Signs on the wall

Being a realtor during the housing crisis was definitely challenging.

I got my real estate license in 2002 and quickly worked my way to top producer. But by 2008 I was not only no longer a top producer, it was all I could do to make enough money to cover my costs of being a realtor.

Something had to give.

Most of the realtors who were surviving the crisis were working on foreclosed homes of banks. Or they were working with investors who were capitalizing on so many people’s misfortunes.

I found myself not liking my chosen career one bit.

I don’t recall where I met him, but I stumbled upon a real estate auctioneer who was looking for a full-time Broker. He was a smooth talker, that one.

He said his goal was to help those who were losing their homes, by quickly selling them at a higher rate than through conventional methods. The company had a fancy office on the top floor of a downtown office building, with framed photos of all the magazine covers he had been on.

I interviewed for the job and I agreed to take it.

It wasn’t long before I was settled into my corner office with a view of downtown Bend. I thought this would be the job that would save my career.

Judd was still working for a publishing company, and my new boss was quick to ask for discounted advertising space. And, oh by the way, he also wanted to be featured on the cover of their local publication and was willing to pay for it.

I learned about auctions and we put together our very first one, to be held at our local theater. And I was to be the MC for the night. I learned all my lines and walk out on that stage like I had been doing this for years.

Spending so much of my focus on my lines and my part of the process, I failed to see that there were only a few homes going on the auction block that night. I’m pretty sure even though it all looked good on stage we sold exactly zero homes.

Zero homes sold equals zero commission for me.

It was about this time that Judd became restless and seemed unhappy. It was strange to see him this way, as he was always so positive and upbeat. We talked about it and he said he missed his old place and our little home was just too cramped.

We were excited to look at condos where he used to live and were happy when we found a two bedroom with amazing views. Signing the lease, we moved in to our new place, and I thought that would be the solution to his restlessness.

Sometimes it’s easy to miss the signs on the wall.

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