On January 1st, I took a difficult decision. After 18 years in the real estate business, I decided to inactivate my license.
It was a very difficult decision. I felt a real loyalty to my profession, my office, and my past clients, who need someone they can trust when it comes time to sell their cabin.
I was a former professor of philosophy and Atlanta small business owner, not a real estate agent. But when we decided in 2001 to move from our Atlanta home to our mountain cabin, there were effectively two choices available to me – swing a hammer or sell real estate. I did the real estate education, identified the firm I wanted to work for – Rick Murphy’s Coldwell Banker High Country – and persuaded him to hire me.
I started in June 2002. Some very good years followed. In 2005, I sold 500 acres of raw land in four separate deals, one of which was the largest deal in company history. And many people told me – I think sincerely – that they were grateful to me for helping them realize their dreams. That meant more to me than the money, which some years was pretty good.
I’m now 71, and I’ve been having some balance problems that the docs can’t seem to shake out. I’m fine, most of the time, especially on the flat, but it’s been hard to show cabins on a steep grade, and hard for me to get upstairs in cabins with polished oak steps and iffy handrails. I’ve been worried that I haven’t been giving my clients the service they deserve, and that bothers me. Adding insult to injury, my score on the clays field has slipped from my usual low 80s.
Still, it was an awfully tough decision. If anything made me feel good about it, it was an email from the guy who is now in charge of our office in response to my decision – not thanking me for 18 great years with the company – but informing me that I owed $166.25 in prepaid fees for 2020. That’s the real estate business, if anyone wants to know. Or maybe it’s just the real estate business where I used to work.
I’m not sure exactly what form this website will take in the future. I regret that I’ve had to take down my famous – or infamous – “Dirty Secrets?” tab. That was my discussion of the due diligence issues in our market. It will have to stay down at least until I can evaluate the liability issues involved.
I’m still a licensed real estate broker in Georgia, and I may find a way to get back into the business in the future. I can’t do anything right now because I’m not affiliated with a brokerage house, and not sure I want to start my own.
I’ll continue to try to cover the local conservation news. There’s no doubt we’re in a real conservation crisis, what with the current threats to public land and most of the conservation organizations fully engaged in fighting the battles of the past, while simultaneously alienating people who can help us with their arrogant, self-righteous, elitist attitude.
I’ll also try to continue to cover the local news that the “newspaper of record” somehow seems to miss – accidentally on purpose, you understand. Along with storm updates and road conditions, when appropriate.
That’s is, if it makes sense financially and is feasible technically. My webmaster is closing her business, which is bad news because it’s hard to find a good one, and she’s done a good job for me and for a conservation outfit I’ve been involved with for a long time. I can do a lot of it myself, but the pace of technological change means that sooner or later, there will be issues that a civilian can’t resolve.
I hope soon to have a mostly finished version of my local history project on the Kimsey Mountain Highway available on the website.
If any of my loyal readers have any suggestions or ideas, please email me at email@example.com.
As always, I’m willing to answer questions about our area by email.
Best wishes for a Happy and Prosperous New Year!