Jen Kirchhoefer


Conversation with the 15-year-old daughter last week: “Mom, you absolutely have to see that movie. It is so so good. Can we please go tomorrow night. Please, please, please?”

“Ugg,” was literally my unedited and quite possibly, insensitive, reply. “It’s a musical, and it’s long, and you know I don’t love those sappy feel-good movies. Plus, you’ve already seen it. I’m not really sure I’ll be home in time, and if I am I might fall asleep during it. It’s probably already sold out. Not to mention, I had big plans to spend the evening popping the bubble wrap that came with the last Amazon package.”

After enduring the predicted colossal eye roll, I relented and rescheduled my bubble wrap popping event for the following evening. We purchased tickets online (since that seems to be the only way you can do it now to get a seat), paid the “convenience fee” and planned our treat embezzling methods. The time came and we made our way to the theater, found our assigned seats and settled into our luxury loungers that we paid an extra $3.75 for, only to find that mine didn’t recline. So much for my two-hour nap.

Here’s the thing, though ... from the second the show started all the way until the end, I was completely captivated. For someone with the attention span of a goldfish, that’s saying something. Warning, spoiler alert here: "The Greatest Showman" is seriously one of the greatest shows on Earth right now. Of course, that is coming from someone who has seen approximately three and a half movies in the last 12 months.

This film is basically about a man with little but ambition and imagination, who worked hard, inspired his team and orchestrated the Greatest Show on Earth. Aside from the fact that I’m nothing close to a film critic, as well as the fact that this is a column about real estate, I have to say that I was fascinated with the process that Phineas Barnum went through to bring it all together. It was the formula that he created to bring it home that rang familiar to me.

P.T. Barnum had a dream. In his case, it was to provide an unprecedented experience for folks to be entertained by. It could have been anything, though. We all have dreams. His formula for orchestrating a circus works as well for orchestrating a real estate transaction. He must interview a number of potential candidates for his show. They all have something unique about them, but they all have value. As does each home. He then must specify what each person’s role is and be sure they are performing in that role up to their greatest capacity and potential.

The juggling of roles between the lender, the title company, the home inspector, the appraiser, the buyer, the seller and Realtors in one transaction is truly a circus. However, if orchestrated well, it can be one heck of a good show. The key is the ring master. An experienced ring master with ambition and imagination, as well as tenacity, will prove invaluable. They must be adaptive and innovative and surround themselves with a team that shares the vision. Of course, a good soundtrack helps.

“The noblest art is that of making others happy.” Amen, P.T.

Jen Kirchhoefer is an associate broker and Realtor. She can be reached at or 801-645-2134.

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