Client Letter of Recommendation…

                                                                                    Wake Forest, NC  27587

                                                                                    August 18, 2013






To Whom this May Concern:


This past Spring, my wife and I set out on our journey to purchase our first home in North Carolina.  We had moved down to the Raleigh area from Ohio in July, 2011 and had been renting a home in North Raleigh.  My wife and I have been married over 27 years and we had purchased and sold three homes in our life time.  So consequently, as the saying goes, this wasn’t our first rodeo but then again, we were novices as it related to buying a home in the Tar Heel State.


We selected Brenda through a relationship she and my wife had at work and, needless to say, we were not disappointed.  Brenda came to sense how she could be of the greatest assistance to my wife and I.  She didn’t treat us as if we were some first time home buyers.  She listened to us to learn what was important in our next home.  She provided valuable insight into the Raleigh real estate market as the area transitioned from a buyer’s to a seller’s market.  She dug a little deeper when we had questions about a property or a neighborhood to provide the information we really needed to make our decision.  All in all, she was more of a teammate than an agent.


In this Information age, most people don’t need an agent to find properties to review — they can find everything they need at the click of a mouse.  But what they truly do need is the information and the effort that you can’t find on a website — listening to clients, talking to other agents,  fighting for their people to get them the best deal possible.  That is where Brenda excels — she performs all of that plus more for her people.


I would whole-heartedly recommend her for your real estate needs.




                                                                                    A Satisfied Client

Customer Service

I got kudos from a client the other day, announced over the radio system for everybody to hear. A customer needed an item in the aftermath of surgery, to help her heal correctly and be comfortable. I probably spent the better part of an hour with her, mere minutes in the grand scheme, finding the right item and helping her order it through the internet ordering system. When it was done, I shook her hand and told her I hoped her healing continued to go well. I meant that with all my heart and I know she knew that.

She went directly to the feedback system and also went to the trouble to call the manager, telling him I went above and beyond the call to help her. That’s what was announced. I appreciated it, but I felt unworthy of praise, and a bit sad, too. Here’s why.

First of all, I believe we ought to help one another when and if we can, if we are able, and if the opportunity presents itself. Nothing feels better than helping someone in need. That’s just how I roll. So it felt smarmy, just a bit, to be recognized for doing something which comes naturally to me and for which I derive so much joy. Secondly, it’s sad that as a society, we aren’t all so inclined. Imagine how great it would be if everybody just found joy in helping others. We’ve become so self absorbed as a society, so materialistic, and that’s not at ALL where our focus should be.

I remember how, as a young girl, one person in particular used to make fun of me for genuinely caring about people in pain, or people with personal issues causing them unrest. I was told I ‘wore my heart on my sleeve’, was called “Ann Landers” if you remember who she was. My friends used to call ME when they needed to talk, because I listened and more importantly because I really cared…and because I wasn’t afraid to give them loving feedback WHEN they asked for it. I felt like there was something wrong with me, or that I was less of a person because I had a ‘soft heart’, as they used to say. Not anymore.

Now, I realize I have a gift, of sorts. Sometimes it’s burdensome, because there are times when there are many bad things happening to people I care about, all at once. But I am always amazed how much it means to them just to know someone is LISTENING and someone cares. Sometimes something seemingly insigniicant I do, something that costs me nothing but time, makes them cry because they are so grateful. Then I cry too, of course. Because there are PEOPLE in those bodies, with hearts and minds, people who MATTER. People who deserve to know they are not alone in the trenches.

I went through terror, once in my life…so far…and had many days, months, years, to observe the behavior of those around me. Granted, I watched through a fog of shock and disbelief, through the worst depression and heartache I have ever experienced. I had a chance to watch me, too. I did a lot of introspection AND observation, and I came out of that…or am COMING out of it, with a whole new perspective on life and a whole new way of looking at the people in my life and how they behave.

First of all, I will NEVER let anybody I know go unaided when they are in pain, or are suffering in any way I can help. Period. Even if it means I have to do without something to help them, they get help. I will NEVER let anyone I care about feel alone or criticized when they are suffering. There’s plenty of time for critical analysis LATER, when they can handle it and IF they ask for it. I know how it feels to be kicked when I’m down; I will never do that. Here’s the thing: If I have to do without a new shirt in order to give someone in need one…that’s the job. Give them a new shirt; they need it more than I do. It’s that simple.

Second, if someone talks about “love”, I know what to look for to find out what that means to THEM. If their love has a hammer symbol instead of a helping hand symbol, that’s not love. If their love is holding out a basket into which you can deposit stuff, instead of a basket full of stuff to give out, well, that’s not my kind of love. Love involves some take, yes, but I think…and this is just me…love should involve more give. From everybody involved, otherwise it’s parasitic and selfish…which most love is today, I think.

So I took the time to actually CONNECT with this client, to find out what she needed. Then, lo and behold, I was able to give that…with care thrown in because that’s what I do. And it was great. She got the items she needed, but I got joy. I think she might have gotten some too. And that, my friends, is love. And it’s enough, all by itself, even without recognition. In fact, I like it better when nobody knows.

The Value of Wisdom

One great gift to which we all have access is the wisdom of those who have gone before us, whether it is by virtue of age and experience, or by having charted territory we have yet to see.  There is value to listening to the experiences of others, their success AND failure stories, because that is how we achieve greatness sooner, rather than later.  It’s great to build upon that wisdom, but to completely disregard it is to waste precious time.

We’re arrogant in our country, and I’m sure we don’t hold the patent on that sentiment or behavior.  But in America, we tend to look at the ones who are ahead of us on the path as having targets on their backs, rather than mapmakers and sources of information we can use. We see them as someone to best, to pass quickly up the ladder and often we miss the whole point of the climb.

I watched a movie called “I Am”, based, you might have guessed, on the ten commandments, one of which is to honor your father and mother.  We tend to not do that much anymore, choosing instead to believe we have it all figured out…when we don’t.  Nobody does, in fact.

Anyway, the short point is that there is value in the experiences and teachings of others, and that, by the way, is a two way street.  Nobody has ever walked the exact path as another.  Each has his/her own perspective and life experience and each has value. 

JC Penney Silo Master

Well, they fired the JCP CEO.  While I never want to see anybody lose his job, this one was certain to happen if the company has a snowball’s chance in Hades of surviving. And it might not.  It took too long for everybody to figure out what they needed to do.  I saw this one coming when the new CEO threw away his customer base and tried to replace it with youngsters with no money and no desire to shop where grandma shopped.  He failed to realize that there are FEWER of them than there were of the original customer base, and more choices for them to utilize.  Duh.  And, JCP stopped offering quality merchandise and instead packed the stores with junk NOBODY wanted. And…these stores are usually an anchor store in a mall where the lease is HUGE.  Is this ROCKET SCIENCE?  No.  I’ve done rocket science.  This ain’t it.  JCP used to be my only place to go for great quality sweaters.  Even the higher end stores couldn’t match their value and quality with regard to, in particular, their Spring sweaters. I went there for sweaters; and I bought everything else I needed.  I loved their housewares department before they stocked it with junk.  But that’s not THE main reason JCP failed.  It failed because the new guy wanted to build a silo.

I see this kind of thing happen all the time, and it’s not new.  One author I read recently  (I can’t remember his name) coined ‘silo building’ (Google him and find his book; it’s really good).  Here’s how it goes…

First, a paradigm is created where one or more entities within a company have a need to break out from the pack at the expense of the team (maybe not even realizing they are nuking the team).  Maybe it’s not a paradigm; maybe it’s just one giant ego being brought on board who wants to MAKE HIS MARK (dogs just pee on it and maybe if people did that we’d all be better off). So that person creates his own little empire (his goal all along and in fact his NEED) and starts stacking these slightly curved blocks… building a silo…around himself and a selected few.  Silos don’t have windows, mind you; they don’t need them.  But the PROBLEM with that is that there’s no communication possible and the problem is, also, that once the underground competition sets in, you CAN’T communicate because all you could say is, “I’m trying to beat you.”

Once the silo builder starts building his tower, others have to do the same or risk being overshadowed.  Besides, in the beginning, the silo builder looks like a star; he’s having all kinds of success!  He makes others look like they’re napping…but there’s a reason for that.

Okay, let’s have an example; let’s say you’re in retail.  Retail establishments are RIFE with silo builders.  So the first silo builder essentially forces other entities within the company to follow suit, and before you know it, you have building blocks half way up and resources become GOLDEN.  You need resources to build silos after all, and the higher the walls the more resources (people, money) you need.  Chances are you’ll get them because…well you look like a star right now, remember?  But what’s really happening is that the first nail in the coffin of the organization as a whole, has just been hammered in.

So there becomes a built-in, destined competition for resources, usually the low wage earners who are running like horses to make the managers’ wishes come true.  Silo builder number one gets most of the resources because at first, he’s the only one who knows what he’s up to AND he probably doesn’t realize or care that he may be killing the host.  He’s just focused on making his vision a reality and that’s not a bad thing in and of itself, but it’s very dangerous for an organization that needs balance and nimbleness to respond to customer needs and desires.

Okay, so let’s say he’s in charge of the stock room, only that.  Once he has the lion’s share of the resources, the stockroom is going to start to look VERRRY good. The shelves will be stocked neatly; everything will be labeled, the floor will be swept.  It’ll be GREAT…At the expense of the appearance of the store, the place where CUSTOMERS are, and in fact at the expense of customer service…which is the supreme savior of retail.  Also in the crosshairs now, is the morale of the others who are trying to make their retail establishment competitive and customer friendly, who are trying to do their job and that of at least one other…who is now in the main silo.  Everybody outside the primary silo becomes frustrated, exhausted, and a failure…because nobody can sustain that kind of workload and because the workload BECOMES unmanageable. Individuals can do the work of one, maybe two, on a sustained level, but not three or four.  Plus, these people, remember, are the low wage earners.  There’s not a lot of incentive to run a marathon every day, month after month, particularly if you’ve already failed at the start because the workload outside the primary silo, has become…unmanageable.  If, in retail, the employees outside of the primary silo become worn out and unhappy, frustrated and edgy….guess what happens to CUSTOMER SERVICE, the supreme savior of retail?  Right.

The primary silo builder grabs the best of the best resources…because that’s what he needs to make his vision a reality (it’s what anybody would need or want, right), leaving the other lagging silo builders to compete for the other, less desirable or maybe less qualified ones.  Nobody’s happy at this point except the primary silo builder and his resources.  The primary silo builder is getting recognized, and his resources are getting good pay, nice hours.  And by the way, the workforce budget is spent behind the walls, where the customers never go.

Now that’s not all bad.  There are good reasons to have a neat and organized operation, where you know what you have and where it is and where everything’s clean and neat.  But…not at the expense of the appearance of the shopping areas, where the customers are, customers, who can kill your operation just by NOT going there.  If you consider that customers are more entitled than they have ever been, more demanding of stellar service…it wouldn’t make sense to deliberately erode that service, would it?  No.  And silo builders usually don’t realize they’re doing that.  They are just trying to make their mark, make their vision a reality, get a raise, get a promotion, be recognized, prove their worth…all that jazz.

So, the lagging silo builders have not only been crippled with respect to the best and the brightest, but now they have to try to make it work with FEWER of the middle of the pack employees. If they DON’T make it work, their upper management will tear them up, comparing them to the primary silo builder (not realizing he’s sinking with the REST of the ship), and hence eroding the morale of the other silo builders.  The morale of the workers is already tanking and now the managers, the secondary and tertiary silo builders, are falling too.  Uh oh.  Too bad the higher level managers can’t see this.  Don’t feel bad; they didn’t see it at JCP either.

There are places where silos are okay.  Farms.

Retail is the WORST place for them because in retail, things change on a dime and the entire operation has to be able to not only change direction in a second, but also do it while making the customers ecstatic.  So they’ll come back.  So they won’t go to the PLETHORA of other places they COULD go…and WILL go if their needs are not met. And…this is important…the workforce here MUST be happy, because they sure aren’t there for the money.  And they won’t stay if they aren’t happy.  So if you’re already running lean and you lose your best ‘leftovers’, oops.  Real trouble.

What seems important to me, a real nobody, is that teamwork is important in retail and so is foresight!  JCP turned their focus inward, onto themselves, and worked like all get out to build a great little silo with little lounges and vignettes…but they forgot to ask the customers what THEY wanted.  It does no good to make a mark if nobody SEES it, or, more importantly, if it’s a colossal failure.

You Don’t Know…

I have a hard time watching physicists on TV documentaries, even though sometimes I agree with their theories…or parts of them, I should say.  You see, the problem I have is that I know something about detection systems in various types of analytical instruments and in the most complex analytical instrument: the human body.  So I know we’re way too limited in our detection ability to figure out the universe.  It makes me laugh.  And besides, so what if we do figure it out?  It’s like this: If we figure out how to get through a worm hole into another dimension, what will we do when we get there?  Have a snack?  Do lunch?  This stuff cracks me up.  It’s really funny to me!  I mean, there might not BE chocolate in another dimension, so why would we want to go anyway?  On the other hand, I might still weigh in at 118 pounds so…where’s the shuttle?

I’m a smart cookie, but I still can’t wrap my head around infinity and trust me, I’ve thought about it.  But the truth is, no mere mortal can understand infinity because it’s just not possible.  Oh stop it.  I know what you’ll say: Infinity means there’s no end, that the system goes on forever.  Okay…explain it.  I mean really, keep talking until everybody really gets it.  Meet you at the cemetery.

See, that’s the problem.  But if you listen to physicists…and okay I do…they get downright giddy about the latest theory about…well EVERYTHING… but especially issues related to our ‘universe’.  Okay, so now there’s a name for the ‘stuff’ that holds the ‘stuff’ that started the big bang.  I was kind of disappointed to hear that; I thought they missed that little detail and I was enjoying that.  And now they have decided…some of them…that the universe is flat.  Well what a relief.  I thought it was just ever so slightly curved that we couldn’t detect the curvature and that made me lose sleep at night.  Well we now have data…the universe is flat.  I’m so glad.  What I’m really trying to say is: Who cares??

Except the people who are awake at three in the morning watching documentaries….and physicists.

Now we’re talking about membranes, where our galaxy resides kind of like a dot in a huge sheet flapping in the wind.  And there are supposedly multiple membranes that fluctuate and wave and occasionally touch and well what else could that do but create another universe?  Right.  Every time these membranes touch…BOOM!  New universe.  But we can’t SEE it.  See the beauty in being a theoretical physicist?  Tooth fairy, Santa Clause, ghosts, membranes.  I love this stuff.  I really do.

And…we still have parallel universes, in which I wholeheartedly believe.  If, they say, an electron can exist in many places at once, and electrons are some of the smallest building blocks of the universe; then surely we must be able to also exist in many places at once…dimensionally speaking.  And yes, that makes sense.  To me.  In another universe my ex was never even born.  See the beauty?

Now, we have the ‘bubble theory’.  Bubbles.  Guess which physicist was the giddiest about bubbles?  The California guy.  Go figure.  Our universe, in the minds of many California dudes I mean physicists, floats around like a bubble along with lots of other bubbles and may pop, or collide with other bubbles.  Dude!  That’s phat. I almost changed the channel on that one.  Guess where the California physicist was?  On the beach, of course!  hahaha.

Then they started talking about particle collision at the Fermi Institute.  The collider is far underground sheathed in protective material lest we create another universe or some such thing.  Now that’s something I’d like to see.  I would!  …but what if they move that sucker about 5000 more feet underground where conditions change just a smidgen?  Maybe there’s a simple California answer to that.  But my question is, if we get data, will we really know what we think we know?  By the mere act or method of observing, are we changing the data?   Well I think we are!  So there must be infinite answers and I want them all.

You gotta get this: if there are parallel universes, infinite ones…well there are infinite infinite test results right? Infinite ones here and infinite ones in allll of the other universes.  We don’t know, right?  We just don’t know.  I’m okay with that, can you tell?

The problem I have is that it always occurs to me that we’re pretty arrogant, we simple humans.  We are very busy trying to figure out the ‘universe’ when in essence, we’re still looking at ants through a magnifying glass.  We can’t even figure out what makes people want to kill one another and why are we not working on that?

We have no idea the limits (on the small side) of quantum physics, nor do we know how far our universe really goes.  I’ve always liked to think we were in the thumb of some giant being so large that we could never detect his movement.  Don’t laugh.  The California dude probably already thought of that.  And by the same token, look at your thumb.  It might hold many galaxies.

The bottom line is that we don’t know.  We’re not equipped to know, but we sure spend time and money trying to figure out where we came from and how can we get SOMEWHERE else…because we’re going to destroy our planet or it’s going to die a natural death.  There’s a good way around that…it has to do with sending our DNA out into the universe and spreading it around.  Then we can ‘survive’.  Oh that’s great, isn’t it?  We’ve just about destroyed THIS place; let’s go somewhere else and START AGAIN!

I’ll be dead, so…I don’t really care.

Still, I’d like to see more effort thrown into understanding PEOPLE.  What makes people cruel and heartless?  Why do some people have the kill gene and some do not?  How do we deactivate the kill gene and if we could, how could we stop overpopulation?  Well we’d have to, wouldn’t we?  Now that’s a good question, isn’t it?  Wouldn’t you rather know about that than cosmic bubbles, dude? Maybe not.

I love the Fermilab building though.  I might not like all of the wild theories, but the building?  Coolest I’ve ever seen. You should google it.  Seriously.

Do No Harm

We do one another great harm as humans, don’t we? 

I watched a documentary about a death row inmate, convicted of a triple murder and sentenced to death. He killed these people when he was 18 years old.  As the documentary progressed I was stricken numerous times about how fragile we are, what barbarians we are, and about how one choice…one decision made in a fleeting moment…can lead to utter devastation…to others and ourselves.  We just keep on going, walking, taking in stride the damage to ourselves and others…and we go on.  Some of us go to the death chamber and are injected with chemicals that kill us; others go on to new lives in strange places and we go on.  I am amazed by us.  We should be dragging along, barely able to take the next step because of the damage; we should have dropped off limbs and hair; we should be bone thin and starving, yet we walk on…just like it never happened.  No, it’s not healing.  You don’t heal from some wounds.  Not these.

The young man, this murderer, might have been envisioned as a dark, huge, brutal monster had I not seen his face close up as he spoke to his final interviewer; but he was a child…a child with dark circles under his eyes illustrating the stress under which he existed, though he fought with his whole psyche to deny it, or look away from it…to pretend it didn’t exist.  Even though he was well into his second decade of life by the time of his execution, he was a child…probably with an IQ in double digits and not high ones.  It made me very sad. I do not believe he should have been killed.  He was clueless.  He was in no way someone who could have understood  accountability, let alone be held to it.  He was a boy, in supreme denial of his own past actions and those about to befall him.  He never apologized to his victims’ families, never acknowledged them in any way, except to forgive THEM for the atrocities they put upon HIM by killing HIM.  What happens to us to make us so confused and so unacquainted with just doing the right thing?  Where is the reality check? His last words included something about being in heaven.  Heaven?  I don’t know…he said he had become a man, not the boy he was when he got there…but no.  He was still a little boy, plain as day.  He wasn’t a misguided boy; he was an UNguided boy who no doubt died clueless. 

And none of his victims came back to life.

His accomplice, the same age but clearly a man, was extremely bright, intensely human and in the moment.  It was obvious he could have been anyone, done anything he wanted to do…but for his choices and possibly the choices of others.  His father spent the majority of his own life in prison because of, he said, drugs and alcohol…choices.  He blamed himself for his son’s life sentence, and he may have been right because his son was raised in utter poverty without benefit of a father.  I’m sure that affected the son’s choices…and his options.  So sad.  I watched, wondering what might have happened if this young man had somehow inherited an ounce of INTEGRITY somewhere along the line.  He might have been a scholar, could have been.  His father, by the way, now sober, was also a very bright, very human, feeling person…he grieved the loss of his son’s freedom too late.  This man could have been an absolute pillar of his community…you could tell. But he chose a life of addiction.  I felt such an absolute sense of the wastefulness of humanity, watching these people, these prisoners and murderers. My God.  What a colossal shame.

I have seen the same waste around me, in people who had a goodness about them, wrapped in putridity and hatefulness.  A waste.  I have watched the goodness become infinitesimal and the evil take over, spilling into the lives of others near them.  And they go on, slogging through the death and despair around them…like nothing happened. Just another blow stricken for humanity.  Good job.

Family members of the victims, and friends, were as different as a handful of stones scooped up from the river bottom.  But different as they looked and spoke, they were all forever changed, forever burdened by a grief they could not comprehend.  There was such a sense of helplessness about all of them.  All of them isolated themselves, cut themselves off from the world for fear of further devastation…actually doing more harm to themselves, because loneliness is painful too.  It makes the hole in your heart bigger, doesn’t it, even though in a strange way it feels safer.  I’d make a terrible juror.  I’d want to make everybody feel better.  Everybody. I’d want to make sense of it somehow when no sense can be made.  None of these people deserved the grief heaped upon them; where is their justice?  I don’t think there is any.  You can’t turn back time…at least not yet…and that’s what you’d have to do.

The captain of the death squad, the head of the lethal injection team…ultimately decided he couldn’t kill anymore.  He was also a warm and compassionate man.  Sounds strange, doesn’t it?  A compassionate killer.  After over 120 deaths to his credit…or detriment really…he just couldn’t do it anymore, and he now believes there is no reason for any human to kill another human…law or no law. And I thought, “Too bad he didn’t realize that sooner.” Followed by, “It wouldn’t have mattered.”  And he cries about having done his job as a professional…killer.  I am understanding humanity less and less and looking upon us with greater and greater disdain as I age.  I should have been a cat.  Cats don’t care.

I don’t know how I would feel if I were the victim; I don’t know whether I would want the perpetrator to be killed.  Maybe I would. I couldn’t be the one to do it, so…just exactly what does that mean?  I’m essentially saying, “Somebody kill this person.”  Nice.  When I was a few interviews away from possibly being chosen for a death penalty case jury, I became physically ill at the mere thought of having to decide whether or not to cause the end of someone’s life.  I don’t have the kill gene.  It was a good thing to learn, I guess. 

But I do have the compassion gene. Sometimes I wish I didn’t. 

We just do one another great harm as a way of life.  It’s accepted as the norm.  One way or another, we manage to do it.  I have spent a lot of time studying human behavior, my own and others’,  and the more I learn, the sadder and more incredulous I become.  We have become uncivil to one another, unkind and uncaring and we have the nerve to say we love one another while we know we are lying about that, and WHILE we do one another harm and know we’re doing it.  We think we know what love is, but we don’t have a clue, any more than that child on death row.  That kid was homeless at the time of his crimes, having been thrown away by his ‘loved ones’.  Oh…they came back and were there when he was put to death.  Nice. I really should give up trying to figure it out. 

I called love ‘parasitic’ a few weeks ago and I’m not sure I’m wrong about that. I keep looking for love out there in the world, not for me, but just to see whether I can even find it… the kind that doesn’t involve taking something or expecting something from someone.  I don’t think it exists.  And don’t say, “I’m a parent; I know about unconditional love.”  Real love goes both ways.  It doesn’t always come back.  I think if you illustrate real love, arrows would go BOTH ways with no payments, no bloodsucking, no killing, no harm done.  We can’t do it.  We humans can’t do it.

I think we are far more comfortable harming one another for the sake of selfishness, than we are really loving.  Really loving.   Love has become a comsumable rather than a donation. If we drew an illustration of the direction of love, more arrows would point inward than those pointing out.  If everybody takes and nobody gives, won’t we run out of love and compassion?  Isn’t that what we’re doing? 

Do you love anybody just for the sake of loving them?  I mean expecting nothing?  Come on now…tell the truth.  You’re getting something or you wouldn’t be there.  It’s true.  That’s human nature in the rawest form.  Take.  Consume.  Survive.  Tina Turner said, “What’s Love Got To Do With It?”  Right.  But I think real love has much to do with it…if we could only do it.  Something made this murderer void of compassion, selfish enough to steal the very lives of people, not even realizing there was wrongdoing involved.  I think it must have been lovelessness. 

As a race, we don’t do love well anymore…if we ever did.  I think we’d have fewer inmates if we did.  I know; there is evil in the world, just for the sake of evil…but the people who are in jail because they were unguided or unloved…I think we’d see fewer of them if we knew what love means and we just tried to do no harm.  Is the world better off without this child/murderer?  I doubt it. And I wonder what he might have become if he had been loved.

Property Values

I have to get this off my chest. 

We live in a metropolitan area, one of the best!  As such, there are highways everywhere!  Not surprisingly, there are many homes which back up to these thoroughfares and many agents insist on fomenting the idea that because there is a highway in close proximity, the property is not only not as valuable, but downright appalling.  I call major BS on that.  Not everybody sees fellow drivers as the Devil! Some of us don’t give two hoots about traffic noise, and a great house is still a great house, even WITH a highway nearby.

Where do we get off saying we love the area but let the ‘other ones’ buy the houses near the highways…you know, one of the infrastructure aspects that MAKE this a great place to live??  That attitude affects our real estate market and it’s making smoke come out of my ears!

If one desires to live in a metropolitan area, then surely one would expect there to be metropolitan STUFF like HIGHWAYS and STREETS.  I think it would be a grand idea for agents to stop badmouthing these properties and let clients make up their own minds.

Here’s an example of a bad agent conversation:  Client: Oh no!  It backs up to a highway!  Agent: You’re right.  It’s noisy!  Let’s leave. 

How about a GOOD agent conversation:  Client: Oh no!  It backs up to a highway!  Agent:  True, but it gives you quick access for commuting and by the way…how much time do you spend outside?  Client: Hardly any.  Only when we’re grilling out.  Agent:  How quiet do you need it to be for grilling out?  Client: Not quiet at all.  We usually have loud music playing. 

Case closed.  Try overcoming the objective with some good solid communication and you might find out there IS no objection. Marketing 101 folks.

The bottom line is that there are some fantastic homes in close proximity to highways.  During your ‘quiet’ times, guess what? The highway will also be quieter because it’s everyone else’s quiet time too!  So agents, remember your job is to protect our market…meaning our property values.  ALL of them.  So don’t be the grinch out there. 



I think I heard on the news this morning that some people who are banned from flying…as in, on the do-not-fly list…were granted license to learn to fly jetliners. So..they can’t fly, but they can FLY. Good grief.

Real Estate Referral Letter

There is no higher compliment in my business than referrals from past clients. Not only does it help create a firm foundation for your business, but it just plain makes you feel good.  Here’s one that made my day:


Recommendation for Brenda Briggs

Selecting the right realtor can be a daunting task, as there are so many agencies and qualified individuals available in today’s marketplace.  After interviewing several, we chose Brenda as she was ‘down-to-earth’, easy to talk to, and very professional in her approach.  She more than exceeded our expectations!

Rather than feeling like just clients of hers, we felt “special”.  We knew that she was doing her utmost to find a buyer for our property.  She answered our calls and emails promptly, listened to all of our concerns, offered valuable advice, and made the whole process of selling our house run smoothly.  If she felt a room needed a special something, she addressed the situation herself, rather than asking us to do so.  She instinctively knew what needed to be done to make the house sell, and she succeeded in short order in a slow moving market.

Brenda excels at negotiations, and has perfected the art of dealing with buyers and sellers.  She possesses just the right touch when anxiety flares on either side, remains professional in all aspects of the transaction from the signing of the listing agreement to the closing, along with demonstrating integrity in her business relationships.  We always knew that she was there for us, representing our best interests at all times.

We appreciate all the extra work that Brenda Briggs did to make the sale of our property a reality.  We cannot recommend her high enough!

Jaine and Brian Parry

And by the way…these people are special to me.  I never knew them before I listed their home, but they are now a part of my history…and hopefully my future as well. 

Memorial Day Grief

I read an article today about grief…it was a tangential subject.  Our Vice President spoke to a group of people who lost loved ones in the war, and he said he could understand how someone could be driven to take their own life by such great grief.  I read that intro section a couple of times…I couldn’t believe I was reading that in a national publication.  Someone admitting that trauma can lead to suicidal thoughts?  Well, now we’re getting somewhere.

I was astounded to find myself connecting with this man (don’t spread it around), when I never have been able to before.  He also experienced great loss, not in a war scenario, but in his personal life.  And he suffered the loss, not just of the loved ones, but also of the entire life they lived together, and it affected him profoundly.  I know of whence he speaks.

People don’t like to talk about the idea of someone wanting to “end”.  But it happens.  If I could change one thing about MANKIND (the giant concept), it would be that compassion become interstitial to all human beings.  I mean real compassion.  Not just the oh-crap-I’m-about-to-be-inconvenienced kind of so called compassion; I mean the real deal. Because when there is great loss there is also GREAT suffering, and either people choose to ignore that fact, they really don’t get it, or they just don’t want to be bothered.  I hope it wasn’t always this way.

I like to think that at some time in the past, people really got it that sometimes people are really hurt and really need love and compassion to help them heal.  I like to think that at some point in the past, people showed up to lift up the wounded, whether or not they actually looked broken on the outside.  I like to think that at some point people put down their robes and gavels, stopped judging and preaching and actually lent a hand.  I like to think it USED to be that way, because it certainly isn’t today.  People say, “Get over it”, ‘Move on with your life”, “You’ve been through this before”…without really thinking about what the real situation is, how the person’s heart is working or not working…how wounded they really are.  Even when people seem okay, if you really look at them…you can SEE their pain.  I know; I’ve been testing that theory and guess what?  I’m right 100% of the time…so far.  I’ve had a lesson in compassion and I’m trying VERY hard to get it right. Somebody has to.

Compassion…I think…means that it doesn’t matter how I think the other person SHOULD feel; it means that the other person feels what they feel and they need love, to know they are not alone, encouragement that they will make it through the valleyTODAY because my hand is there, reaching out, for as long as it takes.  I think that’s what it means.  Because if there is a hand reaching out to me, giving me a lift up, even for just the next step; then I don’t think about giving up, checking out, cashing in. 

You get the impression that compassion isn’t necessarily easy.  I think that’s exactly right.  I think compassion can be tiring, expensive, annoying, inconvenient.  Yeah, I’m pretty sure that’s right too. But my little inconvenience is statistically insignficant if the other person is about to die or THINKS they are about to die…or wishes to.  So I’m calling mankind, manUNkind for now because that’s the reality, too many times.

The bottom line in the Veep’s message was this: I get it. It’s not just about the person you lost.  It is also about the trauma of losing the whole life built around that person; and that kind of trauma is so bad that it can make you want to cease to exist.  I think that we should remember that, not just for this Memorial Day, but also for the WHOLE rest of the year.  Every time we decide someone has had time to ‘get over’ something, first, we should feel bad that we think we’re worthy of that judgment, and then we should ask ourselves when was the last time I asked them how they are feeling…and did I really even care about their answer.  Final step: DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT.

ACTION: That’s the key. 

If we have any love in us, we must know that compassion is not just important’ it should be the quintessence of humankind.  Compassion is Godlike, it is crucial.  It means more than any material item we collect…or it should. I suppose it depends upon what or whom you worship. Regardless:  If we don’t have compassion, we are poor indeed.