In 2011 when Joe asked me to consider joining as a Realtor on The Reef Team, I held a great job at a wonderful and meaningful place in downtown DC. As the first Director of Operations at Mount Vernon Place UMC, I had an opportunity to work in a variety of areas: facility management, construction, event management, HR accounting, budget creation/management, database creation/management, troubleshooting the daily effects of homelessness at our location, and even handling a mop or cleaning a toilet in a pinch. With such a diversity of tasks, a dull day was rare. With the guidance of the Pastor and church leadership, I was able to dig deep and create an incredible position, mostly through practice. The job description grew and changed each day.
Sounds great, right? So, why would I leave such a meaningful job? The answer is really not that simple. I struggled mightily with the rise of a new opportunity that could lead me away from such a place. And early on, I was able to do both. Real estate business is not an overnight phenomenon; nor does it come with a salary and benefits! At that stage in my life with a baby and a mortgage, I could not afford to just leave. With some granted grace between both my employer and Joe Reef, I was able to start my real estate business while maintaining employment. It was certainly a busy time for me, but I felt like I had to give this Realtor opportunity a chance.
Not until a couple years in did I realize how well the Realtor career fits me. All of my experience in education, counseling, management, and facilities come into play every day when I work with a client. When a client is considering a purchase, sell, or even a lease, it is a HUGE decision. Most of the time, it is the largest financial transaction they will undertake at that point in their life. While the skill set I provide in different areas mentioned above is certainly helpful, it still comes down to one essential characteristic: Care. Care is why I started my working life in education and eventually transitioned into a religious non-profit that ascribed to mission of radical hospitality. And Care is what I continue to provide as a close adviser, consultant, researcher, educator, and the extraordinary diversity of other roles that come with being a Realtor.