As a real estate professional, I have entered many salesrooms or more commonly what would be called showrooms for new construction builds. These sales rooms consist of elaborately decorated furnishings, rich colored walls, home accessories galore and an a array of “builder” options sprawled out for future homeowners to make their option selections for their perfect “to be built” home.
Whether it’s a small room in a model home or a full design center with several rooms full of options, every aspect of a designing a house is included in this process. The idea is to make the future owner feel relaxed and “at home”. Clients are made comfy and cozy, perfectly positioned to add options to their home that suit both their needs but mostly cater to their desires, toggling to remain in budget.
My job as a buyer’s agent is to help navigate the process. Ensuring my client does not exceed their “option money” and that they make wise choices about their selections. After having experienced this process personally and professionally for the last 18 years, I can precisely determine where and how my clients will elect to use their dollars and where my challenges lie in reeling them into perspective.
I am able to navigate the salesroom quite smoothly and the ultimate goal is to leave with my clients having a perfect blend of their needs and wants and always within budget. The experience is designed to be a joyful and exciting time, turning a soon to be built house into a dream home.
Now that’s my experience in a salesroom.
However, this weekend while on my anniversary bae-cation, I choose to visit a different type of salesroom.
Nestled, near the heart of downtown Charleston, the “salesroom” I visited had a different feel. It was cold, with all brick walls, a slightly sunken floor that you could feel as you walked over the wood floor and all around were pictures and posters, not of alluring flowers and placards with housing options, but of people that looked like me. People that had stood in the actual room, not to buy houses but to be sold as if they were houses but for much less.
Now before you decide to stop here let me encourage you to keep reading because stopping here may the exact reason you keep stopping at your goal and dreams in real estate. Stopping now may be exactly what keeps you in your confident zone not realizing that the next few read paragraphs are being written to propel you into action with more passion and purpose and commitment than ever before.
So please keep reading.
I was standing in an actual slave salesroom. The Ryan’s Slave Market is considered to be one of the areas only exact slave auction buildings. This means I was NOT in a replica but the VERY place where slaves , my ancestors, where sold up until 1863. This building was constructed and existed several years after open slave trade was outlawed in 1856 in Charleston. Ryan’s Slave Market was in full operation behind closed doors, allowing the City of Charleston to build it’s appeal to visitors, new residents and businesses on it’s Southern charm and hospitality while seemingly hiding the grotesque and very active, profitable and dehumanizing slave trade.
As I walked around this “salesroom” I immediately was able to draw a picture in my mind of how a “buyer” selected their “property”. What “options” were more appealing, what ”shades” were more desirable based in functionality and usage of the slave. The posters in the room listed prices broken down into categories for male, female, age, experience and usage (I won’t list these as it may be a bit much for some), just as housing salesrooms do for light fixtures, kitchen appliances, carpet levels A-Z.
It took all of me to stomach what I read. it took more strength not to cry.
But here’s why I am sharing this experience.
The people, not property, that stood in this room to be sold , didn’t have a chance to be on the “buyers side. Many would never have the opportunity to sit in a salesroom and buy anything, not land, not a home, let alone an investment. But they did make a pathway for YOU, whether you wish to believe, concede, accept or acknowledge.
Those that were sold in that salesroom and so many others across this country, lived, endured and died so that you could LIVE, ENJOY and THRIVE!
I know this may not be the message you may want to hear but it is the perfect Real Talk Tuesday topic. It is not the soft, kind words of encouragement but the kick-butt truth, you have to hear and receive to stop making simple excuses for :
- not buying the house you desire for your family
- not building the apartment community to help single moms
- not committing to the plan for the community center you have being dreaming
- not taking the class to obtain your license to help the people achieve goals such as those above
Divas Doing Real Estate was created out of my desire to help bridge the gap of ownership amongst African Americans. I didn’t really want to face the systemic reasons for why the gap exists. Being in that salesroom opened my eyes to more than I cared to see. But it put in perspective of why I need to continue this journey.
I didn’t want to be in the salesroom of the Old Slave Mart Museum but curiosity kill the cat. Now that I have stood in that room, I can’t pretend I wasn’t there. I can’t pretend I didn’t see the shackles, the ropes, the words and all that was meant to break, bend and bind.
However, I shall do my part to ensure that those generational shackles, ropes and binding words are not what hinders DIVAS any longer in taking their next best steps to achieving their real estate dreams.
Whether those shackles are self doubt, fear, lack of knowledge, financial and credit challenges or simply lack of resources, it is time to step out on faith and trust that the dreams that were planted in you are both deserved and obtainable.
If you will not do it for yourself do it because you know that someone else never had the chance. Someone that stood in that salesroom needs you to achieve your goal!
Now what you do next is your option but what you could do next may change the options for someone else.
If you wish to explore our dreams in real estate and create a pathway to success. Schedule a Dream Session with me to have a candid, DIVA-friend conversation about what’s really keeping you from pressing forward.
PS… I would love to hear your feedback and perspective on this blog post. It was much more provocative than usual but the truth sometimes is, so email me!