We sold 16 houses before we closed on the Sweetwater deal, but it was an excellent training ground for us. We held it open every Saturday and Sunday. JoAnn called the clients she had met at the open house on the busy street and invited them to come see the Sweetwater property. We began showing homes. We showed a lot of homes. We worked seven days a week. I spent endless hours on the Multiple Listing Service computer and sometimes worked until two o’clock in the morning. We each had one good pair of jeans. JoAnn washed them overnight, and I ironed creases into them each morning.
We didn’t have a cell phone, but a friend named Donna, who later became our first showing agent, was married to a fellow who worked for the electric power company. His company had issued a cell phone to him, and Donna offered it to us on weekends when Lonnie was off. It was shaped like a brick and weighed three pounds, but we were thrilled to have it.
We wrote a lot of offers. This was 1997, and the real estate market was flat. Buyers were initially unrealistic, and we typically wrote five contracts for every one that was accepted. We stopped going to the new-agent classes and concentrated on knowing what we were doing when it came to serving the client. We became competent.
On that night when we sat down with the Smiths and then the Browns, having decided to put these Clients First and that nothing else mattered as long as we took care of and kept these clients, we were grateful for our ...