Archive for September, 2013

What Motivates me to Sell Real Estate?

September 26, 2013
Snicker at the beach trying to warm up after going to the beach. He was cold and he stayed this way for several hours...trying to warm up!

Snicker at the beach trying to warm up after going to the beach. He was cold and he stayed this way for several hours…trying to warm up!

Aside from the basic reason to earn a living to pay my bills and save for retirement, this is a basic question that has had a profound impact on me and has changed since I first got into this business. Initially, it was a great way to make a living and earn a solid income while giving me a more flexible schedule. However, it has evolved over time to something much more than the income aspect of this business. As I have been prone to say, I could work in retail and make a better hourly salary than I would in real estate as this business can be long hours to include evenings and weekends. My motivation rest in other areas thanks to the personal growth I have experienced since going into business nearly 15 years ago.

My number one motivation will always be my family. Even though I don’t have any children, my wife is a huge source of motivation for me. I want her to be proud of me and give her a reason to tout me as a person and a real estate professional. Income aside, it is more important for me that my wife believes in what I am doing and accepts my chosen profession, despite the fact that it sometimes impacts our vacation time. We are a small, but impressive family. With only a Schnauzer named Snickers, we do not have the financial commitments that many have to deal with as it pertains to the cost of raising children, but we do enjoy travelling and experiencing the world.

We spent a couple of nights at the Empress in Victoria, BC prior to getting on a ship in Vancouver for our Alaskan cruise. It was amazing!

We spent a couple of nights at the Empress in Victoria, BC prior to getting on a ship in Vancouver for our Alaskan cruise. It was amazing!

This leads me to my second motivation for selling real estate…the ability to travel. When my wife and I first met, the only time I had been outside the Eastern Time Zone was as a child in Michigan when we would travel to Chicago. Since we have been together, we have been to Europe twice, Alaska, the Caribbean several times and Tahiti. I have personally traveled to Guatemala and none of this would be available to us if it were not for my career in real estate. This profession gives me the flexibility to travel with my lovely wife. We have additional travel plans and goals and I know that due to my profession, we will be able to travel as much as we would like.

Posing with fellow Rotarian Boyd Bennett and a couple of Guatemalan students who have benefited from the textbooks and computers that Rotary placed in their school. They were very pleasant and thankful for Rotary's presence in their country.

Posing with fellow Rotarian Boyd Bennett and a couple of Guatemalan students who have benefited from the textbooks and computers that Rotary placed in their school. They were very pleasant and thankful for Rotary’s presence in their country.

Another motivation for me is my ability to give back of my time, resources and talents to my community and the world. As a Rotarian, I have had the opportunity to participate in many wonderful activities that have changed people and their lives. From traveling to Guatemala for the Literacy project we support there to driving to New Jersey to work on a home that was devastated by Hurricane Sandy, these experiences have helped change me and give me a greater appreciation for my life and life in general. Last spring, many members of my club donated our time to tutor students in Wake county who were reading below grade level. This was a very simple activity, but one that will have a lasting impact on those children as they learn to appreciate reading as I do. Rotary has become very important for me because it has given me a vehicle to make a positive impact on this world. As humans, we impact our world no matter what we do whether it is positive or negative. Rotary helps me make a positive difference in our world. This motivates me to work with sometimes difficult clients so I can donate to causes, whether it be my time or money.

The primary motivation for me is ultimately….the client. For a brief moment in time, I am invited into the personal lives of my clients. I learn more about them than anyone else does as it better assists me in serving them. I remember a client recently who feared to let his child play outside due to the neighborhood. We listed their home and sold it. Now, they have purchased a new home in a community where he need not fear for his daughter’s safety to play outside. Another client wanted to sell her home so she could go back to the care-free lifestyle of renting. She wanted to live in the famed Midtown (North Hills) area and couldn’t afford to buy there. We sold her townhouse and now, she is renting an apartment there and enjoying walking to the shops at Midtown. The stories and examples go on and on…and this is the real reason I enjoy what I do.

I remember my first transaction once I got licensed. I had sold my client’s current home in ten days and as we began to look for their next home, it was apparent when we found it. After looking at several homes, some making an impact on them while others were simply forgettable. When we walked into ‘the home’, her eyes went wide and she began to picture her and her family in that home. This moment doesn’t happen every time, but when it does, it is always rewarding. That day, we didn’t find her a house…we found them a home!

So, ultimately, the reason I am selling real estate as a profession is the people I encounter on a daily basis. Each has their own specific story and I am welcomed into their lives….if only for a moment in time.

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Ed Shook Golf Classic!

September 5, 2013
The Ed Shook Golf Classic raises money for the education of developmentally challenged children in Wake County!

The Ed Shook Golf Classic raises money for the education of developmentally challenged children in Wake County!

As the current president of the Rotary Club of North Raleigh, I want to take a moment to promote our upcoming fundraiser that we partner with the Frankie Lemmon School, the Ed Shook Golf Classic. This is the 49th year of the Ed Shook and the 3rd year that Rotary has been involved.

The golf tournament was the brainchild of Ed Shook and Ralph Lang Sr., who wanted to create a special golf tournament that would benefit preschool and kindergarten children with special educational needs. As a result of their vision and initiative and the countless others who have followed in their footsteps, this tournament has become the area’s largest one-day golf tournament run entirely by volunteers.

Proceeds from the event are used to defray the cost of education and therapies provided free of charge by the Frankie Lemmon School to qualifying children who reside in Wake County. The public school system funding covers less than 50% of the actual costs to operate the school, making the tournament and other fundraising efforts vastly important to the education and support of an increasing number of children in our area who have various types of developmental challenges.

The North Raleigh Rotary Club became involved with the Frankie Lemmon School many years ago when we partnered to establish the Triangle Uncorked. The Triangle Uncorked ran for six wonderful years and due to our great relationship with this fabulous organization, they invited us to join them with the golf tournament. Half of the money that we raise for this tournament goes to fund the projects that our club promotes to include the Guatemala Literacy Project, the Boys and Girls Home of NC, the Ukrainian Orphanage program, and many other worthwhile programs. The Rotary Club of North Raleigh was established in 1967 and over the years has donated hundreds of thousands of dollars for great causes in the community and beyond. The club consists of professionals who have a high ethical standard for themselves and are looking for ways to ‘do good’ in the world. As a members since 2007, I have found this to be a wonderful group of people with the similar goals to make a difference. I have traveled to Guatemala twice and returning a third time in February of next year to participate in the Guatemala Literacy Project.

As club president for this year, I have become enamored with the culture of this club and Rotary International. I have met great people from around the world through Rotary and it is becoming an increasingly large part of my life. As a Rotarian, I have hosted a couple from Scotland on a Friendship Exchange, traveled to Guatemala, worked on a house in New Jersey devastated by Hurricane Sandy, and built shelves for a local school for severely disabled children…just to name a few things over the last five plus years. Participating in and supporting the Frankie Lemmon School with our co-sponsored fundraisers is among the highlights of my experiences with Rotary.

I have often been asked what is Rotary? I explain it this way. Rotary is that young Guatemalan girl I met three years ago with the red sweater, sticker on her forehead, thanks to then president Boyd Bennett, and a broad grin on her face. She posed for a photo, holding a textbook in her small hands. Because of Rotary, this young girl has an opportunity that wasn’t afforded her parents or grandparents…an opportunity for an education that could change her life, her family’s life, her community and with the concerted effort of the more than 100,000 students who have benefited from the Literacy project in their country, change their country…through education. Our children take textbooks for granted, but in many Guatemalan communities, students will never attend school because they cannot afford a pencil. That is what Rotary is all about…and in it’s own way, that’s what the Frankie Lemmon School is all about.

To participate, please contact me at Steven@BackNineHomes.com. We are looking for golf foursome, tee and sign sponsors, and we are selling Raffle tickets. The tournament will be held at the esteemed Raleigh Country Club, the last golf course offering by the legendary Donald Ross. It takes place on September 30th with both a morning and an afternoon shotgun start.