You know, that’s a question newbies to the biz are reluctant to answer. (And given how real world experience helps deliver on client needs, that’s no surprise.) As 2016 draws to a close, I’m reminded I started out in the real estate industry in Bloomington 40 years ago. A college buddy and I pooled what cash we had and borrowed off our credit cards to scrape together enough to buy a duplex. What lessons we learned on that one small property! I still remember going over there to begin remodeling, only to discover the water pipes and toilets had froze and burst, spewing water all over the floors. Boy, what fun that was to clean up! And then there was our first experience with gas lines- definitely not something we were prepared for. Flames!! And then Gil grabbing the nearest bucket (which just happened to contain the filthy water from cleaning the floor) and tossing it on me. We were really lucky not to blow the place up. But somehow we managed to get it fixed up and rented out to a couple international students. Back then none of us even knew what the word Diversity meant in today’s context, but I guess when we walked in one day to make a repair and found a live chicken in the kitchen cabinet, well, that was Diversity! But hey, we stumbled through it all and sold the property for a nice little profit. And off we went to buy another, bigger and better property.
I’d like to say I learned it all on that first property. But not so. In fact, I’ve learned a ton of lessons since. Wearing a lot of different hats has sure helped. Over the years I’ve been a remodeling contractor, property manager, builder, developer, appraiser, mortgage lender, inspector and realtor. And whenever the situation arises I employ the lessons learned from whichever hat I was wearing at the time— to help clients improve their future. But truth be told, I’m hoping I don’t come across anymore chickens in a kitchen cabinet!