Monthly Archives: July 2013

A Week Full of Love and Fun!

I wanted to share what was a busy week earlier this month in the Kitzmiller household… a busy week but also an extremely rewarding one!

My family and I participated in “Love Week,” an initiative that was started by Elevation Church about four years ago.  The goal of Love Week is for people all across Charlotte to serve as many hours as possible in the community.  It’s grown every year, not only in the number of service hours but also in reach, with new churches and groups joining every year. The goal for this year was 60,000 hours of service!!!

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To kick off the week, my daughters, Anja and McKenzie, and I volunteered at the Ballantyne Triathlon.  Our job was to cheer participants along at different points along the race route and to keep the energy level high at the finish line.

Having done triathlons, I know how participants and their friends (aka “cheering sections”) tend to move on to other activities after the athlete finishes the race, while others who might not have as much support are still finishing.  It was fun for us to be able to make sure that everyone had a good experience… right to the very last finisher!

It was also a lot of fun to serve at such an event as a family who likes to be active.  In fact, both of my daughters said they think a triathlon is something they might like to try in the future, after seeing participants of all ages and body types. That was wonderful to hear.

Next, we volunteered with an organization called Kids Against Hunger, packing up food bags that contained rice, vegetables, soy and protein powder.  The bags will be shipped to Nicaragua and can feed six children for an entire day, just by adding boiling water. So, armed with a hair net and gloves, we got to work!

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My daughter, McKenzie, and I also served with another organization called Friendship Trays, where we delivered food to individuals around Charlotte who were homebound, either due to age, illness or handicap.   It was a joy to be able to serve together, just the two of us.  This whole week was so impactful to her as a teenager. Not only did she volunteer more than anyone in our family, but she really learned so much about giving and serving, and how important it is, and how great it feels. It was awesome to see her growth.

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I capped off the already-busy week by doing another open water swim, this time at Cane Creek Park in Waxhaw.  It was not a huge event, but was a great opportunity for me to work on my time for swimming one mile in open water.  My goal was to finish it in under 30 minutes and I did it!  I came in at just over 28 minutes, which was 9th overall out of 56 participants and 1st among females.

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All and all, I’d say it was a pretty good week!

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Charlotte NC Real Estate Agent gives time and love to Friendship Trays

My daughter, McKenzie and I recently participated in working with Friendship Trays, Inc in Charlotte NC. Friendship Trays is a meals-on-wheels program serving Charlotte and Mecklenburg County, NC. With more than a thousand volunteers, they deliver, in a caring and friendly manner, balanced meals to individuals in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg community who are unable, because of age or infirmity, to obtain and prepare their own meal.

I had a great time working with this great organization, but most of all I spent time with my
daughter, helping to make a difference in the community!

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My first six years in business, what I have learned and what I love!

When I got my real estate license in July of 2007, I didn’t know just how quickly the market was headed downhill. Before that time, agents often had more transactions than they had time, and business was good! However, by the time I was getting ramped up, the market had all but dried up. Sounds like a sob story right? Actually, in hindsight, it ended up being a blessing in disguise!

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Starting a new career path is difficult all on its own. Adding to that also learning how to run my own business in a time where there was no business just adds a layer of complexity! My career to that point had been 100% corporate (read: stability), so I had a steep learning curve as leader of my own company. I decided that getting back to the basics was going to be the best route to success, and it ended up to be true.

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The “basics” in real estate consists of really three things – (1) Follow up with prospects and clients; (2) Delight prospects and clients with spot-on service; and (3) Never stop learning. You do those three things well in real estate (in any business, really), and you will set yourself up for success.

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As the years have progressed and business has boomed, I have more irons in the fire, and forgetting about those basics becomes a threat! However, I do my best to stay grounded in remembering what people want and need from me, and sometimes that just means I have to slow down, take a breath, and remember 2007. Staying true to those skills and beliefs has been a tremendous foundation for my business growth and success.

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Real estate is such an awesome field of work (and field of study)! It’s fascinating working with people from ALL walks of life and in ALL stages of life. Sometimes, though, it does feel like I’m more of a counselor than a broker!

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For example, I just worked with a couple who wanted seemingly different things in a house, and I had to work to find that house that make BOTH of them happy and feel at HOME! And, we did it! Just REALLY listening to them, getting to know them, caring for them and remembering their priorities helped us get to the finish line in a happy way.

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Helping my clients stay focused on their priorities and goals is what I do. Home buying or selling can be very stressful; my job is to minimize that stress as much as possible. One of the best ways I can do that (besides educating them on the process) is to help clients stay focused on the end game.

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A home seller who has lived apart from his/her family due to job relocation can get frustrated easily. I can help keep that person focused on the goal – living together as a family again – while continuing to work the process. Staying focused on that goal helps with clearer, more deliberate decisions, which helps the stress level.

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Being a lifelong learner is a must in this business. No two transactions are ever the same.  On one sale, I may learn about termite remediation and that a termite-infested house is NOT the end of the world… while on another, I may learn something new about the short sale process.  Every experience brings something new to learn, which is very cool because I’ve always been a learner at heart.

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The last thing I’ll mention as a HUGE learning over these 6 years is that who I surround myself with is critical. I’ve been very fortunate to develop really amazing partnerships, which are key to being successful.  Mortgage lenders, insurance agents, contractors and closing attorneys are just a few of the core “team” I depend on daily.  I trust my partners to deliver an experience to my clients that is second-to-none, and they demand the same from me. That’s why we click; our expectations are the same for each other, communicated and accounted for!

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Being a business owner is VERY different from life in the corporate world. It requires absolute discipline, creativity, self-accountability and self-awareness. While it can be a challenge and has been challenging at times over the past six years, never once have I looked back or given a second thought to my decision.

This is where I’m supposed to be and what I’m supposed to be doing. I know that for sure.

Here’s to 6 more!

Karen Kitzmiller