I did not quit selling in 2006. It was just the beginning of the end of my personal selling career. I went on a ton of listing appointments after that one certain day that I mentioned in this post I felt like a Race Horse... . It was a turning point for me though.
Anyway, my good friend, another top producer calls listing appointments “the dog and pony show.”
I like to think of it as singing and riding a unicycle at the same time, all the while balancing an egg on your head. I was damn good at it too. Sellers would often throw fire torches at me and I’d catch them; smile; then start to juggle.
Back in height of the market, for me that was 2005 – 2007, I was signing up about 2- 3 listings a week. I would do a little routine then the sellers would clap and cheer; most would even give me a standing ovation.
When the market took a dive, I’d have to do that same show 10 times, and the sellers, not happy to hear the price, along with the rest of the reality of the situation, would say; “We’ll get back you,… next!”
Some of them just wanted to hear sweet little lies, and I’m not a liar. So I would tell them the truth, over and over again. It was mentally draining.
Don’t get me wrong. I’m no wimp. I started selling in this business in 1993, in a rotten recession. I was told I’d be lucky to sell one house that year. I did 20 transactions in 12 months. I had blinders on. More about that later.
Mainly I think the reason I started to pull away is because I cared too much. It was so sad for me to see other people in so much agony. I took on all their problems as my own. Imagine taking on 30-40 families’ complications or concerns all at one time. I couldn’t “put it in a box”.
I tried, but over time some of their stories that they shared with me about their lives haunted me. I would wake up at night thinking about my clients and I would cry for them. I never told them this because I had to be strong. A pillar, for them to lean on.
I really cared for them, I had always been a problem solver; obsessed with most minute details; and doing everything perfectly. I took great pride in doing the best job possible and making my clients happy, but now there was a mess that no one could clean up.
I felt I was letting people down, even though I knew it wasn’t my fault, it was the market. It caused me to have stomach issues, which I am still dealing with today.
Some of my best memories that I treasure from being in the business have come from clients who were screaming and huffing during the deal; but called or wrote to me a year or two later to thank me for encouraging them to take that offer.
At the time many sellers thought they were leaving money on the table; only later to realize they got out just in the nick of time. Some avoided short selling and foreclosures because I had the guts to tell them the truth, and stand up to them; for their own good. They were always the decision makers; but I was their advisor. I took my job very, very seriously. The pressure involved was huge, and the emotions just became too intense for me.
Eventually, I told my husband I just couldn’t do it anymore. We were on vacation in Hawaii, in Makena. My children were 8, 5 and 3. I had just read a book by Dr. Laura Schlessinger called In Praise of Stay at Home Moms. I read it within a few hours and then announced to my husband that I was going to quit work and stay at home with the kids. You can imagine his reaction. I think his words were “Are you crazy?!?” He thought the idea would blow over.
Almost a month to the date after that vacation, I found out I was pregnant with my 4th baby. I was elated. I really wanted another baby.
Our baby Sunshine just turned 2 in December, Rob wanted to call her Makena, but we agreed on Sunshine. So while I was pregnant with Sunshine is when the transition out of the sales part of our business really happened for me.
As posted earlier, I just officially retired in January 2012 as CEO of the company. My husband Rob Bradley has completely taken on that position.
I am really grateful for my husband Rob Bradley, who has been working with me in the business for all these years. Rob is a real estate broker and attorney; and he has been managing the agents at our company along with me for nearly a decade.
Thanks for reading this blog. I’ll plan on sharing at least once a week from here on out. Take care of yourselves.