Thursday, August 26, 2010

Happy Blogiversary...

So... in exploring my archives last week, it occurred to me that it has been exactly a YEAR since I started CDN and the City with my very 1st post. Man oh man, this year has flown?! Frankly, I didn't know what to expect out of this process and where it would go.

The fact of the matter is... I love real estate. I have a passion for it. Even 10 years later, my heart still goes pitter-patter when I walk into an amazing house. When a Buyer and I walk into "the one" and we both know it or when a Seller receives the winning contract... there is no feeling like it. When the keys are finally exchanged at closing and it is a "happily ever after moment" for all... pure satisfaction.

I love my job. I love it, love it, love it. Period. Being able to do it in St. Louis, however, is the icing on the cake. Having grown up here and stayed my entire adult life (minus my college years)... this city is an old friend to me.

I was raised by passionate lifetime St. Louians who threw us into the culture as children with amazing Italian dinners on the Hill, balmy nights at the Muny, snow days on Art Hill, picnics in the pavilions of Tower Grove Park, Nutcracker Suites at the Fox, and fireworks under the Arch. True exposure to the city was a gift, and I attribute my love of continually exploring the St. Louis area nooks and crannies to my amazing Mom and Dad.

It is sad that it has taken me 36 years to understand how lucky I was/am to have parents who passed along their passion and love for the city. All I can do is pay it forward by enjoying the fun with my own children , and sharing the goodies/tricks/secrets as I encounter them with you all.

Though over the years I have pondered whether I made a mistake staying in St. Louis all of these years.... I realize now that this is my home. St. Louis is where I belong.

So to reality: let's face it... the fast and furious Seller's Market is a thing of the past. The transition into this Buyer-controlled market with a sizable inventory and financial institutions in turmoil has been tricky. On this end, it takes constant research and restrategizing to keep my clients at the top of their game. Unlike many agents, I have been incredibly blessed with extremely loyal clients/friends who have continued to refer their loved-ones to me over the years. As a result, in my 10 years of serving the St. Louis area... I have built an AMAZING network of wonderful clients and friends. I work hard and stay on top of my game for them, as the loyalty is mutual.

I am a real person. I am not the average pushy agent, as my clients can attest. I don't print my face on billboards, shopping carts, or Cardinals schedules. I would never cold call. I don't solicit people who just need a little advice. If it is advisable to wait and list a house in 6 months... that's what I suggest. If I know that a property is a bad investment, I will do whatever I can to deter my clients from moving forth. I treat people as I wish to be treated: with honesty, respect, and integrity. Period. I have been handsomely rewarded with a loyal client base because of it, who I care for deeply.

In a financial climate where I have had to bid farewell to a number of my friends who left real estate behind for more stable/regular work... I feel fortunate to still have a large amount of prospects. Despite times being tough and my production being down a bit... I plan to stick this economy out. I won't and will never leave the real estate industry as a whole. I love it too much.

So back to the blog... it has been a blast. It has also been full of surprises:

~ I NEVER, in a million years, expected to receive emails from people all over the US with friendly feedback /questions regarding St. Louis/myself/the blog.

~ I have been pleasantly surprised by voice mails from a handful of blog readers with feedback /thank you's regarding some of my hidden gems and their personal experiences.

~ When I look at my blog counter weekly, I am SHOCKED to see the number of hits I receive per week!

~ I have made wonderful contacts WITHIN the industry that I would have never made without my blog. Inspectors, lenders, other agents and local business owners.

~ Most important, I never expected to be working with 3 new clients who started out as random readers. Getting to know them has been wonderful, and I look forward to closing their deals. =)

These are all sprinkles to the process. Truly. The past year of writing CDN and the City has been so cool and extremely enriching. No regrets, whatsoever. So anyhoo, enough of my blabbering and back to business. It has been a fun year, dear readers, and I thank you for popping in and reading every so often. I look forward to more city exploration with you... =)