Yesterday I attended the REALTOR Association of Pioneer Valley’s annual holiday luncheon where they present anniversary awards to agents for the continuous years of service.
This year marks my 25th year of service as a REALTOR member. As one of my friends pointed out, that means I have been a REALTOR for longer than I haven’t since I was licensed at age 18. I am still letting that little tid bit soak in.
I got my license as soon as I turned 18 so that I could work with my mother who owned her own real estate office. I had been helping her for years with small assistant jobs, but I now had a college tuition to help pay for and I needed a way to earn more money.
My first real estate commission was more money than I had ever made in an entire summer of menial labor and so like all “responsible” 18 year olds, I took the rest of the summer off and spent my days driving to the beach.
When I was that young people would respond with shock when I showed up at their house and I even had one lovely older couple say, “are you old enough to be doing this?”. I was diligent and mature (in my business dealings anyways) and I continued to grow my real estate business as my mom and I put me through college.
I graduated Westfield State University with a BA in English/Communications. I had worked a couple of internships in the public relations department of a not for profit and loved it, but there were no full time jobs to be found. About this time my mom went to a national real estate convention where she heard a talk about hiring public relations specialists to grow brand awareness. She left the class, called me and offered me a job. For the next decade plus I teamed up with my mom to run her real estate office and continued to work as a REALTOR, at the same time.
When my own daughters were very little mom decided to retire. I knew that I couldn’t run a real estate company and raise two young girls the way I wanted to so mom dissolved the company and I came to Park Square Realty.
Since that time I have been ramping up my own brand awareness through social media and internet based marketing and have grown my business to a point I never thought possible. When I got my license, I intended only to work long enough to get out of college. I never intended to be a lifelong REALTOR, but looking back at all the wonderful things this career has given me, I wouldn’t change it for anything.
I don’t feel much older than that young girl I used to be, but receiving a recognition like this does make you sit back and take stock. I am proud for sticking in this business even when it would have been easier to leave. I am proud to have 25 years of great experience to better assist my clients and I am proud of the work I do as a REALTOR.