Agent

What loss can teach us about real estate

Kindness and positivity made for an unforgettable transaction
  • A career in real estate isn't for the person who simply intends to make a boat load of money.
  • To stay connected with clients and find out how they've changed because of their new surroundings is a gift.
  • Buyers and sellers both benefit when Realtors respect one another.

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This past October, we lost a dear soul in our local real estate family: Diane Langley.

I was honored to have worked with her on one particular transaction that I’ll never forget.

The sale

It was a dreary, rainy day in the country as I drove out to Greenvine, Texas — a tiny but stunning part of Washington County. As I pulled up, I smiled inside as I gazed upon an adorable yellow farmhouse on five gorgeous acres. I immediately let my buyers know: You must come quick!

Sure enough, it was love at first sight. Of course, it also may have been my enthusiastic sales pitch… “Look at the stunning view from the kitchen sink! You’re going to love to wash dishes.”

I was friendly with the listing agent, but had never done a transaction with her. And when you did a deal with Langley, you were spoiled.

She was smart, kind and an absolute pleasure to do business with. Some real estate agents are bossy, arrogant and complete know-it-alls, but she was the total opposite.

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After my buyers closed, I came over to bring them tickets to a dance at LaBahia, a beautiful old Texas dance hall.

I sat on the brand-new back deck that the buyer had built and sipped a margarita — hello, it’s Texas! — and we talked.

The wife was so proud of her husband, who had already painted the interior new colors of her choice, then this gigantic deck overlooking their new land. They were so happy, and it showed that they took such pride of ownership.

I shared my visit with Langley to let her know how much they loved their country home — she was thrilled.

The lesson

Most of my clients are moving from city to country life — it’s a calming change for them. It is true; we do tend to move and talk a bit slower. We enjoy a ride down a country road to see the freshly rolled hay bales, new calves or a stunning sunset.

There’s nothing like a ride on a four-wheeler or all-terrain vehicle (we call them mules). It’s such a rush going through dry creek beds and topping a hill to take a moment to enjoy amazing far-away views. Believe me: Take a deep breath and all the stress melts away.

To stay connected with people and find out how they’ve changed because of their new surroundings is a gift.

For me, this memory is a lesson about how to treat your fellow Realtor for the benefit of both buyer and seller.

If we’d slow down some and remember to treat each other with respect, it will go a long way. We are in business, but we can’t forget that our business changes people’s lives, whether it’s a brand new home for a growing family or a couple finding their dream of living in the country coming true.

I’ve been a full-time Realtor (to me, there’s no such thing as a part-time Realtor) for 12 years now, and I can say it’s not something I’d ever considered doing with my life. From registered animal technician, horse trainer, newspaper columnist, comedian, all the way to real estate, it’s been a delightful ride.

All those different hats seemed to have prepared me to become a Realtor who takes pride in being a good listener, a tenacious negotiator and a person genuinely happy to help people move forward in their own lives.

All that said, being a Realtor isn’t for the person who goes into it with the intent of making a boat load of money.

Do it for the right reasons — because you honestly care about your fellow man, you enjoy a new day every day, and you’ll soon figure out the niche where you truly belong.

That’s what I learned from Langley — to be kind to each other, to stay positive during a transaction and work it out together.

Donna Hobbs is a Realtor with Donna Hobbs Properties | J. Hill Properties. Connect with her on Twitter.

Email Donna Hobbs.