I Fell In Love With a Real Estate Agent
Meet three couples in the business who have made their relationships work with their demanding careers.
February 13, 2015
They say to “love the one you’re with,” but what if the one you’re with has a demanding job in real estate? In this 24/7 career, juggling clients, listings, showings, and transactions along with making time for that special someone can be difficult. As Valentine’s Day approaches, REALTOR® Magazine spoke with a few real estate professionals hit by Cupid’s arrow about how they met their true loves and how they manage their relationships.
Brian Sales and Laura Lyons Sales
There should be a law that says when you work in real estate and meet a man by the last name of Sales, you have to marry him, jokes 49-year-old Laura, ABR, CRS. Broker and co-owner of The Sales Team, REALTORS®, in Midland, Texas, Laura met Brian, 56, when he was an advertising manager for the Midland Reporter-Telegram in 2006. They exchanged information during a community event, but she couldn’t quite recall who he was when he called a few days later to inquire about finding a home.
Best and Worst Reasons to Love a Practitioner
- They understand why you took that 3 a.m. call from a client.
- They know why a five-piece suit has five pieces.
- They corrected the misspelling of your company name before the ad made it to the bus bench next to your son’s school.
- They can stage the house before your in-laws arrive.
- They make a mean appetizer tray.
- They take calls at 3 a.m.
- They refuse to let you wear flip-flops and shorts in case someone you know sees you at Starbucks.
- They misspelled your company name and signed off on the ad on the bus bench next to your son’s school.
- They can’t enter a room without moving a floral display or leave without smoothing out a rug.
- They ate the seven-layer dip before the event started.
They went on some showings, and soon he was under contract on a house. During the process,Laura’s assistant, Amy, brought some paperwork for Brian to sign and made a strange observation.
“She told me she had a feeling,” Laura recalls. “She said, ‘You know you are going to marry him.’”
When the deal was done, Laura moved on. But when Brian called again — this time to ask her to dinner — she couldn’t resist. During that date, Laura realized she had a lot in common with Brian.
They got engaged in February 2008 and were married in June of that year. Amy, the visionary assistant, sang at the wedding.
Brian left the newspaper he worked for in October 2008, completed his real estate licensing coursework, and began selling with Laura in January 2009. Last year, the couple closed 139 transactions at an average sales price of $300,000. They recently bought a 5,000-square-foot building and opened The Sales Team. Today, Brian, GRI, is an associate owner of the company.
Though challenging at times, working together “makes [us] better and more patient and understanding, and brings another dimension to [our] relationship,” Laura says.
The couple makes sure not to let work run their lives, setting aside one night each week to spend personal time with each other.
“We need to take time to focus on our marriage and our family,” Laura says. “This is critical. We have a wonderful family, and Brian has blessed me greatly. I am so glad I waited for the right one.”
Michael Jackson and Hudson Warren
Both sales associates now with Keller Williams Elite Realty in Bonita Springs, Fla., Jackson and Warren bonded and shared laughs during a chance encounter at a Keller Williams Mega Camp coaching event in Austin, Texas, in September 2013.
At the time, Warren lived in California, where he had been selling real estate for seven years, while Jackson was in his third year as a full-time salesperson in Florida. On the last day of the Mega Camp, the two took a quick break from their sessions and bumped into each other while walking around the convention space. Jackson told Warren he looked familiar, and they started talking. With the conference ending and time to kill before his flight home, Jackson invited Warren to join him and a friend for brunch.
“Three hours later, we realized we had a ton of things in common,” Jackson says.
Toward the end of the brunch, he jokingly suggested that Warren stay an extra day to enjoy Austin. It turned out that Warren actually liked the idea, so he got on the phone and paid $350 to change his flight. Warren fibbed to his mother that he was being held over an extra day because of inclement weather and flight cancelations.
“[His mother] was supposed to pick him up from the airport, and she was also feeding his dogs,” Jackson says.
After a long-distance courtship, Warren sold his California home, moved to Florida, and bought a house with Jackson in Fort Myers late last year. Warren joined Jackson’s real estate team at Keller Williams, which, they admit, has been tough at times.
“We were both used to being the boss,” Jackson says. Still, he adds, in business, love, and life, communication is key. “I am not the best communicator when it comes to sharing. However, Warren brings this out in me.”
Ed Gomes and Sandi Edgar Gomes
When Sandi, 68, set up a first date with Ed, 67, through Match.com in 1999, she was a little nervous about how things would go: “I was afraid he would try to sell me a house,” Sandi admits.
At the time, the online dating service didn’t let users upload photos of themselves, but Ed, CRS, broker-owner of Pride Properties in Livermore, Calif., indicated his real estate profession in his profile. Thankfully, once the couple met in person, the only thing Ed was selling was himself. Sandi found her date surprisingly chatty, and over coffee, a spark ignited.
Three years to the day after that first meeting, the couple married. Since then, Sandi has learned about the real estate business through Ed’s work tales and attending functions with him. Then she actually got in the business when Ed wanted to develop a management division at his firm but lacked the personnel. When she retired after 20 years in hospital management, Sandi figured a logical next step was to help Ed build his new group.
“It seemed like a good idea for me to get a real estate license, too,” she says.
The first hurdle Sandi had to overcome after obtaining her license in 2007 and joining Ed’s company was losing the security of a regular paycheck, she says. Ed, who bought his company in 1978, was no stranger to living on commission. So Sandi drew on his experience and knowledge. What also helped, she says, was being able to share an understanding of the unique challenges a real estate career presents and using it to their advantage. That has also helped them in their personal lives.
“Real estate is a fun business to be in and even more enjoyable with a spouse or partner who shares the profession,” Sandi says. “We know the advantages and pitfalls. We understand the need sometimes to work nights and weekends … and the requirements to keep up with business trends and education. We speak the same language.”