We’re going to kick off a real estate themed series on the blog. I’m so excited to share this with you! This year has been a big year in real estate for me and I’ve learned so much along the way. I thought that I should pass on the knowledge that I’ve learned in case you’re planning on investing in the real estate market in the future.
First, I thought I’d share how I got into the real estate industry. Read on friends!
I’ve told the story before. My mom and dad were small business owners. My dad owned a trucking company and my mom was a Realtor for over 25 years. Blah blah blah. If you’ve been following my blog you know the story. You got the inside scoop 😉
I was surrounded by the real estate business all my life. My mom brought me everywhere. I mean everywhere. Even when I didn’t want to (which was always lol). She dragged me to open houses, caravans, house showings, listing appointments…she would even take me to her office and make me sit there until it was time to go home. Needless to say, I hated it. I used to complain about their entrepreneur life all the time. I hated how they would have to work while on vacation.
Here I am, an entrepreneur just like my parents. I started my first business at 19 – a wedding planning company. I guess my mom saw that I had that entrepreneurial spirit so she started to hint about wanting me to go into real estate with her. And when I mean hint, I mean bugged me until I caved in. She wore me down and convinced me to get my real estate license in 2007.
I would help her from time to time, but I never really took it seriously. She wanted us to be partners, a team. She wanted to call us the “Solomon Team.” I know, not very creative lol. At one point I was kinda interested but she would do everything and so I got complacent and lazy to learn. I didn’t really pay attention because I wanted to pave my own way. I was the real independent type growing up. I didn’t want a hand me down. I felt like if I was a part of something my parents created they had the permission to always look at me like a little kid and never take what I had to say seriously.
But then one day my mom asked me to lunch. She rarely ever did that so I knew it was important. She told me about Ninong’s and she wanted me to help them. That day was the first of many that changed everything.
It was the first time my mom talked to me about something important. In the past, I was never consulted on big family decisions. Not only that but she spoke to me like an adult, like I was more than her little girl. At that moment I realized that to continue a legacy is just as important as starting one.
Shortly after I started my job at Ninong’s my mom was diagnosed with breast cancer. Even more so, my life changed in a big way. Since then, being the rock for my family was the most important thing in the world to me. As my mom’s health gradually got worse I saw the role she played not just for me and my dad but for our entire family. I wanted a taste of what that felt like.
When my mom passed away I was completely shaken. I don’t think I’ll ever really get over it. Sometimes the memory of those last minutes of her life replay in my head and haunt me. But the one thing that really stuck with me more than that haunting moment was the idea of legacy. I saw the impact my mom had on so many people. I mean, I knew what she meant to me but I had no idea how loved she really was. She changed lives, she created a meaningful life far beyond her work and career. I realized that I wanted that for myself.
I don’t want to be remembered for how much money I made, the businesses I started, or how much stuff I had. I want to be remembered as a person that loved helping people – with no strings attached. I want to give what I can as often as I can to improve the lives of others, to make them happy.
After the dust settled I had a decision to make. Do I continue real estate without my mom? How the heck will I do that? When I decided that I was going to continue people thought it was out of left field. They knew I had a creative background as a graphic designer, they knew I had a wedding planning business, and that I had taken over at Ninong’s for my parents. Most people didn’t even know I’ve had a license since 2007. But it quickly made sense when people realize it’s the one thing (even more than Ninong’s) that helps me feel close to my mom.
She loved her job so much, she enjoyed every minute. To step into her shoes, to help people the way she did is the best way that I can continue her legacy and keep her close. To hear the beautiful things her clients over the course of her 25 year career continue to say about her always brings me to tears. Proud and happy tears. I hope I can do the same for people the way she did – selflessly, graciously, and with a smile.
Cheers to you, Mom! I’m honored and so happy that I have real estate as another outlet to help people and that’s all thanks to you. The moments when I see how happy our clients are makes me feel so close to you even when you’re gone. Thank you for that.