In the Trenches: The Long and Winding Road Home

A collection of stories from real estate professionals detailing crazy, funny, or poignant experiences that have happened on the job.
In the Trenches

© Steve Musgrave

A few years ago, I worked with an out-of-town buyer who was divorcing and moving with her three children from San Diego to Aiken, S.C. I helped her purchase a home, and she was counting on a friend to help her pack and make the cross-country trek. But a few days before the big move, her friend had to back out.

I decided to fly out to help her—on one condition. I wanted to see the Pacific Ocean. Then I thought: Why not take a detour to see the Grand Canyon? It was only 200 miles off our route!

The buyer agreed, and I flew in the next day. She picked me up at the airport, and we made a quick stop so I could stick my toes in the ocean and walk along the shoreline. Then we drove to her San Diego home, where she had a moving van already loaded with all her family’s belongings. I climbed in with my client and her kids and two cats, and we started our journey.

We were like a pack of friends on a road trip, driving through mountains and deserts and taking photos and videos. We stopped at the Four Corners Monument, where Arizona, Utah, Colorado, and New Mexico meet. We laughed while taking pictures of our legs and arms in four states at the same time!

It took us an entire week to get to Aiken, and we arrived just in time for her kids to wake up early the next morning for their first day of school. We were thankful we made the trip without a hitch and formed a new, close bond. I would do it again!

—Judy Johnson, GRI, Meybohm Real Estate, Aiken, S.C.

There for Our Clients

Last summer, I had a client whose mother had recently passed away. He had no other family close by, had cared for his parents his whole adult life, and was devastated and lost. I helped him prep and clean the house and spent time counseling him. I could see that he wasn’t caring for himself. When he developed intense abdominal pain, he said he didn’t have money to see a doctor and didn’t want to bother anyone.

On the 4th of July, however, he called me in severe pain. I left my family barbecue and brought him to the hospital. The doctors operated immediately. When he returned home, he was unable to drive or walk. He’d text me each day with a list of the special foods he needed. I’d bring it to his home and check in on him.

The funny part of this story is this: It’s been over a year, and my client has moved to another state. Yet he continues to send me small gifts, emails, and texts—and has even had pizzas delivered to my home!

Most of us who work in this business have stories like this. We are not just transactional agents; we are an industry of caring professionals who want to make a positive impact on people’s lives. Our clients become like family and remain a part of our lives in so many ways.

—Suzanne Menendez-Herbst, AHWD, Shankle Real Estate, Monterey, Calif.

Share your story of triumph, humor, horror, or warm heartedness from your time in the field. You may appear in REALTOR® Magazine!