Warning: No Cynicism or MSG Included in this Post

Jonathan Dalton, Phoenix Real Estate AgentWell, except for this one observation … what seems to be lacking from the vast majority of real estate blogs is a true passion, an insight into the heart and soul of the blog’s author. “We can help with any purchase because we’re the greatest agents in history” doesn’t really say much about the writer.

For better or worse, I have a writer’s soul first and foremost. And it’s because of that basic fact that the emotions of the day usually work their way onto the screen in front of you. Usually it’s my mother who asks if I’m okay after a particularly cynical series of posts; yesterday it was one of my clients who jokingly (I think) said he’d hate to get on the wrong side of one of my blog posts.

I’m not going to lie. I’m a curmudgeon. I like things the way I like them, even if I can’t have them that way 99 percent of the time. When I go to a restaurant I usually order the same thing every time. Carrabba’s? Spedino di Mare. Arriba’s? Red chile burro or a fajita quesadilla.

Pullano’s is a small pizza-and-wing shop here in Glendale. There was a time when I could walk in the door and wouldn’t have to order. Becky and Lori would write up the ticket as soon as they saw me because they knew the order. Same thing happens right now when I go to Rock Bottom – out comes the second hefeweisen, out comes my iced tea. They know it. Other customers know it (and have pointed it out.) I’m a creature of habit.

All in all, I’m much like many of you. And I don’t mean “you” – the fellow real estate agents who read this blog regularly – but the “you” in the general public. When I see news about resetting ARMs and such, my first thought isn’t “what is this going to do to business?” It’s “how is this going to impact my family and my HELOC.”

Yes, I have a HELOC on my house. I have bills to pay, just like you. Granted, not all of you are down for a second ACL surgery on your beagle/slash/marketing vehicle, but feel free to substitute whatever you choose. I have to get my kids to soccer or to art class or to the mall, all bent around an admittedly flexible work schedule.

Any day now I’m going to post pictures of my wonderful winter lawn. Why? Because the thing grew! And it helps cancel out the three-year tiling project in my own bedroom closet.

I never went into real estate to be rich. Comfortable, I’d settle for. Able to provide for my family, that’s well enough.

Why do I get so mad at NAR for wasting my dues? Because that’s my money – money that can be spent on the next pair of soccer cleats, or auto insurance once the soon-to-be 16-year-old starts driving or the next trip to the Build-A-Bear Workshop.

There’s an overarching perception of real estate agents as money-grubbing whores who will do or say anything to secure the next commission check. But not all of us are that way. In fact, many, many of us are no different than you.

Check out the construction projects undertaken by Jay or Kelley.  Pick almost any post from Kris Berg describing her glamorous existence (which she still makes sound, well, glamorous.) Or the reality that Ardell brings to the table.

I’d love to be able to mask the cynicism, the concern for the housing market, the worries over the economy … but to pretend I’m not feeling any of that would make me less than human. If these are the things that worry you, isn’t it reasonable to assume they would worry me as well?

For some of us, blogging isn’t as much a vehicle to attract business as a therapeutic vessel through which we can share our thoughts, our minds, our feelings. Not that I’m going to start the group hug anytime soon (though I guess “hugs” and other such things are an option over on Facebook.)

Maybe that’s why I don’t worry so much about the possibility of some folks running for the hills when they read the blog. The information about the real estate market – that is for you, my readers. The blog itself … well, that’s for me.

[tags]real estate blogging[/tags]

Jonathan Dalton

Jonathan Dalton is a 40-plus-year resident of the Valley and has been helping folks buy and sell homes since 2004. He can be reached at 602-502-9693 or info at allphoenixrealestate.com.


  • Dave Smith 10 years ago


    Well said, I think we need to hear a lot more of this. With the influx of new RE Bloggers we are getting new bloggers but old web presense ideas which don’t translate well.

    For RE Blogging my new motto is “Personal is Professional” I like your blog and what you write. I’m interested in your winter lawn project and glad those are our photos and not the basement tiling project.

    Here is the obligator “Great Post” but I don’t have an Costa Rican property to sell.

  • Athol Kay 10 years ago

    OMG that fooking Build-A-Bear place.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    No kidding, Athol … every damn trip to the mall, she wants to go in. Did you know a stuffed leopard needs four ice skates, one for each paw? I spent an hour arguing that leopards skate on their back legs.

    Seriously … I was arguing this point!

    Not to mention every stuffed animal in there’s around $137.

    Dave – when you’ve got something down in Costa Rica, let me know. 🙂

  • Chris Lengquist 10 years ago

    First of all, most of your problems could be solved by NEVER GOING TO THE MALL AGAIN IN YOUR LIFE! It’s worked for me for nearly 4 years now. Almost got tricked into it a few weeks ago…but I caught on.

    Secondly, I think it’s a great post. Honestly, for me an my investors now really is a good time. My business is up because of the suffering of others. But I do get the same fears from time to time because heck, no one in real estate knows where their check next January is coming from. You just don’t know.

    People in the public (hourly or salary) may not know what that’s like or even be able to relate. But when there is nothing but bad news around you it makes you worry.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    Good points, Chris …

    I ran across my old Day-Timer from my time as a manager at Schwab. Was there stress? Absolutely. But never the stress of not knowing where the next check is going to come from.

    That’s what keeps many of us working 10-12 hour days minimum, what takes us away from family despite a flexible schedule. It’s the kind of thing that rarely allows anyone in this business to feel comfortable for any length of time.

  • Kris Berg 10 years ago

    >For some of us, blogging isn’t as much a vehicle to attract business as a therapeutic vessel through which we can share our thoughts, our minds, our feelings.

    Gawd, yes!! The day I start trying to blog for business, I will lose all interest and all audience. It has become a way for me to not only share ideas but to think through issues. Blogging is how I defrag.

    A big congrats on your new undertaking at AgentGenius. They are lucky to have you!

  • Athol Kay 10 years ago

    >>I spent an hour arguing that leopards skate on their back legs

    You daughter pre-closed you when you agreed leopards could skate at all.

  • Jonathan Dalton 10 years ago

    She pulled a Tom Hopkins on me … would it better if I got the ice skating outfit or this leather biker outfit.

    Kid’s better at this than I am.