It took me 280 days to write this and in the end 364 days to get past the fear of publishing it. My goal from the beginning of this year was to write a mission statement for myself, for my website, for my business. To create a “compass” to lead me when the road to success is tough and long.

In the pursuit of finding my mission statement: I found my mission.

I am entering year 18 of being in my business. Longevity in a single business can create invaluable experience and expertise, but it can also create complacency and fear. If you know too much, you tend to over extend your expertise and allow the fear of the known to walk right it and kill initiative and creativity. After a very rough year in my industry, I was genuinely struggling with the why component of my job and although I love my job to pieces had no way of quantifying it and directing it. Quite frankly I had learned the skills of my job but something was missing.

In coming to this realization I knew I needed to break down or break apart my career. I wanted to figure out my why and help me understand the motivation that has me prioritizing this above everything else. Why in the world do I love my career.
I am a third generation Realtor. My Grandfather Mel Crader owned Chowchilla Realty from 1970’s to the late 1990’s. During one of his early real estate transactions he received an original copy of the Declaration of Independence as trade for his services from the grandson of Bingham Young. He proudly hung it in the main foyer of his office and once told me it was a reminder of why he did his job. Over the years I often thought about it and wondered about it’s meaning to him.

Several years later, I ended up buying a replica after a trip to Washington D.C. and often times found myself staring at the replica knowing it had a message to send to me.

Years passed and for a single, young female in Santa Barbara I did quite well. Then one of the most destructive real estate crashes in U.S. history came upon us and I found myself wondering why I was doing this job, when everyone had seemed to walk away. The image that remained was that real estate only seemed to be about money and profits. I was in the simplest of words disheartened. Look, I understand the value of getting a good deal, that equity is important and that rainbows and sunshine are not currency for food and your livelihood. I get it. Still, in my mind all of the “heart” and the meaning of residential real estate seemed to be stripped away. Fear of the responsibility of home ownership and not wanting to over pay took over and within a few years the purpose behind residential real estate seemed forever changed.

I was at a loss and didn’t know what was going to come from the future of real estate. Then one day I was sitting in my office last year, and as I was typing away I looked up, cocked my head and caught myself staring at that replica of the Declaration of Independence I had bought some many years ago, and realized that over 300 years ago people crossed an ocean and risked their lives so that they could own land.

A light bulb went off in my head. (pardon my French but I thought…) Shit. That’s a pretty big deal. Let’s go ahead and paint this picture. I don’t know that I would have had the balls to go somewhere with no GPS, no electricity, on a boat made out of wood moved by a sail (no motor), to a place where I don’t even know what’s there. Be on said boat, crossing the entire ATLANTIC OCEAN with giant waves, and sharks, and maybe we have enough food and water Plus no plumbing and apparently rats lived on the boat too. Yup. I am just going to say it: If it were me I would have said: “You are batshit crazy. Not gona happen.”

Yet people did.

They didn’t just sacrifice a “rough” weekend with no cell phone coverage. This was legit suffering and a big risk. I assume it probably took 3-6 months to cross that ocean And then they got here and it was WINTER in Maine or where ever that boat landed. Then they showed up and people (RIGHTFULLY SO) wanted to kill them and they still had to set up camp, grow food and find water. Again, if I was there at that time, I am thinking “Indentured servitude can’t be that bad... I mean is America really all that and a bag of chips.

So there I was laughing at myself and my absurd thinking, when all of a sudden it dawned on me that people have completely forgotten about this. People have forgotten it is an actual privilege to own a home. It’s not a burden or a terrible obligation. It certainly was not designed to just be about money and profits. A home is where people create families and maintain stability.

So why is stability important Because once we are stable, once we are strong, we cans start helping other people. We can start getting past our own needs and start helping others and creating a functioning community.

And that was when I came full into my why… This job is about helping people during big transitions in their life. Sometimes I get the exciting call that a marriage is in the works or a new addition to the family will be coming soon. My heart lights up as I start to focus on my client’s new needs. Other times, someone has passed away or it is time to seek a simpler life, it may be even that their marriage has transitioned and upon hearing the news my heart might break but I know it’s my turn to be the strong sounding board and guide who ever needs my help.

My significant contribution is to be present with you and the important people in your life who are also affected by this transition. To acknowledge and respect that you are entrusting me with the responsibility of either finding you a new home or transitioning you from your old home to your next adventure. We will encounter bumps along the way – every transaction will have them – but I am happy to help navigate the way using every resource I have access to and my previous experiences to help guide us. Each transaction will be unique. Each one will have it’s own series of intricate personal details that I will need to attend to. I will do my best with the time that we have together. We will work as a team and help fulfill your goals in hopefully the smoothest possible way.

And so this becomes my mission statement. This initial entry to my blog.

My goal with this blog is to just share my personal experiences regarding real estate and the Santa Barbara community. It will be my opinions, my takes, my thoughts as if you were my client asking me about a general question. Maybe something I learned from the day or from the transaction.

The general idea is that I just wanted to start documenting it incase anyone one day might need a second opinion or to read some thoughts about a subject matter. I get asked all sorts of questions from where I like to do yoga to what I really think about sending their kid to go live in Isla Vista, to which is my favorite beach. The questions are endless and sometimes I answer them and think – crap – I should have written that down. I don’t know how frequently I will write. My hope is that this initial entry will finally get me past my fears of having my writing judged and critiqued. I just need to get over that fear and realize I am probably going to help someone sometimes and get someone pissed other times. I really hope the latter doesn’t happen, but then it’s the Internet, and I can’t control everything.

Thank you for reading this ridiculously long entry that I am sure has grammar and spelling mistakes embedded in it. I am also sure it is filled with my ramblings when I could have been more concise. Excuse me as I practice wearing my heart on my sleeve.

Here’s to an incredible 2017! May your year be filled with success, good health, and incredible journeys.