Real estate column: It's not just a job. It's a lifestyle

Friday , July 14, 2017 - 12:00 AM

By JEN KIRCHHOEFER, Real estate columnist

“What goes around comes around.”

That’s probably one of my most overused idioms. I say it often. Some people call it karma. Either way, it’s the law of cause and effect at its finest.

I buy into this 100 percent, lock, stock and barrel. That’s the whole entire gun, right? I’m all in.

It’s an intensely motivating factor. A few years ago, I was filling out a biography sheet for a networking group and was asked, “What is the secret to your success?”

I named three things; The good old Golden Rule (from a book written about 6,000 years ago by a culmination of ancient people), “The 7 Habits,” (a book written by Stephen Covey in 1989), and “The Secret,” (a book published in 2006 by Rhonda Byrne).

Essentially, all three of these things teach the same principal; what you give, you get back exponentially. Of course, there are a bunch of good pages in between, but that’s the essence.

Recently I was out showing houses to a young couple I’ve been working with. Although they’re young, they’ve transitioned quite a bit for their age, so this is the third time around for us.

Last time they bought, however, the market wasn’t as competitive as it is now. We looked at just a few homes on two or three different occasions before they found one they liked.

This time has been different. Their family has grown, so their needs have changed, but the market has also changed.

As I was unlocking the door to our seventh home of the day, my client asked, “How many people do you work with at one time?”

I gave her an approximate number. She then asked, “Do you spend as much time with them as you have spent with us? You must never be home.”

“If it takes that long to find them the right home, then yep, it’s our job. It’s what we do,” I replied.

Truth be known, as Realtors, most of us do spend many hours in the field. Not only is it how we make a living, it’s also what we do for fun. No kidding.

At the last showing of the day, she said, “You’ve spent all day with us, and we didn’t really find anything. I feel bad. I’m so sorry we wasted your whole day.”

The word “wasted” would imply that we expended the entire day carelessly or extravagantly with no purpose. That’s absolutely not what we did. We knocked out a bunch of homes that we can now cross off the list, and we had a great time doing it.

We shared sarcastic glibs surrounding some fascinating artwork we saw, we witnessed a whole new purpose for duct tape, we practiced our cartwheels in a large backyard (I still can’t do one) and we ran a stop sign without getting caught (it was by accident). If nothing else, that was just a good time and some darn fun.

As Realtors, one of our jobs is to help our clients find the right home for them. It’s what we do — every day, all day long. Most of us love what we do.

It doesn’t just provide a living, it provides a life. We get experiences that few others can have in their given professions. We never wake up to a day that looks just like the one before. No two days are ever alike. It’s truly exhilarating.

A few weeks back, I read something on a post that another agent had written. He had said he would never show his client as many as 37 homes.

That’s too bad. This dude is not only missing out on some great times, but he’s missing out on some good karma. Sometimes it takes 37 homes.

This is real life, not HGTV. We don’t give our clients three homes to pick from and then force them to pick the least disgusting. In real life, even in this tight market, we have options.

I would want someone to spend that time with me, if needed, so I guess that makes it easier to do for someone else.

​Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor with Ascent Real Estate. She can be reached at 801-645-2134 or

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