The key to success in real estate is the relationships you develop and nourish with your clients and colleagues. I want to tell you all about my industry and the camaraderie that exists locally. The real estate industry is made up of people from title companies, real estate companies, mortgage companies, home warranty and inspection companies, and insurance companies, just to name a few. Our clients are key to our success because without them we have no income to support our families. Clients also keep us motivated about what we do for a living because there is nothing more rewarding than helping someone achieve the American Dream of owning their own home or moving up to their dream home. Realtors get to hand off the key to the house and see the huge smiles and, sometimes, tears of joy. We all compete for clients in one of the highest stress businesses in the world and nearly all of us earn income based on results of our success. The stress is there because we deal with one of the largest purchases of a person’s life and moving is always a bit of a pain. The time deadlines on purchase agreements are critical but stuff happens with appraisals and home inspections, and I will admit it – lenders occasionally make mistakes that cause delays. This causes tears of sadness, fear and anxiety for everyone involved in the transaction and we look to our colleagues for a shoulder to cry on. But when everything goes perfectly, we get to celebrate together. I suggest you search Google for the theme songs from “Friends,” “I’ll Be There for You,” and also “Cheers,” “Where Everybody Knows Your Name,” to really get a feel for how things are here in the Northern Solano County Association of Realtors. We compete like crazy 40 to 60 hours per week, and then once per week meet at the association office and give tips to one another on how to be more successful. We also attend charity events together and party like it’s 1999 as often as possible. Most of our best friends are in the industry because of what we all have in common: We are all a little bit crazy. You have to be a little bit nuts to be on commission only, and in order to be successful, you have to be crazy about your client and their happiness.