There is a marker of time for everyone when something important happened. There are times of great significance that cover a huge spectrum of emotions, from the great sadness of the 9/11 tragedy to great hope at the fall of the Berlin Wall, to all manner of world events before and since and in between.
There are also important personal anniversaries, such as birthdays and wedding anniversaries. There are others that perhaps other people don’t even know about. I think those are also among the most important anniversaries that all of us have.
I would guess that if you are a Realtor, many of your clients may think of you when they acknowledge the anniversary of the sale of the most important thing they ever had in their life, their home. You were no doubt instrumental in the sale of the “old house”. You may have closed the book on the era of someone’s life.
By the same token, you may have been a catalyst in the beginning of an exciting new era of someone’s life. For that alone, I would say that as a Realtor, it does not make you a great public figure, but it does make you something special. For that person or family whose house you may have sold or helped to buy, it makes you magnificent. It does so in my book too.
The great thing about the business of real estate is that once you have achieved the pinnacle of your profession; once you have sold a property or helped someone find a home, you get to start the process again. You once again get to feel the excitement of finding a new client and working with them to achieve something that will be marked as an anniversary for that person, forever! If that is tedious work to you, you might be in the wrong business. If it is a new beginning for you, it is an anniversary year and it may be the best year you will ever have. How could it not be? You are in an incredible profession!
The thing is, when you are older, you think beyond anniversaries of 10 or 20 years. You think in terms of 40 and 50 years and more.
This year, I am marking 50 years in the newspaper business. I started working for the Toronto Telegram, the “old Tely” in 1968 shilling for subscribers on the phones and at front doors looking for potential readers and customers. I know all about cold calling, people saying no emphatically and having doors slammed in my face. I remember 1968 so distinctly. The boiler rooms I worked in, the people I met and the people I loved forever from that year on. I recall it all with such clarity that it staggers me. People I work with today will tell you that I am forgetful and too often now, inadvertently, overlook the challenges of a task that seems simple to me because I get lost in the excitement of it. I do not remember to think all things through. There are too many details today. How can I be so forgetful now and still remember the style of the old wooden desk I used 50 years ago and the colours of the room that I worked in, right down to what I saw outside from the windows at the office 50 years ago?
It has been a long journey from the old Tely to the Star, the Globe and Mail, Real Estate News and then REM. And now, thanks to the next Molls generation, remonline.com.
It is a good anniversary to step aside and do what is the most important thing I can possibly do in this business: get out of the way of the people who can bring critical, important and valued information and news to the real estate industry that cannot be found any where else. Maybe you don’t think that’s something important. Maybe you think the business of delivering news to Realtors across the country is not something to be proud of or has value. That would be fine because if you think that way, you likely aren’t in the real estate business anyway. I probably could never explain the fundamental importance of the simple sale of a property or what the value of purchasing a home means to you.
I will be retiring this summer. I know this year will start a string of great years for you. It has to. It is the very nature of the business you are in and this may be one of your best years. Like it was for me in 1968. I wish you every success in 2018.