Today is the last day of 2007.
For me, this is an exciting day because tomorrow I will no longer be a rookie Real Estate guy anymore! It's hard to believe, but this time last year I had just taken and passed the Real Estate exam on the first try. And I was ready to head off into a new career, not having any idea if I would make it or not or what might lay ahead.
January through February was spent recovering from an ice storm (remember that one???) and taking my post license classes. I also spent time in the office getting to know the other agents, sitting at my desk waiting on the phone to ring (which didn't happen very often at first!), doing floor time (which means being on duty in case a customer comes in), holding open houses in the icy cold winter months for other agents and getting my first listing, which happened to be a trailor at Grand Lake.
As Spring came on, so did changes. I got other listings, sold my first house in Broken Arrow and got real busy, real fast. One thing you sacrifice in the world of Real Estate is time. If you aren't willing to drop everything to go show a house or meet a client, don't go into this business. It can be very demanding.
Now, at the end of the year I can look back and be pretty satisfied with 2007. I had set a goal of selling $1 million this year, which is pretty aggressive for a new agent. I ended up selling $3 million, which, in my opinion, is attributable only to God's hand of blessing in my life. Along the way, I began working part time with a little church in Collinsville. This is a wonderful group of people who love us and support us. Our goal there is to help them to grow to the point where they can hire a full-time guy. As God blesses and gives wisdom there, I know the growth will come (the church already has begun to stabilize and grow!).
Some things that I have learned and/or changes that have happened in my life and family this year include:
>Diane and I pray together each morning prior to leaving to face the day. I'm sorry to say it took me so long to grow to where I could do this with her, but when you have to rely on God because you no longer receive a paycheck every week, you maybe get more willing to knock on heaven's door. At least that is what happened for me. This one thing has drawn us closer together.
>I have struggled with staying in God's Word as much as I used to. No one to blame here other than myself. Either I choose to open the Bible and read something or I don't. However, I think I understand and relate to real people in the real world much better because of this struggle. When I was full time in ministry I had the luxury of sitting in my office day after day and studying the Bible in depth. In the real world pressures, ringing phones, needy clients and other interruptions crowd in.
>I have seen our kids grow and develop throughout this year. Heather is dating a young man who is getting ready to head off to basic training in the Marines. He's a great guy. I like him. She is still working and getting ready to start classes at TCC in January. Chris is a Senior this year and is excited to be wrapping up high school. He's considering going to college once he graduates. Sheldon is a Junior and is still dating Eva. He works at McDonalds and is a student manager now. Each of them have followed us to the little church in Collinsville even though we told them they could attend wherever they wished. It's fun to get to see them involved there.
>Diane is still at the bank. She's just been promoted and will be working at the main branch. She's excited about the opportunity to advance. She continues to blow me away with how she crack the outer hard shell of people. She'll introduce me to people at Wal-Mart who are her clients and I will think to myself, "Wow, I don't think that person and I would ever talk if it was just us in the store." But with her, they are just kind and humble and gentle. This is a real gift that she has. I have to work on that one more.
For us there will be no resolutions for 2008. As I shared with the folks in Collinsville yesterday, resolutions are something that go in one year and out the next. They don't work. So for us we will just continue to trust that God will take care of us and bless us and lead us through another year.
See you around town.
And remember, when you're ready to buy or sell your next house, call the best. Call Bob!