Saturday, February 7, 2009

Toot Toot

I rarely post anything about my career here, as you know I like to keep this blog mostly about faith and family. But my career is a huge part of my life and much is stirring within me.

First, let me say that I believe with my full heart that we can be stewards of God in our careers...and not just that we can be, but that we most certainly should be. Real Estate professionals can be in it for themselves, or in it for a greater purpose. My greater purpose is Christ and the coming Kingdom.

When I was a young adult, raising a child alone, what I really wanted to be was an attorney. I so desired to go to law school and my vision was that I would be an advocate. I'd work in some way to make things fair and square. Law school was not in God's plans for me, nor was it in my budget, however while I earned my Bachelors Degree from Belmont University, I did get to take many legal topic classes regarding contract law, negotiating, etc. It was a thrill for me.

I also have a thing for finance and money management. Can't explain it, just like it. In fact, I do our own complicated taxes. (Secretly, I love preparing tax reports). I've done payroll taxes for small businesses in the past. I've assisted in educating people on how to prepare for the future in saving, planning, retirement, etc. I administered the details of managing Trusts and Estates for wealthy people and their heirs. Let's just say that I have seen some very interesting scenerios play out over... m.o.n.e.y....(for which the love of, is the root of all evil).

I LOVE people! I just do. I was told once long ago, when I was about 23 or 24 years old, by an upper executive that I will go far and succeed because I have the ability to adapt to any person. I guess that is a gift. It does indeed feel like a gift. It doesn't mean that I like everyone or that I can connect with everyone, but it does mean that I am able to deal with people in their preferred way. I'm not perfect....but I pretty much figure out how and when to relay info, in what medium, and with what tone. I partner well with men or women, and I relate well to the professional or to the creative eccentric type. I just LOVE people. I love that we are all different. I'm okay that not everyone agrees with my faith and I respect the boundaries that are expected of me. I also get that not everyone will like me. It's part of life.

I am a strong negotiator....because at the root of any negotiation is the attempt to make a good thing happen with positive results. I'm fighting for what my clients want or need. I'm aspiring to pull together the most profitable transaction for them...and when profit is not possible, I strive for the resolution of an issue that might otherwise be negative if not resolved. Not everyone who sells a home makes money. Not everyone who buys a home gets to steal it. But I work so hard, and with the right and fair mindset to make things happen for people....and I do so without being greedy. I want and need to get paid, but I am not willing to compromise my ethics, my morals, and my stewardship to put dollars in my pocket. Remember that above mentioned stint I spent managing trusts and estates? I've seen money hurt too many people for me to want that to be my focus. Needing and desiring a paycheck is one thing.....hurting others end result to get it is absolutely not an option for me.

For many years I worked in the restaurant industry as a server and/or bartender. I worked in fine dining and I sold pizza and beer to Nashville's up and coming elite. This is customer service through and through. I was a fantastic server. I knew which customers wanted me to be a "part" of their evening, and those who wanted me to speak only when asked. I knew how to cater to and pamper people so that they could have a most enjoyable evening. When things were not perfect, I took the responsibility to make it right. I earned great tips. Sometimes my biggest tips where when I had to right a wrong. I suppose people appreciated that I would take care of them, even in a negative situation. Not that this matters, but I could also carry very heavy trays high above my head, and could carry 8 pitchers of beer in my 2 little hands. This......was a sight to behold. Just ask any man!

I later spent a few years doing skincare, both in a spa and then a clinical environment. I love to learn.......and obtaining that liscense was very fun for me. I dealt with women who wanted to be pretty, some who just wanted to be pampered, and others who just desired some fellowship with an unofficial "therapist". You name her...I met her. I loved it. I loved the one-on-one. I loved the consultation aspect. I loved teaching women how to take care of their skin, educating them about ingredients and regimens. And they loved me.

God was giving me real world preparation for the Real Estate world. From finance and taxes, to personal attention, to relating to people, to customer service, to contracts and negotiatiating, to teaching the process and the "how to", HE, through life and career experiences, taught me EXACTLY how to be a fantastic Realtor. An honest, supportive, strong, knowledgable, and dedicated Realtor.

I am now celebrating having my Real Estate license for almost 8 years, and my Broker's license for just over a year. This week, I earned the CRS Designation (Certified Residential Specialist), which I am so proud of. This designation requires more than any other I have earned, in that actual sales and experience are part of the criteria. This basically implies I have real experience and I know what I'm doing. That's good news, eh? Anyone can drive people around and show houses. I have more. The "more" is hard to explain, but I have it.

I'm writing all of this out because this market is frustrating. Many people in the media will suggest that Realtors are/were part of the problem. I am not and have never been part of the problem. I have always counseled people to not over-extend themselves on a mortgage loan. I have always recommended that people have a full grasp on what they can actually afford, versus what someone was willing to loan them. I have ALWAYS done this and I will continue to do this.

Although this may all sound like I am trying to toot my own horn, it isn't really that. I'm just putting my experience on display. People in this market need a solid Realtor with experience and knowledge, with patience and with creative ideas. People in this market, need ME, and I need them. I currently have 3 listed clients (with 1 or 2 more on the way end of Feb beginning of March). I have anywhere from 3-8 sets of buyer clients, depending on the daily changing of circumstances. I desire a significant increase of business this year (and further more). Please remember me, and refer me to your circle of relationships.

If you read all the way through, God bless you!


Sarah said...

Melissa, I enjoyed hearing about your previous work history. What a variety of experiences. I think it's really cool how all of that experience comes together to prepare you for your career in realty.

I feel that way about my current job of training development. It uses my teaching background, my accounting classes (because it's for accounting software), my computer savvy, and my writing skills.

I'm glad you have found your niche, and I pray God blesses you far beyond what the current economic situation seems to dictate.

karen horton said...

i enjoyed reading this......a bit of catching up, on the career end anyway. i would totally use you as a realtor or recommend you. i know you are dedicated to do good work.

Tracy said...

wow, you are so very gifted!.....a true servant of God!...thank you for being excited about our adoption and for being an advocate for orphans! I know God is using your passion to bless so many! looking forward to that dinner! :)

The Clicks said...

Toot away, girlfriend! You are truly talented. You have found a way to make the most of the gifts God has given you, which is a blessing in itself. Many people never figure this out.

Congratulations on the new designation. You've earned it! I'm proud of you and what you've done. I'm also glad you were there to hold my hand when we bought our house. Rest assured, you'll get a call from us when the time comes to do it again. I wish you all the best and much continued success!

Melissa Irwin said...

wow, that's really long ya'll. i had no idea i had written so much. i hope God REALLY blesses you! :)