Solano Real Estate Scene: I’ve been struck with writer’s block

I love writing about real estate, finance, investing and financial literacy. I am passionate about my industry and my community and am honored to be able to contribute columns to the Home Seller section of the award-winning Fairfield Daily Republic. My goal has been to educate our local consumers and our next generation about financial security and success while maintaining a sense of humor. I am trying to help my four grown kids, teammates at work and my clients avoid financial mistakes. I have failed to turn in a column for three of the past four weeks because I have suffered some type of writer’s block and I think I know why. The mortgage and real estate business is a sales and customer service business. To be successful in any service business that deals with the public, the staff members need to be “on” pretty much all the time. For example, a server at most nice restaurants makes a majority of their income from tips, and so to make a lot of money you need to be friendly, motivated and happy. Another example might be the branch manager at a bank or a credit union in which promotions and bonus income are dependent on the success of the branch and the team. The bank manager needs to smile a lot and motivate the staff to treat clients like kings and queens, so they open accounts and refer new clients to the bank. At the happiest place on Earth, the cast members are required to be outwardly happy and appreciative of their Disneyland guests. At almost every sales or personal development seminar I have ever attended the speakers and coaches always emphasize the importance of staying positive and optimistic no matter what adversarial stuff happens to you. Happiness and optimism promotes motivation and creativity, which clients, guests and customers can feel and appreciate. So, if I like writing columns about the real estate industry and financial literacy for the middle class, why the heck did I fail three out of four weeks to turn in an article? It isn’t writer’s block and it isn’t laziness because although I have my share of weaknesses and faults, including writing run-on sentences and making grammatical errors, everyone knows I have worked my butt off to support my wife and four kids since moving to Vacaville in 1988. The problem has been my lack of motivation and creativity because some of my family members have been suffering over the past few months and it has caused me stress and sadness. My parents and a couple of my nieces have been going through very tough times and because my folks are in their 80s and the two girls are both under 10, it has been a bit overwhelming for me because of their mutual vulnerability and age. My mom and dad are old, and the girls are so young. My point in writing this column is to honor the thousands of people I work with and know that smile and shine daily for their customers, coworkers and their families no matter what is going on behind the scenes. My family suffering is nothing in comparison to what I witness monthly with illness, accidents and tragedy in my community and among my friends in sales. We in the business of customer service put on a front sometimes because we know that buyers don’t want to hear our sad stories or our complaining. It’s not being phony, it’s being considerate and kind to make others happy and positive whenever possible. Nobody wants to go to an expensive restaurant and have their server frowning during the dinner and complaining about the finger he lost earlier in the day in the kitchen food processor.