Being a part of the major life decisions and changes of others has been a big part of my life as an adult and professional. I don’t know exactly why. But it’s been enough of a personal theme that I wanted to share a little bit about what I’ve learned from being involved in some of the biggest life changes any of us will encounter. 

A few years ago I decided to become volunteer fire fighter and EMT. I wanted to contribute something to my community and give back in a way I thought I had some natural abilities. I kinda knew what I was getting into. But nothing can really prepare you for the harrowing experiences you’re going to face—trying to provide tangible support and comfort in times of tragic loss and devastation to homes, or lives, or loved ones. You never know what’s going to be on the other end of that call. It could be a car accident, a fall from a latter, an unexpected, reaction to a prescription drug. Whatever the situation, I and my colleagues are often being summoned into a highly stressful and very vulnerable situation. 

Understandably, these are usually moments that people would rather not publicize. But they also need help, which means a very private experience has to become public in some way. As emergency responders, we come in to that paradox, which is something I take very seriously. These are situations that nobody can predict or prepare for. But here we are, called upon to deal with a crisis, working together as people who are composed of the same flesh and blood. 

Being a part of these experiences has given me a deeper appreciation for my work in real estate. In that walk of life I’ve come to realize that even in the best of circumstances moving from one home to the next can touch us all on a very deep level. But we don’t always get the best of circumstances. Sometimes home relocation is a result of some of the tragic experiences I’ve encountered as a volunteer. Sometimes it’s troubled finances, or family discord, or aging. Whatever the case may be, as a realtor I’m being called to provide non-emergency services with some of the same vulnerabilities in play. These can be harrowing and humbling experience: they’re engraved invitations to enter the lives of perfect strangers to provide support in a time of need. 

On both a personal and professional level, my goal is to accept these invitations with sincerity and grace, providing the care and service required to help people through whatever painful conversations or decisions need to be made. I ideally we can arrive at the best possible outcome. To get to that point might be as straight forward as being a listening ear in a time of need. But it can also be as expansive or detailed as handling estate services, clean outs, restoration, relocation, and charitable donations to streamline the process. 

All of this comes back to my desire to serve in any way I can, whether it’s an emergency call in the middle of the night, or a non-emergency contact durning normal business hours. Last night it was the former. And even though our emergency team couldn’t save the house that caught fire, we did everything we could to minimize the damage, caring for a property in total loss like it was our own.