In 1987 interest rates were climbing to double digit figures, but for some reason (which I can't remember now) I decided that was the time to start my real estate career in the Orlando market. My car was equipped with that newfangled thing called a cell phone that was physically attached to the floorboard. The multiple listing service was provided to realtors in the form of a heavy, telephone book-like, directory that we carried with us at all times and was littered with black and white photos of the home fronts. Keeping up with listings was like trying to manage the secret service...you never knew what was really going on at any one time. Interest rates hovered around 10% plus and I overheard many agents predicting that rates would never be in the single digit arena again. I always remember that statement when someone asks me to predict the future in real estate (or anything for that matter).
I made my mark as a new agent at Real Estate One which was a firm headquartered in Michigan, but attempting to get into the Florida market. My first full year propelled me into the number 2 spot out of hundreds of agents and certainly rookie of the year. Remember, it was the late 1980's with double digit mortgage rates, but I was able to sell over 3 million when homes averaged about $100,000 That's a lot of real estate! 70% of my production involved knocking on "for sale by owner" doors and convincing them that only I could get the home sold.
In the early 1990's I could tell that Real Estate One was going through many changes. Coldwell Banker Residential was walking distance from my office and that is exactly what I did....I changed companies and have been with CB since that time. Oh, but wait, there was a brief hiatus....four years in Japan when my husband accepted a position at Stars and Stripes. So I sold our home in Longwood (the dog went with the home), packed my bags and left for Tokyo. I thought real estate was my past, but it turns out it became the present and future. We were civilians living on an air base and totally out of our environment. One day, during one of my exploration walks, I struck up a conversation with one of the commanders who, in turn, somehow got me to agree to teach a real estate course to those returning to the States. Whoever said that you don't know your subject matter until you have to teach it really knew what they were talking about. The experience would follow me for the rest of my career....and I ended up teaching the same class in Orlando when we returned.
In 1996 we returned to Orlando - the same year that the Internet was becoming the dominate force that would control the rest of our lives. The heavy MLS books that we carried around became obsolete and statistical overload would become standard. Never mind, I was ready to get back into selling homes. Fast forward to today which is becoming driven by technology and trying to decipher what is accurate and what is not has become the challenge. One thing remains the same....buyers and sellers want the best price...the market will determine who gets it. Every market is different and real estate is extremely localized. What may be true for one home, may not be for another. If you are looking for someone to guide you through the maze you need look no further. Having sold hundreds and hundreds of homes throughout the last 30 years I have proven that no matter what the market does there will always be people moving around.