The Philadelphia Real Estate Blog


10 Life Lessons Inspired by our Real Estate Adventures in 2010

10 Life Lessons Inspired by our Real Estate Adventures in 2010


Chris and Stephanie Somers Ready for the HolidaysWhile sitting on a train from Richmond to Philadelphia this past Thanksgiving Holiday, we put together 10 of our most personally inspiring life lessons learned over the past year.  We looked back at some of the more highly read Real Estate blogs that we wrote for inspiration.  In essence, these blogs have become a journal of sorts for us, chronicling the weird, wacky and in some cases brilliant experiences we've had.  In putting this article together for you, we realized that even though we are Realtors® by profession, there are some pretty great real life universal lessons that we learned and we want to share some of them with you. 

So here they are. 10 Lessons from Realtor® to Real Life

1)  Sabotage is only cool when the Beastie Boys  sing it,  unless Eminem's got the mic
We learned that great life lessons can be learned everywhere, even through the edgy, in your face lyrics of pop culture's famed rap artists.

2) Beer not required but it never hurts.
We learned to celebrate those unexpected and even unusual moments when they insert themselves into our daily life. If someone brings cake to the office meeting, call it a party! If there is beer in the boardroom, make a toast! Go with the flow and enjoy.

3)  Invisible friends make the best BFF's ever !  One of the great lessons of all time for us is to delegate the work that we need to get done and we've entrusted that to some people who we almost never see! Virtual assistants.  Meet one of our invisible friends.

4)  Look up!  Lift your gaze off the ground, away from your Blackberry, off of the keyboard, or iPad,  get out of your head and look up into the eyes of your friends and colleagues.   Interact because life is good!

5) Often, "Simple" is the best strategy.  When we uncomplicate things it almost always equates to less stress and greater success. This concept can be applied to everything from our work schedule to our junk drawer at home.

6) Honesty is the best policy.   This well worn phrase needs no explanation.

7) Take a vacation !   We are pretty sure that it is a Law of Physics (like gravity and entropy) that when you take a vacation, expect your business to grow.

8) Sometimes when you lose you win !  It happens to the best of us when we experience a setback or disappointment that breaks our heart. Then later as time passes we see that the loss was actually a blessing in disguise as something greater was out there for us!

9) Excitement is contagious!  Wooo Hooo!

10)"Slow down you move too fast..." (Simon and Garfunkle) Never toss the car keys into your trunk and then close it while your car is parked illegally in front of a fire hydrant at N 12th and Wood Streets thus making your wife take a cab to bail you out of your predicament because you were rushing for no reason at all except out of habit. "Feeling groovy..."


There it is folks.  The 10 Lessons we learned this year!! 

We look forward to yet another year of life's peculiar and admittedly wise teachings with great excitement.  2010 was certainly interesting for us and we hope that as this year draws to a conclusion for you, that your December Holidays be filled with much health and joy as can possibly be had.



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Sometimes going back to the basics is the best.  I love the 10 lessons and got a chuckle out of the vacation one, isn't that the truth.

Posted by Bob Jakowinicz, Michigan Real Estate Agent-- MI RE Adventures (National Realty Centers Livonia--Bob Jakowinicz) over 7 years ago

Stephanie and Christopher,

Love the lessons! And your holiday garb will make it really easy to spot you at RainCamp tomorrow.

Posted by Irene Kennedy Realtor® in Northwestern NJ (Weichert) over 7 years ago

Christopher and Stephanie , well said and done - enjoyed it. Great lessons all around.

All the best to you (both) for 2011 !


Nor Yeretsian

Posted by Nor Yeretsian, Envoy Capitol Realty Inc., Brokerage Toronto (Envoy Capitol Realty Inc.) over 7 years ago

I know when I take a vacation, the phone always rings like crazy. There's a lesson in there somewhere (take more vacations).

Posted by Toni Weidman, 26 Years Selling Homes in New Port Richey, FL (Sailwinds Realty) over 7 years ago

Now those are some good looking faces!!!

Merry Christmas!

your friend in Charlottesville

Posted by Charles McDonald, REALTOR®, Blogger, Principal Broker®, Owner (Charlottesville Real Estate Solutions) over 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing. Treat people fairly, enjoy the opportunities each day brings, choose to be happy, and good things will happen.

Posted by Laura Forman, Your Brevard Premier Property Specialist (National Realty of Brevard over 7 years ago

What a great way to start Monday morning!  I love number 7.  This summer I held off on 2 such vacations because I was just about to see some short sales close.  I finally packed up the car and left town only to have everything break loose while I was on the road!  Talk about appreciating partnerships...  And #10 takes the cake!  


Posted by Jennifer Prestwich, Your Castle RE Colorado (Henderson, Thornton, Broomfield and Westminster) over 7 years ago

Interesting lessons here. I really like the number 10 lesson best!

Posted by Gary L. Waters, Broker Owner, Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC, ... a small office, delivering big service! (Waters Realty of Brevard, LLC) over 7 years ago

Chris & Stephanie, I am now feelin GROOVY!

Posted by John Cunningham, Helping Phoenix Sellers and Buyers find each other (eXp Realty) over 7 years ago

Good post - and very accurate points. Thanks for sharing. I like them all, but #2 could be my favorite!

Posted by Carol Zingone, Global Realtor in Jax Beach, FL - ABR, CRS, CIPS (Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Florida Network Realty) over 7 years ago

Laura and Nor, thanks for your comments guys!

Charles and Irene- We are happy to see you with your Christmas "game face" on!

Carol- you are emy kinda Broker!

John- you are "Groovy"... no matter what any one else says : )

Gary and Rob- Yeah... number 10. Good times : )

#7 is true, right ? You know it Toni and Jennifer.


Posted by Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate (Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access) over 7 years ago

Chris and Steph ..What an adorable post ! Love your pics ! See you at RainCamp

Posted by Hannah Williams, Expertise NE Philadelphia & Bucks 215-953-8818 (Re/Max Eastern inc.) over 7 years ago
Just listening to the you just listen to the words...makes ya feel...well GROOVY
Posted by Russell Hensel (Comprehensive Building Consultants) over 7 years ago
All great points. Some I have under control, some I have to work on. Thanks.
Posted by Eric Michael, Metro Detroit Real Estate Professional 734.564.1519 (Remerica Integrity, Realtors®, Northville, MI) over 7 years ago

Fantastic list!  #4 is especially important to me at this time - too much time looking into screens, not enough time spent looking into people's eyes.

Posted by Kathryn Acciari, RSPS, SRS, REALTOR(R) Sturbridge-Shrewsbury MA (Cameron Real Estate Group) over 7 years ago

Great adventures to share in 2010...i can't imagine what they will be like in them all!

Posted by Ginny Gorman, Homes for Sale in North Kingstown RI and beyond (RI Real Estate Services ~ 401-529-7849~ RI Waterfront Real Estate) over 7 years ago
All good... but I don't practice the "take a vacation" enough! ;-)
Posted by Phil & Celeste Pafford, Corona Short Sale Broker (, Corona CA) over 7 years ago

Christopher and Stephanie, 

What a list.  Life is good - enjoy where we are at the moment verses wishing for this to pass.  I know we will all be stronger for it. 

All the best, Michelle

Posted by Michelle Francis, Realtor, Buckhead Atlanta Homes for Sale & Lease (Tim Francis Realty LLC) over 7 years ago

Love your list and what a great way to come up with new blogging fodder. On a train ride!

Posted by Karen Crowson, Your Agent for Change (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

Love it all but #5 is something my wise BIC has said way too many times to me!  This truly is a simple business-- we (me especially!) tend to over-complicate and cause unnecessary stress! Thanks for the fun blog and picture too! You must make a great team! ;-)

Posted by Trevor Foote ~ Realtor® ~Rocky Mount NC MLS (Moorefield Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Thanks for sharing your 10 lessons.  I enjoyed the read.

Happy Holidays to you and yours.

Patricia/Seacoast NH & ME

Posted by Patricia Aulson, Realtor - Portsmouth NH Homes-Hampton NH Homes (BERKSHIRE HATHAWAY HOME SERVICES Verani Realty NH Real Estate ) over 7 years ago
Good tips. My girlfriend is always telling me to 'look up' from the computer and to take that needed vacation.
Posted by Mark Montross, Listing and Buyer Specialist (Catamount Realty Group) over 7 years ago

Very good stuff here, I am especially fond of #5. :)

Posted by Chris Olsen, Broker Owner Cleveland Ohio Real Estate (Olsen Ziegler Realty) over 7 years ago

Great points- love your consistency in your blogging- great inspiration

Posted by Jamie Parker Gwinnett, Realtor, Snellville Homes (Exp Realty) over 7 years ago

Great list - & you included some that I need to pay attention to RIGHT now.  Thanks!

Posted by Nancy Conner, Olympia/Thurston County WA (Managing Broker - City Realty Inc) over 7 years ago
Great post! I finally took a vacation this year and WOW what I difference it made! ... I also loved #1 :-)
Posted by Kerry Lucasse, Your Nest Atlanta Real Estate Consultant (eXp Realty - Nest Atlanta Team) over 7 years ago
Good post with great advice and an uplifting theme. Thanks.
Posted by George Bennett, Inactive Principal Broker, GRI (Inactive) over 7 years ago

That was fun and inspirational! I wish vacation trick would work for me, but it doesn't - yet. I like #8. SOmetimes, in the spur of a moment you think you are losing, because you only see what's close, but the big picture is fogged. Only later on you realize what a blessing this "loss" was, and how much more you have gotten instead...

Posted by Anna Tolstoy (Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage) over 7 years ago

I might do a spin off of this around New Year's Eve. Now I have to mull over the ten. How do you add the Christmas motif to your photo above?

Posted by Cheryl Ritchie, Southern Maryland 301-980-7566 (RE/MAX Leading Edge over 7 years ago

Great idea for a post, we do need to all think about the lessons learned in 2010 as we set our goals for the new year. You made it fun to read.

Have fun at RainCamp.


Posted by Missy Caulk, Savvy Realtor - Ann Arbor Real Estate (Missy Caulk TEAM) over 7 years ago

I love the idea of putting together a list like this ...very personal and yet we can all sigh and say: "been there, done that!"

Posted by Richard Weisser, Richard Weisser Retired Real Estate Professional (Richard Weisser Realty) over 7 years ago

Stephanie and Chris,

Like everyone - I love your blogging style and the list truly does capture the year you've experienced with all its twists and turns.  I also appreciate your mention and love being your virtual BFF.  It is so refreshing to be partner up with a team that has such great vision and talent - you truly are a dynamic duo!  (Love the photo!) ~AM

Posted by Anne Marie Malf, Real Estate Marketing Consultant/Virtual Asst, Bucks County,PA (Malfi Marketing Solutions ~ for real estate professionals) over 7 years ago

Great lessons from pop culture and a really nice post.  Thanks for the bright spot in my day.

Posted by Bryan Robertson, Broker, Author, Speaker (Intero Real Estate) over 7 years ago

Thanks for all the comments !  I am glad that many of you can relate to some of the items from the list.  It was hard to come back and comment individually on this one as after the train ride we were swarmed with end-of-the-month real estate activity and then the pre-Raincamp party and then of course Raincamp in Philadelphia yesterday (which was amazing) ! 

I think the amazing part that this time of year brings is the opportunity to look back to see and reflect on those life lessons, both in business and in life, in regards to what works for you and what did not work out as well.  And then in 2011 focus on the things that did work and of course be open to trying out new things as well and be open to change, especially in Real Estate and technology and how it affects your business.  And of course, take those moments to "Feel Groovy" : )  ~ Chris

Posted by Christopher and Stephanie Somers - Realtors - Philadelphia Real Estate (Realtor / Owner - RE/MAX Access) over 7 years ago

I can turn this post into my 2011 business plan, great points to keep the sanity. Happy New Year.

Posted by David Popoff, Realtor®,SRS, Green ~ Fairfield County, Ct (DMK Real Estate ) over 7 years ago