How I Got Into Real Estate

One of my earliest memories was going to visit my Dad in his real estate office. Back then, there were no personal computers or internet searches. The binders filled with home listings stacked taller than I was, and the air smelled like carbon paper. As I grew older I loved working with my family in real estate and construction. Ripping up wood foundations in a Sacramento summer wasn’t easy work, but it was rewarding.

When I was 17, my Dad was diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. Within a few weeks of his diagnosis he looked at me on a trip home from the doctor and said, “We need to talk when we get home. Meet me in the kitchen.” “Meet me in the kitchen” was never a good expression. It meant I was in trouble or a large bomb was about to be dropped. I sat in the kitchen and waited for him to feel up to coming in. He walked in, gestured for me to pull up a chair to the chalkboard, and started writing numbers.

After a few moments he turned around and looked at me, and said, “I might not be here, so this is how you do a real estate deal.” Over the next couple hours he went over the basic fundamentals of real estate, cash flow, and leveraging properties to build investment portfolios. He was leaving me his legacy. Four months later, my Dad passed away, a week after I turned 18.

I started working as an Admin for Architectural and Engineering firms, and entered the Holistic Health field thereafter. Although my life took me on a meandering path I never forgot my night at the chalkboard. When my husband and I moved to Las Vegas at the end of 2007 the city was booming. People kept telling me that I had to buy a million dollar condo, but the numbers they were throwing around didn’t make sense and the growth rate was unsustainable. They were so far off the chalkboard that I couldn’t find any logic. While I considered entering the real estate industry, I knew that I couldn’t in good conscience help people to buy a home if I wouldn’t buy one myself.

In 2009, my family jumped at the opportunity to move back to Oregon. I had come to love Portland and missed the city and the people in it. We were able to buy our own home two years later; when we were getting our keys, our agent,  Rex Buchanan said to me in an uncharacteristically serious tone, “If you decide to go into real estate, I’d love to have you on my team.” I laughed it off, but noticed I couldn’t stop looking at houses, and I couldn’t the chalkboard out of my mind.

Finally, Gary Boyer from NW Mortgage Group turned to me at a charity function and said, “Honey, you’re either going to have to join us, or put down the house porn.” I had my license by August, and that was 8 years ago. I am so grateful to help buyers, sellers, and, now agents, to make strong choices they can be confident in. As a third generation agent, real estate runs in my veins. I learned how to define what success meant for me, cutting out the noise from all of the people who wanted to mold me to their ideal image, finding happiness in my career and my personal life. Now I want to do the same for you.