By Kay Wilson-Bolton
March 16, 2005
REALTORS® actually have lives to live away from the office and the cell phone, and each of us has a particular focus in social and personal arenas. The real estate challenges we face have a common theme. Someone has chosen to work with one of us and needs our help and attention.
Every real estate transaction has the same basic documents, disclosures and reports. The uniqueness comes when we look at the type of property, the experience levels of buyers and sellers, and the unique life of the REALTOR® at work.
Take me, for example. It was a typical Thursday morning, and we were getting ready for our monthly business meeting. Topics include everything from property updates to the latest do’s and don’ts.
This particular day was the day before the closing of very long and challenging escrows that involved the sale of three properties and four sets of clients. The first property to sell was actually the last property to close, and all three had to close the same day. The ranch property at the top of the food chain was owned by a gentleman who lives in LA and loved to visit his ranch every few days. He wasn’t too sure that he wanted to sell, but he had made a nice profit and figured the time was right.
A very nice family with young grandchildren was buying his home that nicely accommodates two families. Their home was being sold to a young family who were taking advantage of their equity for this move-up purchase. Their buyers were entering the market place for the first time.
The real estate community was being put to the highest test of professionalism. Had relations among the parties of four REALTORS® been strained, the transactions might never have closed.
Due to the recent heavy rains, we had decided to test the water in the house just prior to closing escrow and found ecoli and fecal bacteria in the samples. After locating the responsible parties for the small water company in the country, they elevated the chlorination levels. We had to wait a few days for the re-test but the closing was set anyway.
Not to take a chance on having a move date and no fresh water for the family, we picked up a hearty supply of bottled water and arranged for delivery service beginning the next Monday. The day seemed to be off to a normal start when the phone rang just before meeting time. It was a client of mine who asked me to talk to a woman who teaches at a private school. He put her on the phone and she explained that a mother of one of her students had confided in her that she was planning to have an abortion the next day. She asked me if I would speak with her inasmuch as she had asked for help.
My associate, Pam Scott, is a trained crisis pregnancy counselor as well, and I asked Pam to begin the connections. We both left messages for her. Pam called through the morning and was finally able to reach her. After a lengthy conversation, the young mother decided to postpone her decision. As it turns out, a friend who had had an abortion had been encouraging her. Pam was able to connect with the friend as well the following day.
At lunchtime, I met with a group of Ventura County pastors to plan a pastor’s prayer summit to pray over the cities in Ventura County, particularly for the things that break the heart of God. We met in Camarillo and penciled a date and agenda.
The next meeting was to take photos of a new listing in Oak View and prepare a disclosure package for a recent sale. My special assistant Paula Peters is on maternity leave, so my days have been extra challenging. That afternoon was a meeting with Senior’s Pastor Leonard DeWitt in Ventura to talk about the upcoming National Day of Prayer events in Ventura County, set for the first Thursday in May 2005. As usual, the Salvation Army and his Executive Pastor Mark Craig have the Ventura event wrapped up with Hollywood notable, Kirk Cameron, as a featured speaker.
Mortgage broker, Lloyd Mize, and I conferred on our radio program for the following Monday on KDAR, and we learned that the buyers for a Fillmore property had just been approved for their loan. Returning to the office required the return of several phone calls, proofing the ad for the Ventura Star broker co-op ad and forwarding two missing photos.
The Ojai office had reported that a transaction in Camarillo was suffering from some poor communication and it was necessary for a quick paperwork review along with a discussion with a title officer to clarify the potential problem. Multiple offers had been presented on a vacant property in the Ojai Valley that required some extra finesse and expertise. All went well on that effort as well. The mental health officer in the Ojai office is Grace, the office feline tabby. She has become quite an addition to this busy office, learning whom to pamper with an extra purr during troubled moments.
Fruit Growers Lab called to state that the second test results passed, but that the buyers should run the water through the pipes to clear the lines of any lingering varmints. Josie, the general manager, had checks that needed to be signed, Libby had some questions about a proposed rent increase and leaking water heater. Janet and Jorge needed approvals on purchase contracts, and Molly Bolton’s long-awaited supply of special weight management cat food had arrived. She is the mental health officer in the Santa Paula office, and has really earned her keep these last few days.
Mom always said that variety is a good thing. This particular day saw its share, and each day becomes more precious as I get older. This marks my 30th year in full time real estate, and while the daily challenges vary, the work is the same and it begins and ends with, “How can I serve you today?”