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Finding purpose: A look at industry and identity.

“We see who you are, and care about how you are. We embrace and embody your hopes, dreams and commitments. We will hold you in high regard and desire deeply that you live and grow to your heart’s content. In short, we are with you.”

-City Home Collective

Can I talk a bit openly about real estate for a few minutes (and no, this isn’t me trying to Realtor you to death or sell you a house or get you on a mailing list.. I promise)? Probably too openly but, for the good or bad / right or wrong, that is what you get with my I suppose..

Back in 2018, I decided to get my Oklahoma real estate license and join my wife Jenni in the real estate world – mainly as a part time outlet as I still lead and ran EVOKE. She is one of the best around when it comes to taking care of people and understanding how to make things work for everyone. It was never going to be a full time gig for me and I never dreamed anything would have come from it other than a few deals here and there and to better understand my wife’s world.

In 2019, after we sold the coffee company, it was basically what I had to pivot to as far as a “career” was concerned and it ended up being my “thing” each day. Here is the truth – I have had a tough time finding purpose and an identity with the “Realtor” label.

My plan was to put my head down and try to create a business / team / platform that I could believe in while operating in an industry I wasn’t so sure about. I knew I cared about people on their personal journeys towards successful real estate outcomes and on their paths to home ownership but it felt like what I was seeing most from our industry was self held praise, fashion shows, top ten lists, and a “look what I’ve done for you” storyline. It is a hustle and bustle of “who’s on top” but often there is no regard for the people that actual make our industry go: those that are buying and selling homes.

Who do you look up to in your industry? Who is that mentor?

I wanted to be different but have struggled on what that means, how to do it, how to define myself in all of these cycles and, honestly, how to practice what I preach… It has also been hard to find that person, brand, and voice to guide as a mentor. In the coffee space, it was easy and I had several folks I would read and listen to daily on the national and global levels of our industry. Voices that could help guide my own decisions at EVOKE.

I decided last year that maybe I just needed to dive headfirst in the deep end of Real Estate in Edmond so I put my name in the hat for the Edmond Board of Realtors Board of Directors. I was not elected BUT was appointed by the new BOD to sit as a State Board Member of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors as well as take a non voting seat on the Edmond Board.

While I have enjoyed a chance to at least try to help make a difference on the professional side of things in Oklahoma real estate, it has still be a personal challenge.

Enter City Home Collective – a Salt Lake City based boutique real estate and interior design firm. The way they talk about real estate, people, community, houses and life is.. well.. so right and a gust of fresh air for me.

“It’s about finding that proverbial sweet spot…the home in which you unequivocally belong. Let’s leave square footage to the unimaginative. Here, a well-suited space is king and the feeling that comes with finding it reigns supreme.”

-City Home Collective

Since I first read the above quote on their site, I’ve found myself repeating it back so many times.. that our goal should be to help others find “the home in which you unequivocally belong.” That is what this industry should be all about, right?

Our team works hard to put people first.. to celebrate their success before ours.. to understand that our sole job as real estate professionals is to help them reach their goals successfully. To be transparent, honest, consistent, hard working… to earn every dollar of commission that we are paid.. To play by the rules and hold the other professionals in each deal (as well as their clients) like they are our own. To support our community, financially, at every possible opportunity..

I’ve never seen a brokerage or team define this role as clearly as City Home Collective does while doing all the design, brand story, messaging and marketing as good as anyone in real estate.

From the outside, it is what I’ve been hoping The Duncan Group is and what I know it can be as we grow. To bring a full and genuine people first package to the Oklahoma Real Estate Market that is both sensitive when needed but assertive with a powerful brand message and platform to do good for the community and beyond. To give voice to those that need it, to be unwavering in our support for all people and to always focus on the success of our clients.

This job has all to do with people. It is bigger than houses and market share or Instagram or magazine covers. It has everything to do with service, hospitality and community.

I know there is a path forward. It starts with the inside out. With living and working my days in a way that projects these values (something I need to work on in 2023) That is the task…

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