Military Spouse Magazine

FEB 2019

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Through Military Home Base, we are all committed to providing housing concierge services to make the home-buying process educational, bring accountability to the third parties involved, and create a seamless process for military families as they transition duty stations. For more information about Military Home Base, visit militaryhomebase.com . exposure to real estate profes- sionals sparked my interest. I soon accepted a permanent marketing and technology posi- tion, and within a year I was a licensed Realtor. I launched my business in November 2012, and by December 2013, I wrote nearly $6 million in sales. I felt like I hit my stride. I had my sparkle back and those bricks never felt lighter. By March of 2014, we got orders again: this time for Command General Staff College. It was only for a year, but my husband was sched- uled for his sixth deployment within months of our return and I was worried our fam- ily would not survive another lengthy separation. The bricks began to pile up again. I had to decide what was more important: keeping our family together or my career. Two choices were presented: commute or put my busi- ness on hold. Neither option appealed, so I created a third with the support of my broker and ran with it. I carefully screened and hired a partner. She was my legs and I was the phone support, transac- tion coordinator, and mentor. Business didn't grow that year, but it survived. My customers never knew the difference and raved about our services. This led to the seed of an idea that I nurtured for nearly four years. What if I could offer con- cierge service to home buyers and sellers and let agents be my legs nationwide? What if I could make the home buying process educational, bring ac- countability to the third parties involved, and create a seamless process for military families as they transition duty stations? MY MILSPOUSE TRIBE HELPED ME GROW MY IDEA I nurtured this idea until I had the courage to talk about it to my friend, Holly Vega. Holly, a Marine Corps spouse, immedi- ately saw the value in my idea and arranged a meeting with Lesley Ginder, another Marine Corps spouse, at a coffee shop. Lesley was a marketing and public relations specialist and she was a quick convert. Holly and Lesley encouraged me to pursue my dream. In August 2018, I ap- proached Jason Brooks of eMortgage Management with my idea. Jason was a military brat and was quietly support- ing deployed service members and families by assisting with overdue bills, donating to military organizations, and individually counseling VA buyers on the wisdom of not being house rich and cash poor. His quiet commitment and understanding of the finan- cial aspects of home buying made him the ideal partner as we launched our business. MILITARY HOME BASE WAS L AUNCHED Holly was our first hire as business development manager, and within a few weeks we had customers. My executive assistant, Tricia Hershfeld, an Army spouse, Holly, Jason, and I collaborated and built our business model. Our goal was to ensure controlled growth and focus on cus- tomer service. Lesley soon joined our team as commu- nity engagement director to help us grow and support our military families. We are now a team of five and will continue to hire military spouses and veterans. Every member of our team truly understands the Permanent Change of Station (PCS) process and can address the unique concerns of our service members transition duty stations. Our Realtor partners are also all military spouses and veterans, and our vendors are commit- ted to delivering the best in discounts and services to our military family. I still carry that board on my shoulders and my bricks increase or decrease as situations and challenges arise. Our oldest is prepar- ing for college, our youngest is embracing her teens, and I am still carrying some weight I wish I could lose. The difference is that now my husband is fully retired and makes sure to remove the bricks he can to sup- port my business. He has taken over management of our household and acts as an advisor for Military Home Base. I also have a group of milspouse sisters to help carry the load and remind me that I don't have to keep all those bricks to myself. They are happy to help me keep balanced. H FEBRUARY 2019 / MILITARYSPOUSE.COM 33

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