idea. My spouse has shared some things with you that, frankly, I don’t think are any of your damn businesses–like the financial information that we included on our joint income-tax return and that subsequently was published by Inman News last month.
I’m told that this column is very popular, but I cannot understand why. It seems to me that it’s based entirely on failure, week-in and week-out. What kind of person wants to read about that?
Another thing that bugs me is that when the Rookie writes about the latest disappointment, people from all over the country send e-mails that then also get published.
Some of the comments are helpful. A few are downright nasty. But most just encourage the Rookie to keep working, to put the disappointments behind and to focus on the future.
You’ve probably seen that poster of a little kitty clinging to a chin-up bar with big words underneath that say, “Hang in there, Baby!” (I read somewhere that it’s the second best-selling poster of all time, only behind the one of a 1970s-era Farrah Fawcett in a tight swimsuit. But, I digress).
My point is that while most of you folks are encouraging the Rookie to “hang in there,” I think maybe it’s time for my spouse–a.k.a., the “Rookie Realtor”–to hang it up.
Before everyone in cyberspace starts charging me with being unsupportive of my spouse’s career, I want to make something perfectly clear: The Rookie got a salesperson’s license last year and still hasn’t sold a home, despite the fact that we’re in the hottest real estate market in recorded history.
It reminds me of what baseball great Tommy Lasorda said of a different sort of rookie: “He couldn’t hit water if he fell out of a boat.” In our area, selling a home now is even easier than tumbling out of a boat–but my spouse still hasn’t hit the water by closing a single deal.
Our family life, though, is starting to capsize.
Before the Rookie decided to pursue a real estate license, we were a typical two-income couple with “regular” jobs. We didn’t make a lot of money, but we made at least enough to spend the weekends at our kids’ Little League or soccer games without having to worry about where our next paycheck would come from.
We can’t do that anymore. Part of the problem is that when the Rookie quit the salaried job last year to begin a new career in real estate, we lost not only half our income, but also our employer-paid health insurance. I’ve since picked up a second job to pay for the insurance and other bills while my spouse keeps trying to make the first sale, but the extra money just isn’t enough to fill the gap.
I’d be lying if I said our kids hadn’t noticed the change in our lifestyle. They don’t fuss much when we explain that we don’t have enough money to visit the amusement park or sometimes even go to McDonald’s.
But they don’t understand why one of their parents has to miss a big game or an important school function to show a house to a client.
I’m old enough to realize this is a problem many agents must face, whether they’re just getting started or have more business than they can handle. If there’s an easy solution, the Rookie and I haven’t found it.
Meantime, our grade-school son sort of summed up my own feelings about my spouse’s fledgling real estate career when he tried to explain to his buddy why one of us missed the friend’s recent birthday party.
The missing parent, my son explained, was busy “playing Realtor.”
I couldn’t have said it better myself.
Got tips, ideas or advice for the Rookie Realtor? Send them to Rookie@inman.com.