“Experience: that most brutal of teachers. But you learn, my God do you learn.” - C.S. Lewis
Nineteen years ago I was introduced into real estate. A 22-year old kid, barely out of college, living paycheck-to-paycheck in a “just okay” Scottsdale apartment. It was 1998. Hired to revamp the marketing strategies for a local chain of hair salons based in high-end resorts, just turned out to be a glorified receptionist position. What I had back then was adequate. Life was good; it was enough. At times rough, but it was enough. I was happy.
While working at the salon at the Scottsdale Princess, a client, who I’d regularly exchange pleasantries with during her regular visits, stopped me. She asked about my situation so I explained being sidetracked from my original task of marketing and the obvious feeling of being undervalued. “My husband and I are looking to hire someone like you,” she said. I hadn’t a clue what they did. It didn’t matter, I was in the market of trying to build a better life for myself.
That woman was Mary Kuhr. Soon I sat in an interview, and shortly after was offered a low-man-on-the-totem-pole, entry-level position: Unlicensed Assistant. I hadn’t the slightest idea of how to buy and sell real estate. If you’ve ever had the window seat when a plane is taking off, that’s when I realized how massive and opportunistic real estate truly was.
My training began in their home office, organizing piles of files, learning the ins and outs of listing properties, all while going to real estate school. Once licensed, they felt comfortable enough with my ability to perform, I was qualified to answer the phone and field requests on their behalf. My ego thought I’d be running the company soon, but Mary and Dennis kept yanking on my leash, ever reminding me to use my position to learn as much about real estate from the ground up - that it’d benefit me for the rest of my life.
They were right.
The knowledge I received was unending; other agents, high-end properties, lenders, escrow officers, builders, and of course the buyers and sellers - they needed my help. Every meeting, phone call and email was a mini burst of more experience. After four years it was time for me to venture out on my own. My foundation of experience led me to represent and assist both buyers and sellers in multi-million dollar acquisitions of property. What was once Greek to me turned into a career that I have a love and passion for. Paying Mary and Dennis back is impossible; my intro to real estate was a priceless gift.
I’m certainly not the best Realtor, too many already claim that and I have no time for arguments. I’m okay, in a very comfortable sort of way. I’m not into cold-calling or high-pressure sales. You can call me Arizona’s Okayest Real Estate Agent. Whether you’re a first-time homebuyer nervous as hell or looking at downsizing your empty nest, I will make myself available. You deserve a resource, not a sales pitch. Learning about real estate from the ground up then getting my license, that was the better route because the lowest portion of an authentic totem pole is usually reserved for the master carver. And I’m okay with that.