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Stirrings by Beverly Hobbs Shea

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I love the honesty of country songs. Raw emotion, shared with an audience of neutrality, ignites a hidden spark and moves us quickly from untouched to identifiable.
Funny how we begin with a clean slate – ignorant of influential voices and with no opinions preconceived. Yet we learn to both adapt and adopt. And as we go through life, we begin to sift through all we’ve collected, and then decidedly take stock of what to believe, disbelieve, keep, or simply let go. We learn that the knowledge to which we claimed we acquired has become the wisdom by which we now live.

I love the authenticity of contemporary country songs. Unafraid to be transparent, their authors cloak their relatable words into catchy melodies and refrains that take up residence in our hearts and heads until another one comes along and takes its place. The artists who sing and breathe life to the words and feelings perfectly introduce, resolve, and let it go all within a passionate 3 minute delivery. Reminds me of Richard Carlson’s profound declaration “Wherever you are, be there.”
I may not be able to write a country song, but I can certainly write the story.
Beverly Hobbs Shea is Consulting Realtor at High Road Properties. 504-669-8826 Beverlyhobbsshea.com

Featured Posts General Opinion

Say What You Mean, Mean What You Say

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by Beverly Hobbs Shea

From as early as I can remember, my parents used to say to

always “own” my words and actions, to take responsibility

when it was mine to take, and to let integrity be my both

my inner guide and the one hallmark of my existence. That

was in the 50s and 60s – long before it was a fashionable

retro quality to be referred to. That was the time when I

roller skated with a key hung around my neck and no helmet,

when I left the house right after breakfast and returned

when it got dark (sans cellphone), and when teachers walked

the classroom aisles with threatening wooden ruler in hand

because no words were needed. It was clearly a time when

self-discipline, internal fortitude, and respect molded us

into the adults we were expected to be.

Everyone has their own path; it’s not for one to judge

what’s in another’s heart and mind. But while it’s not

right to judge, it’s hard not to observe the fruit of those

early years as it ripens with age and manifests. Speaking

strictly for myself, I’ve often wondered what happened to

many of those roller-skating neighborhood kids as I now

interact with them as adults; I just remind myself that

adults are just kids in bigger bodies (myself included)!

What happened that our generation collectively forgot the

values of hard and honest work, and of teaching the ones

that look to emulate us? Did we abdicate our duty to

demonstrate that it’s more important to stand for what is

correct and right than it is to sit for what is popular and

mediocre ?

And as I did when my own children were young, I now seek to

operate with the very same values the preceding generation

passed down to me — not just parents and teachers, but

early employers and mentors who modeled skill sets both

professionally and personally. I find myself grateful now

for the opportunity to look people in the eye and say what

I mean, and mean what I say; and to know that actions

always speak louder than even the loudest words.

Visit beverlyhobbsshea.com

Featured Posts General Opinion

Differentiation by Beverly Hobbs Shea

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Interesting word when we see it in print – a noun that

speaks to the act of differentiating. The root is the word

differentiate, which the dictionary tells us is more of a

verb: to form or mark differently/ to change or alter/ to

perceive the difference or to make different/ to become

unlike or dissimilar. In biology, it speaks of the change

from generalized to specialized.

I remember years ago there was an advertisement that spoke

of certain company representatives as being different at

birth. While I don’t believe that all who work under a

certain banner are superior (the intimation), I do believe

that there are certain innate traits that individuals are

born with, and also that there are traits that can be

enhanced, cultivated, and improved by outside influences.

After approximately 43 years in the real estate business

(yes, a very early start) and as my only profession, I’ve

witnessed many trends and cycles. I’ve always cringed at

how easy it is to get into the field, how difficult it is

to uphold a standard, and how often both the public and the

wannabes are fooled by the commitment required – a

commitment that extends beyond the who you know to what you

really know. There are no substitutes for the qualities

required for success and longevity in any business; we

know what they are. What should decide whether or not any

business person “brings it” is whether or not they can

execute the plays and bring about the intended goal (and in

so doing how they can differentiate themselves from the

rest of the pack).

I was once told that the more successful a person became,

the less they needed to advertise and tout their victories.

I’ve found this to be true. There is a certain freedom in

whatever degree of anonymity may exist, in letting others

refer and recommend based on past experience, in not making

promises that can’t be kept, and in exceeding expectations.

It’s the flying-under-the-radar “aha” moments that prompt

the real recognition that manifests in repeat business and

counts as the differentiation that matters.

Featured Posts General Shop Local

Small Town Thinking By Beverly Hobbs Shea

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Somehow we’re conditioned to believe that small towns are cities that suffered stunted growth. We absorb this kind of thinking at a time in our lives when we don’t really know what we don’t know, but are convinced we know a lot. It seems a logical deduction then, that life is slower and can’t possibly offer the same variety of entertainment or the same cultural, intellectual, or entrepreneurial opportunities as larger locales.

Years ago, Richard Carlson wrote “Wherever you are, be there.” How poignant in its brevity and in its truth. Thankfully, some of us come to appreciate that anywhere, we can always find what we want and need because our path leads us to that very spot where time and place intersect.

A downtown Covington street scene by James Overby.

Anonymity is perhaps most prevalent in vats of constant noise, activity, and clamor. The bigger the venue, the greater the mix, the bigger the vat. It seems far easier to be anonymous and keep a low profile in a larger area. Not always so in a smaller town, where even if we don’t always know a name, it’s likely that we’ve seen that face “around.” We all smile and nod politely because that’s what we do; it’s a silent acknowledgment that we share the same neighborly contentment.

Speaking strictly for myself, I’m grateful that I reside in a small town that has both heart and head. I can busy myself in activities, events, and causes, or I can be still and reflective, knowing that my “me time” is respected. Sooner or later, I’ll see you on the path!

Featured Posts General

Of Perceptions And Misconceptions

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by Beverly Hobbs Shea
High Road Properties

Rarely does a real estate practitioner start out with this as an initial career; it’s usually reserved as a default profession for a variety of reasons, none of which are necessary to list here. For those of us that are now “seasoned,” we know better. The skill set is second to none: organizational skills, self-discipline, knowledge, negotiation skills, communication skills, tenacity, perseverance, and commitment. There is simply no substitute for hard work and the ability to articulate and execute the necessary steps to success. Unlike textbook guidelines, there is nothing like exposure to situations you just can’t make up, and the insights gained from them. For the few that actually began their work careers in the business and who’ve remained in it through its ups, downs, twists, and turns, the stamina and knowledge base that comes as a result isn’t found in a “how-to’ book.

The good ones don’t have to brag. The emotional payoff comes in the form of self-satisfaction and referrals from a client base and caseload that never diminishes. Flying under the radar is much more fun than you’d think. Success and ability are not measured as advertising boasts might have us believe. Images can be deceiving. Integrity can’t be erased in the spin of deceit – a swirl of jealousies, untruths, and clandestine activities that nervously await exposure – when the façade is ripped away and the naked truth of character and the lack thereof are both uncovered.

The typical visual of a real estate practitioner isn’t very flattering. From Phil Dunphy (Modern Family) to the superficial real estate agent portrayed in American Beauty, the greedy agents and brokers in Glengarry Glen Ross, we are deemed to be just a notch above the proverbial used car salesman. If these unfortunate stereotypes connote that our substance and client interest are just skin-deep and we make no effort to dispel them and raise the bar, we will forever stagnate in the pool misconceptions. But if we are unnerved just enough to want to change perceptions, the opportunities are endless.

Beverly Hobbs Shea
(504) 669-8826

ABR, ACRE, CRB, CRP, CRS, GRI, SRES
Managing Broker
High Road Properties, Inc.
406 Ox Lot Square
Covington, LA 70433
Email: bev@beverlyhobbsshea.com
Licensed in Louisiana, USA

Featured Posts General

Changing Colors

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The phrase changing colors carries with it several connotations and meanings, whether intentional or implied.  Seasons change amidst the backdrop of colors that burst or retreat, fashion displays the many shades, political views are often communicated through colors, and sometimes even social issues are evidenced by symbolic colors and designs.

The colloquial phrase changing colors also communicates a change of thought, policy, or position.  Almost always, it means a reversal of some sort.  Ever notice how businesses and business people embrace the opposite of what they left behind, as if to scream “Change is here”?

Changing colors could also be as simple as creating and adding interest, such as the water tower at the Covington Trailhead.  National buildings, stadiums and arenas, and landmarks have also been the palette for color-communicated statements.  The point here is that we don’t always have to over-think everything;  not everything has a hidden meaning or an underlying message.  But just as we use a variety of things in our world to reflect our “status du jour” we can also salute the versatility and constant of Change.  That’s the real issue –  color choice just draws attention to it.

Beverly Hobbs Shea

Featured Posts

The Times They Are A Changin’

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By Beverly Hobbs Shea   beverlyhobbsshea.com

As with everything, change comes whether invited or not.  About the only thing we can do is adapt and make it work for us while hoping to integrate it slowly into our often rigid routines. And so it is with real estate.  And I speak not only to the buying, selling, leasing, and management of property, but also to the industry and to its practitioners, customers, and clients.
When I first got into the business, there was no MLS book, no internet, and no slick campaigns designed to take ordinary people into presumptive superstars.  In a business where it’s often the default profession post-retirement, post-college, and post-child rearing, very few practitioners can earn a healthy living by simply being both experienced and expert in their field, able to engender confidence in their abilities to counsel and perform.
Expectations are changing, as well.  For Sellers, equity is equity and a broker’s fee is payment for services rendered.  It is not an add-on; it is a value-added service for which a fee is earned just as any other professional, from attorneys to physicians, accountants, and tradespeople. For Buyers, compensation is provided therein;  although there are provisions when a broker may be engaged under separate agreement.  What I’ve witnessed in the past many years is a growing resentment in the area of commissions, but I blame this mostly for a misunderstanding of how a good real estate professional works and is compensated.  After 42 years of practice (starting early in life, yes) I can appreciate that there are shining examples of ability and professionalism as well as those examples that are vastly disappointing at best.
This is why I’ve now chosen an alternative path in my practice. I want the freedom to represent client interests in a manner that recognizes and rewards all parties, and one in which expectations are met and delivered.  It’s a new world for me in 2017.

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Featured Posts Shop Local

Loyalties

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Seems to me that the so-called loyalty programs are everywhere now.  From the cards that dangle from our keychains to the apps on our smartphones, Retention is the name of the game.  Isn’t it sad that customers need to be baited into returning to a vendor because they’ve been monetarily incentivized rather than motivated by the simple concept of good service/good value/good product?
Especially in smaller communities, where there is undeniable support for local business and businesspeople who buck the rising tide of big box stores and national chains, I completely appreciate the compliment that comes in the form of a phone call, email, or visit. Whether I’m the customer or the provider, the choice to do business with a local expert speaks volumes and energizes the transaction.
In the same way, I often want to cringe when I see my own profession disrespected.  For many years, I’ve done my business my way and have been blessed with the ability to make a good living by choosing to serve from the heart as well as from the head.

Quite simply, it’s a respect issue. Good Realtors do more than open doors (literally)! They must possess an excellent skill set and market knowledge, in addition to a hundred other matters, all of which combine to create a seamless, positive experience that achieves the desired end result. There will always be those who dismiss the tried-and-true methods of just doing good business, just as there will always be those who unfavorably demonstrate performance.
I accept this but it won’t deter me from continuing to adhere to the principles that have served me well or embracing “re-tooling the toolbox” to be able to assist more consultatively and comprehensively.
Loyalty works both ways!

By Beverly Hobbs Shea
Real Estate The Way It Should Be.
Real Estate Resource Group, LLC
90 Louis Prima Drive, Ste. A   Offc.  985-898-5888
Covington, LA USA 70433  beverlyhobbsshea.com

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General Local News Shop Local

Ox Lot Square Townhomes Available In Historic Downtown Covington

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Located in Historic Downtown Covington, just ½ a block from Columbia Street. Enjoy all downtown Covington has to offer…walk to coffee shops, gyms, restaurants, shopping and the St. Tammany Trace!  Ground floor can be a Gameroom, Mother-In-Law Suite or Apartment. Features Include: 4BR/ 3.5 BA, 2,818sqft living, 10′ ceilings, 2 car garage, Tankless Water Heater, Bevolo Gas Lanterns, Gas Fireplace, Wood Flooring, Granite Countertops, Stainless Steel Appliances, Incl. Individual Fridge/Freezer and Optional Elevator. $465k Can Build to Suit as Well on other lots. Call 504-388-1357, or visit
online at www.oxlotsquare.com and            www.facebook.com/oxlotsquare.

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General

Ox Lot Square Townhomes in Historic Downtown Covington Now Available

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Ox Lot Square Townhomes in Historic Downtown Covington

Ox Lot Square Townhomes in Historic Downtown Covington

Located in Historic Downtown Covington, just ½ a block from Columbia Street. Enjoy all downtown Covington has to offer…walk to coffee shops, gyms, restaurants, shopping and the St. Tammany Trace!  Ground floor can be a Gameroom, Mother-In-Law Suite or Apartment. Features Include: 4BR/ 3.5 BA, 2,818sqft living, 10′ ceilings, 2 car garage, Tankless Water Heater, Bevolo Gas Lanterns, Gas Fireplace, Wood Flooring, Granite Countertops, Stainless Steel Appliances, Incl. Individual Fridge/Freezer and Optional Elevator. $465k Can Build to Suit as Well on other lots. Call 504-388-1357, or visit online at www.oxlotsquare.com and www.facebook.com/oxlotsquare.