Tag Archives: real estate

Keller Williams Family Reunion – Phoenix, AZ

In front of the Keller Williams sign

I wrote this post after returning home from Family Reunion in Phoenix, AZ last year, but I never got around to sharing it here on the blog. In honor of being in Orlando for Family Reunion 2015 this week, I thought I’d finally share the post. Enjoy!

I spent five days in Phoenix for the Keller Williams Family Reunion last month, and I’m totally fired up about what 2014 will hold for my career. (For the record, Family Reunion is an annual conference where our agents get together and discuss trends, ideas, the past year, and what’s new for our company.) There were over 10,000 agents flooding downtown Phoenix for this event!

There were 16 of us from Monroe/West Monroe, and I loved getting to know our team a little better. Even though we work together on transactions and see each other around the office every day, you don’t really get to know someone until you spend a solid 5 days with them!

Unfortunately, my brain was on real estate overload most of the time so I didn’t even snap many photos. We were in back-to-back sessions every day and any free time we had was primarily spent eating. If you’re ever in Phoenix, you must try the key lime pie at Fuego. It was simply delicious. It wasn’t like your regular key lime, and if I ever make it back to Phoenix, I will definitely be stopping by for a slice.

Old Spaghetti Factory

The atmosphere at The Old Spaghetti Factory was fascinating. After making our reservations, we found out that it’s known to be haunted! One of the A&E shows came and agreed that their were indeed spirits present there. The decor was very cool but also a tad creepy considering the place is supposedly haunted. I have several photos from this place, so I may make a separate post soon. Believe in spirits or not, I didn’t go to the restroom alone!

Touhy Family

My other favorite, non-real estate experience was hearing from the Touhy’s, the real-life family from The Blindside. I’ve always found that movie to be so inspiring, and it was great to hear from the real family. The mom, Leigh Anne Tuohy, talked about how she keeps some cash in the console of all of their family’s vehicles so that they can easily give a couple of dollars to someone on a street corner. (For those who say they’ll just buy drugs or alcohol, she says that you’ll be judged on the kindness in your own heart. Let them be judged for what they do with the money.) The biggest take-away from their presentation for me was that you don’t have to adopt a neglected, homeless kid to make a difference in the world. (However, that would help.) I’ve talked about this several times, but even the smallest gestures can make the biggest difference. I’m sure you can think of instances where someone has said or done something to completely turn your day around. It was such a powerful experience.

While I am more than happy to be home to my fantastic husband and my normal work schedule, I am thankful that I had a chance to attend this event. I found some much needed motivation and came home full of ideas for better serving my clients. I am thankful for the chance to be “in the business of making friends,” and I look forward to knocking it out of the park in 2014!

Have you ever thought about a career in real estate or do you have any general questions? I’m willing to help in any way that I can, so feel free to leave a comment or shoot me an email or text!

My Tweet: Are you using your time to make a mark or are you just marking time? #kwfr

How ‘Do Not Disturb’ Changed My Life

Do Not DisturbThis fun fact is really only for my iPhone readers, although I’m sure there’s a similar function on most smart phones. It probably sounds a little dramatic, but I seriously can’t describe how big of a difference this new discovery has made for me.

As a realtor,  my phone rings literally all the time. If I’m not chatting with a client or lender, an attorney’s office is calling. If I’m not scheduling an inspection or appraisal, someone is texting me about a new listing. (Let’s not even mention emails.) I blow through a full battery in the blink of an eye, but I’m practically always on my phone. This isn’t a complaint…it’s just part of the business that I’m in. (It’s also part of the reason I don’t really get a “day off.”)

What does this really mean though? It means that my phone is still going off when I’m home for the night. It means that during family functions, I can feel my phone vibrating in my pocket. It means that during a meeting with a client, they see my phone going off nonstop, and they feel rushed. None of these things are conducive to a well-balanced, happy life or a successful business. I got 11 texts back to back at 3:00 am once! I do work a lot, but I’m likely sleeping at 3:00 am. My phone has literally rang at all hours of the night. Then, I’m awake with work on the brain, and I can’t go back to sleep. This I how I come to explore the world of do not disturb.

At first, I was hesitant to use this iPhone feature because I was afraid that my mom would need me in the middle of the night or someone would call with an emergency. However, I learned that a call from anyone in your favorites list would come on through. How perfect!

For several months now, I’ve been putting my phone on do not disturb when I get into bed at night. Calls and texts still come through, but I’m not notified. This way, I’m able to sleep peacefully through the night (most of the time) and yet still be able to receive messages that I need to handle the next day.

On a usual day, I switch my phone back to its active mode once I’m done getting ready in the morning. I’ve talked about things that I’ve learned, and one of those is that if I get a call or text early in the morning with something that needs to be handled right away, I immediately start rushing through getting ready and my day starts spiraling out of control. I’ve also learned that being able to get ready in a slow, easy pace is like heaven to me. There’s just something so refreshing to me about being able to take my time getting dressed in the mornings. Almost all of my best days start with this. Therefore, I quickly learned that leaving my phone on do not disturb until I was done getting dressed made a world of difference for how my day developed and my mood. After all, I think it’s best to try to keep work to “work hours” as much as possible. (That means I’m probably not going to text you back at 6:00 am. Honestly, I’m not much of a morning person, so you really don’t want to hear from me that early. You’re welcome!)

I say all of this, not to discourage anyone for reaching out to me at any time. (I don’t get phone notifications for emails, so feel free to send those at any hour!) Instead, this post is about learning what works for you and makes you most productive. I knock out such a tremendous amount of work in the daytime hours, that I know I can limit the late evening and early morning hours for my personal time. I know that my entire day (which in turn means my mood and my ability to help my clients) becomes so much better when I give myself some disconnected time.

I shared the foundation of my productivity method last week, and I’d have to say using do not disturb would be my next big thing. If you struggle to disconnect or carve out time for yourself, you’ll want to give this a try. No one will know that you’re using the feature (calls don’t go straight to voicemail), and you can be in better control of your time. I honestly feel like I’ve been a ton happier and way more productive by using this tool.

What about you? Ever used the do not disturb feature? Have any other tips for ways of limiting your connectivity? I’m all ears!

*Again, of you’re a client or friend of mine, don’t hesitate to reach out to me if needed. I’m nearly always available and if you don’t get me right away, I’ll respond as soon as possible. I’ll just be sleeping (hopefully) during the night time hours. 🙂

It’s My Birthday!

Bread PuddingLast week (January 9), I turned a whopping 29 years old. This post is somewhat of a recap of my birthday festivities. I’m a huuuuge birthday person. I proudly celebrate birthday weeks (sometimes months), and I take them very seriously.

Funny story: Once upon a time, my best friend gave an ex boyfriend a copy of The Breakup for Christmas. Attached was a note that read, “This is Pamela’s favorite movie. Also, here’s a tip…her birthday is a huge deal. Don’t forget that or you’ll most certainly ‘break up.'” I thought it was so clever and simply hilarious. He didn’t….which is probably why we broke up.

Birthday Eve Ice CreamThis year, however, was different. I wasn’t as excited as usual about my birthday, and it took quite a bit to get me in the mood. I attribute some of this to not feeling well and being incredibly tired. I also think that I’m so pumped about my 30th birthday, that this one feels a little blah. (I’m totally expecting my 30s to rock…not dreading that birthday at all!) Nonetheless, I finally got excited as the day rolled around. On Thursday, Matthew and I finished up work a little early, so we got ice cream, ran a few errands, and did a bit of shopping. I counted this as my birthday eve celebration, and it definitely helped me get in the mood.

It's My Birthday!

Social Bites CupcakeOn Friday, I woke up to tons of messages and facebook posts and that made me so excited! (Seriously, if you took time to message me, I totally appreciate it!) I headed over to Ruston and had lunch at one of my favorites, Beau Vines. That lemon cake is amazing! Amanda surprised me with my first Social Bites cupcake! After lunch I went for a quick massage, and then met a few folks for dinner at Cascio’s Tavern.  (The parmesan chicken and blackened chicken pasta are my favs there.)

Possibly the highlight of my birthday weekend is that my long term best friend, Naomi, got to come for a visit. I most definitely don’t get to see her enough and was thrilled that she got to come spend a few days with me for my birthday. Saturday, I had to work for a bit and then Naomi and I did some shopping. (I bought some Minnetokas from Salt & Pepper that I’m soooo excited about.)

Birthday CakePajama Party CrewBirthday Cake Saturday night, a few friends came over for a pajama party at my house. I had a million plans for this pajama party but didn’t really get to implement many. Instead, I decided that my birthday reward to myself would be to invite people over to a less-than-perfectly-clean home that still has Christmas decor up and not stress over that. I didn’t get to do many of the cutesy things I had planned, but I did get to take a breather and spend some time catching up with friends and watching girly movies. For the record, adult pajama parties are the way to go. We’ll be doing this again soon!

I’ll tell the next portion of my birthday story, solelyto make you feel good about yourself. Seriously, if you’re feeling a little down today, you should read on. It’s bound to lift your spirits. I’d like to say that we wrapped up my birthday weekend by arriving on time and perfectly dressed to my family birthday dinner on Sunday. Not quite. Instead, we arrived to family birthday dinner (hosted for me by Matthew’s parents) 40 minutes late with me rocking greasy hair and no makeup. Why is that, you ask? I put it on my calendar for the following Sunday. If I were being completely honest, I’d tell you that Matthew and I considered wrecking our car on the way over, just so the family might feel sorry for us and forget about the fact that we totally screwed up. I tell this story in a joking manner, but I felt absolutely horrible. I guess if there’s any party that it’s ok to show up late to, it would be your own birthday party. Lesson learned. I’ll be keeping a closer eye on my schedule from now on.

The celebrating even stretched into Monday, as I had lunch with my real estate team at Waterfront Grill (and ate that amazing bread pudding shown above). Speaking of my real estate team, I stopped by the office to find 20+ of these “Happy Birthday Pam” signs spread throughout the office. On the front door…the coke machine…strategically placed on the top of the trash can…you name it.  However, my name isn’t Pam. It’s Pamela – all day, every day. I enjoyed searching for the signs, but if anyone starts calling me Pam from these signs, I might have to murder a coworker. (Thanks for thinking of me, Shane.)

All in all, I had a good weekend. I enjoyed time with friends and family and felt so thankful to have so many show that they cared. I didn’t do this birthday in my usual birthday style, but it’ll still go down on the books as a success. Thanks to everyone who contributed!

On Taking a Day Off..

Mmm... CoffeeI laid in bed on Christmas Eve morning reading blog posts and drinking coffee, which is basically my favorite thing to do. Truth be told, I don’t get to enjoy this sort of down time very often, so when I do, it feels amazing. (I almost always post something on IG.) The previous week(s) had been so busy that I was pumped about the chance to just rest for a bit before getting up and getting ready for the holiday festivities. I read a post about taking some time off, and it led me to think more about what taking time off means for me.

In 2015, I hope to share more about what the real estate industry is like, and I think this post is a great start. When it comes to taking “a day off,” let me begin by saying that never actually happens. Before you think I’m being a Debbie Downer or complaining about my job, let me be clear….this isn’t a bad thing, and I’m certainly not complaining. The reality of real estate is that your always working. (We’ll talk more about what “work” means for me later.) For a variety of reasons, there’s really no such thing as a day off. I work primarily from my cell phone, so I’m almost always available, even if I’m not at the office. There are probably only one or two times in 2014 that I didn’t do any work on a given day. Owning your own business most often means that you don’t get to leave your work at the office over the weekend or holidays. Instead, work comes home with you and follows you every where you go.

GatlingburgOur trip to Gatlinburg would be somewhat of an example of this. I planned to be completely off for a week. I terribly needed a break after the whirlwind that was May. I forwarded my phone calls to another agent and tried to do as little work as possible while on this vacation. However, I still responded to texts and emails every chance I had and had to handle a mini crisis from afar, that ultimately led to me crying in a restaurant bathroom. Embarrassing, but exhaustion will do that to ya.

The Gatlinburg trip shows how days off go for me in this business (minus the crying usually). I was technically “off” on Christmas Eve, but I had already handled two items of business by 8:30 am. It’s highly likely that I’m still working, even if I’m at home, at the mall, or on vacation. Being able to separate my life from my job can be a tough battle to fight. It’s very, very easy to let your work-life take over your personal-life, especially when you’re a workaholic, like me. I struggled with this a lot in the beginning of my real estate career. Here’s the kicker though…sometimes my work creeps in to my personal time, BUT I get to do my job from practically anywhere!

Working From My BedAt first glance this post probably seems negative. (Read: I can’t ever get away from my work!) However, after a few cases of burnout and tears to my husband, I realized something magical – I can do my job while simultaneously doing other things, giving me a ton of flexibility. Yes, I may never actually get a “day off.” However, I can get my nails done in the middle of the afternoon while simultaneously securing a deal on someone’s dream home. I can leave the office if I’m feeling shut in, and work from my patio instead. How amazing! Yes, I may technically have to do a bit of work on Christmas, but I can likely do so while getting back to my family quickly and easily.

As I sit and reflect on the past year, one of the things that I’m most thankful for is this career. I’m thankful that I took the leap of faith to start a new business (and for my support system who encouraged me). I’m thankful for learning how to really work this business in a manner that suits my needs. I’m thankful for a successful, mind-blowing year and the fruits of my hard work that Matthew and I are enjoying. I’m thankful for how much I’ve learned about this career and making it work for me over this last year. I’m certain that I’ll still struggle with carving out time for myself, but I’ve learned so much about making that happen this year, and I’m looking forward to an even better 2015.

If you’ve ever considered a career in real estate and have questions, I’d be happy to talk to you more about it. It’s a tough industry sometimes, but it’s also one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. There are so many things that I love about this career, and I’m happy to talk to you more about it if you’re interested. Click this link to get more information about the company I work with and feel free to email me!

Christmas 2014 Recap

Team Christmas Party

I simply can’t believe that the Christmas season has already come and gone. They say that time flies when you’re having fun, and that’s totally a reality here in my neck of the woods. The holiday season is always a blur for Matthew and I. I thought I’d take a moment to recap what our Christmas season was like this year.

Ernest's ( Black Velvet Dress Outfit )Ernest's Group Picture
We began the month with our annual trip to Ernest’s in Shreveport with Matthew’s grandmother and cousins. This is a tradition that she’s held for several years and everyone always looks forward to the event. We dress up, ride over, and eat lots (Seriously….lots.) of fantastic food. This year, I wore a black, velvet dress and a gold, vintage belt that I hadn’t had a chance to wear yet. Velvet is one of my favs, so I was pumped about the outfit. We were missing a few cousins this year, but we definitely had a blast catching up with the ones who were able to make it. (Holly, I’m still laughing at Tanner’s plunger stories…too funny!)

Amanda
Next up on the Christmas agenda was Amanda‘s birthday. We went to Cotton for her birthday dinner and ate all of the duck wraps. Then, that weekend we had a small game night/marshmallow roasting party at our house for her. I was blown away that Amanda and I have been friends since 2006 and I had no idea that she has a SERIOUS love for toasted marshmallows. You learn something new every day!

Christmas Recap (3)
The weekend before Christmas turned out to be quite a busy one for the Petruses. (Side note: I just learned that this is the correct way to spell our last name in this context. Maybe December was the month for learning new things!) Friday night we attended the Keller Williams Parishwide Partners Christmas party at a new downtown venue that I hadn’t been to yet. I’m now considering it for possible location for my 30th birthday party…more on that later. Matthew and I enjoyed the party. It’s always great to get together with colleagues in a non-work environment. I also starting working on some of my 2015 work goals while at the party, which made me happy.

Doe's
Centerpieces
Saturday night, we had our real estate team Christmas party at the new Doe’s Steakhouse in downtown Monroe. I work closely with 9 or so agents at Keller Williams through the Shane Wooten team (plus several assistants), so this was our chance to celebrate a successful year together. I prepped centerpieces and little bags of peppermints for each guest. My mom is great with flower arrangements, but it’s never been a prominent skill of mine. I think these turned out pretty well for how quickly I threw them together though! It was a lot of fun getting together with everyone and recapping memories from the past year. Plus, the food was outstanding!

Sunday brought along two more Christmas events for Matthew and I. For lunch, we gathered at our house with Matthew’s mom, step-dad, little brothers, and grandparents. Matthew made a delicious roast and the most amazing mashed potatoes I’ve ever had. We enjoyed catching up with family that we don’t see often. Then, we took a quick (and much needed) nap, and headed over to my father-in-law’s for dinner. We had a great dinner there and then watched the kids open a few gifts. (Jordan and Roxie, you were missed!) I just realized that we didn’t get any pictures from dinner here, which is a bummer. By this time next year, this side of our family will have grown and that’s exciting! Our newest niece or nephew will be making his/her debut next month!

After a fun-filled and crazy weekend, Matthew and I spent Tuesday night opening a few gifts for each other and looking at Christmas lights. I’m excited to see what next year will be like without Matthew working retail AND being in nursing school. We both worked retail our first Christmas together, and it was exhausting. I’m excited to see what next year looks like for us, even though I’m quite nervous about our daily routine changing completely.

Christmas Eve we hosted my side of the family at our house. Hosting gatherings is one of my favorite things to do, so I was excited to have everyone at our new home for Christmas. I also baked my first turkey, and it turned out edible…I’ll take that as a win! Basically, the night was filled with lots of jokes and candy-eating. What more could you want??

Christmas Pup
After my family left, we headed out for Texas. We arrived a little after midnight and spent Christmas Day opening presents there and playing board games. We got to spend some time with Matthew’s step-sister, Jenna, that we don’t see often. We had a blast learning to play Killer Bunnies (Such an appropriate game for Christmas, right?!) and having an easy day with family.

All in all, this Christmas season was a success. Matthew and I were really busy towards the end of the season, but I think we still enjoyed the hustle and bustle and made some great holidays memories. (I also got lots of pictures of us in front of our Christmas tree, which makes me happy!) In case you missed it, you can see some of our Christmas decor here  and details about our Christmas card here.

I’m sort of sad to wrap up the 2014 holiday season, but I’m definitely excited about 2015. I have a gigantic list of goals and plans for the year, and I’m expecting big things to happen. I hope you’re wrapping up 2014 with lots of great memories and equally great plans for this next year. Here’s to 2015 being a fantastic one!

On waiting for perfection.

Ridiculous BeginningsI stewed over starting a “what I’ve learned series” for months before actually doing it. I think my desire to write about things I’ve learned comes primarily from the fact that I feel like I’ve learned so much lately. I also feel like our entire lives are based on learning. With each passing day, we learn something new. With each passing year, we grow into better versions of ourselves (hopefully). We are constantly learning new things about ourselves and this world we live in, and that’s something that I’ve felt called to talk about.

So here we have it…a post that’s hopefully a part of an ongoing discussion about what I’ve learned and what it means. Today, I want to discuss what I’ve learned in regards to striving for perfection. I have been known to wait to do things until it’s perfectly planned out. I may or may not have proofread things to death before ever letting them go. It’s possible that I’ve avoided certain things altogether because I didn’t feel like I had time to do it to its absolute best. I’ve definitely been called a perfectionist a time or two, and while having perfectionist tendencies can be a good thing, it’s certainly not a title that I love. Actually, I’ve found that the goal of perfection is often debilitating. Often, this mirage of perfection sucks up tons of valuable time or worse, prevents us from accomplishing anything at all.

I don’t remember when it happened, but at some point in the past year, I finally realized that I had to let some things go. I needed to learn to delegate tasks in order to grow my business. If I spent less time perfecting every little thing, I could get so much more done! Sure, every single person that I know might not get a beautiful birthday card with a wonderfully scripted message, BUT if just a handful of the people I knew got a card, that was better than none. If the card was basic and simple, it was better than no card at all. I finally realized that I was spending way too much time trying to do everything perfectly, such that most of my good ideas weren’t being implemented at all. A church sign once read, ”The smallest deed is better that the grandest intention.” I was full of intentions…not deeds.

If you, too, suffer from dwelling on perfection, what do you do to overcome it?? That’s a hard question and my solution isn’t too elaborate. You just start doing things. I had to learn to just throw things out there. Within the last couple of months, I’ve “just done” several things that would have normally taken me months and months to implement. For example, this year I mailed a Halloween letter to anyone I had a mailing address for. I ordered the supplies, drafted the content, and then basically turned the rest of the project over to my assistant. I didn’t even see them before they were mailed! (Those of you who know me pretty well know this was a HUGE step for me.) I did something similar with a Thanksgiving promotional piece. I created the plan/content and then handed over the reins. These were prepped and delivered while I was in another state! To take this a step further, I began working on and produced two different Christmas cards in less than 24 hours. Something of this nature would have normally taken me months!

Here’s the deal though. I accomplished four tasks in a short amount of time that I wouldn’t have otherwise done if I’d approached them with my usual mindset. I’ll admit, these four tasks could have been done better. However, with my usual approach, they likely wouldn’t have gotten done at all. This is especially true for our personal Christmas cards. I had to settle on something less than perfect because of time constraints. If I hadn’t sacrificed perfection, we wouldn’t be sending a card this year. Which is worse – a less-than-perfect card or no card at all? We all know how much I love paper products. For me, it was no card at all.

I did something similar with this blog. I spent months and months toying over the idea of starting a blog. I was doing all of the “research,” (In many cases, “research” is code for avoiding the jump.), but I was so caught up in knowing how to do every little thing, that I postponed starting it. Finally, I dove in head first with this post. If I would have known everything there was to know before making that first post, it would have never happened. Most of the time starting it the hardest part. After that, the pieces tend to fall together. Actually, I struggle with this on a daily basis with this blog. Most of the time, I have to make myself hit the publish button. Usually it’s with my eyes closed and a cringed face. You know…that one that looks like you’re about to get hit with a bat. The reality is, some of my posts have typos. Most of them could be written so much better. However, if I read every post 30+ times, nothing would get shared here. I’d change something every single time I read it and eventually I’d be so burdened by the roughness of it, that it would never get posted. Instead, I write, proofread a few times, and then cringe while clicking submit. I take a gamble with every post that it’s poorly written, no one will relate, and I spelled every single word wrong. However, it could be my best post yet. It could really make a difference for someone, and I could be thrilled to come back and read it years from now. (That’s a truly scary thought.) It’s worth the risk.

Is there something you should just hit “publish” on? Is there something that you’re waiting to do until you have a perfect plan? Is there something you haven’t been able to mark off of your list because you keep analyzing it from all angles? If there is, take some time to really think about the time you’re wasting. If you jumped in head first today, would you really regret it? Would it be detrimental to your life? Most likely not. Instead, we’ve been wasting valuable time waiting. Waiting on the right time or the right plan. Waiting on perfection. Well, I’ve decided that imperfection is beautiful. Imperfection is real. Maybe, just maybe, putting things “out there” without them being perfectly polished might make you more relatable.  (Please say that my typos make me more relatable. I’m counting on that.) I haven’t mastered this yet, but I’m going to keep working on putting more things on the “deed” side of the balance and less on the “intention” side.

“Life is a game in which the player must appear ridiculous.” – Isabelle in Downton Abbey. Don’t be afraid to look a little ridiculous sometimes. That’s just life.

 

 

Dear May, I love you.

Top Agent, Pamela PetrusMay was the most fantastic month. Big things happened around here. During the month of May, I closed 14 houses for a volume of over $1,100,000! This number put me as the #3 agent in our office for this month (out of over 100 agents). I was also the #6 agent in our entire market with hundreds of agents. I definitely don’t mean to brag but this is such an amazing accomplishment, and I’m so excited!

I also post this to say that I am incredibly thankful to have everyone’s support in this journey. I would not been able to accomplish such things in one month without you all sending business my way. (Remember, if someone is looking for a new house, call me first so I can help them! They don’t even have to pay me!) Most of my May transactions were from friends and family calling me to let me know of someone looking for a home. This means the world to me! I simply cannot succeed in this business without you all spreading the word for me. You’ve done that, and I’m THANKFUL! If I could drive to each of you and hug your neck, I’d do it!!

THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU! Please keep the referrals coming. I’m looking forward to a successful June too!

Salt & Pepper – New Ownership!

Salt & PepperAs most of you know, I opened Salt & Pepper Accessory Boutique with my sister in 2009. Almost 4 years later we sold the business to our wonderful friend, Jessica Pollard. Both Sherri and I wanted to pursue other things, (I am LOVING new real estate career by the way.) and we knew Jessica could take the reigns and make magic happen with the business. Since taking over, Jessica has added her own spin to our little shop, and it’s been so fun to watch it evolve. I thought I’d take a minute to formally introduce Jessica to my readers and friends.

Pamela: Thanks for taking the time to do this interview for my readers. Tell us a little about yourself.
Jessica: I am originally from Oak Grove, Louisiana and this is my second retail store to own. I have a degree in fashion merchandising and have worked in retail for 19 years…it’s in my blood! I love being able to be creative with the business and styling customers based on their individual personalities.

Pamela: Nineteen years is a long time. What makes you love the fashion/retail industry?
Jessica: Fashion is ever changing…from styles and seasons to colors…there’s always something new to explore. Plus, getting to interact with customers is very exciting.

Pamela: What sorts of products have you added to S&P?
Jessica: I’ve added more clothing options, new boots, sandals, and the well-loved Minnetonka Moccasins. I’ve also expanded our collections of customer favorites like Lenny & Eva and Natural Life.
Pamela: (You all MUST go see the new Lenny & Eva products…they’re my favorite!!)

Pamela: What have you done to make the store your own?
Jessica: I have taken the clothing options in a different direction, offering a different style than the store had before. I’ve also added local art from our area.

Pamela: What do you feel sets S&P apart from other similar businesses?
Jessica: We take great pride in our customer service…you just don’t find that everywhere. Plus, our merchandise is so versatile that it fits any age group.

Pamela: What have been your biggest challenges from owning your own business again?
Jessica: It’s always tough to find unique products that aren’t offered just anywhere, and that’s something I’ll always be pursuing. Staffing is sometimes a battle because it’s important to find employees that work hard and represent your business well. On top of that, I’d saying finding the balance between a work like and a personal life is something I’m continually working on.

Pamela: As we wrap up, please tell us what your favorite trend is for the Spring 2014 season.
Jessica: The boho trend is my favorite! I love boots with dresses because it’s funky and fun. Plus, I’m in love with fringe!

Salt & PepperThank you, Jessica, for the interview!  Make sure to stop by the store on Antique Alley soon and show her some love! You can also follow Salt & Pepper on facebook and Instagram. She’ll ship items nationwide, so be sure to snag some of your favorites! We want you all to welcome and support Jessica just the way you did us. We truly appreciate the love you’ve shown her the last 8 months, and we hope you’ll keep it up!

Salt & PepperAs for me, I truly loved getting to know you all and have missed seeing your faces regularly. Please add me on Facebook (Pamela Bryant Petrus) so I can keep in contact with you. (You can also follow me on Instagram or twitter.) Furthermore, if you know of anyone hoping to buy or sell a house, please call me! My contact info is on my real estate page.

Salt & PepperBefore we wrap up, there are two more things to talk about.

  • First, Jessica is hosting a FASHION EVENT this Saturday, March 15 at the store (400 Trenton Street, West Monroe). The fashion show starts at 7:00 pm and there will be food and lots of fun. I will be there cheering Jessica on and I really, really hope I’ll get to see lots of familiar faces there. Please join me in supporting Jessica’s first event at the store!
  • Second, Jessica and I are teaming up to offer my FIRST EVER giveaway on the blog! You can enter to win a $25 gift certificate to Salt & Pepper just by heading over to the S&P Instagram (@saltandpepperboutique). Take a look around and then come back here and comment with your favorite item. (Be sure to click “follow” because you don’t want to miss seeing the spring arrivals.) Leave a comment here and a random winner will be chosen on Friday, March 10, 2014 at 4:00 pm!

Thank you again for stopping by! Don’t forget the show on Saturday, and be sure to comment for a chance to win! Much love – Pamela

6 Months in Real Estate!

Pamela Petrus, RealtorToday marks exactly 6 months since I got my real estate license! I must say that these last 6 months have FLOWN by, and I have learned and experienced so much in a short period of time.

I wanted to take a few moments to reflect upon what these last 6 months have been like.

1. Since I can remember, I’ve ALWAYS wanted to be in real estate. I can remember watching episodes of House Hunters for hours and hours. Something about the industry has always called my name. Once I decided to get my license, I realized that I had been right all along…I feel like I was made for this industry!

2. I finally accepted that I’ll never know every single thing there is to know about real estate. Every single transaction is different, so there’s always something new to learn. At first, this was difficult for me because I’ve always been an overachiever and not knowing all of the ins and outs was tough! However, I’ve learned the processes backwards and forwards, and I’ve accepted that each new transaction will bring with it something new to learn. For example, I now know what to do in the case of a government shutdown. How can I ever get bored??!

3. Possibly my most favorite take-away so far is all of the new friends I’m making. From fellow agents to clients, I’m thrilled with the ever-expanding network that I’m now a part of. I’ve always said that I’m in the business of making friends (even in my last business), and that’s so very true here. My goal is to finish every transaction with a new set of lifelong friends, and I feel so lucky to have already made so many. When a client invites me to their Christmas party or texts me randomly to check on Mom….it seriously means the world to me. I absolutely love that this industry gives me hundreds of new ways to develop my love of people.

4. As of yesterday, I have closed my 7th house! That may not seem like much, but when I began, everyone told me to prepare for not selling anything for 3-6 months. I’m immensely proud of myself for having already closed 7 houses in this 6th month period. There are “seasoned” agents in our market that haven’t closed 7 houses this whole year! Long story short, I feel so very blessed to have been able to hit the ground running and have launched this career with such success so early on. I am incredibly proud (and relieved) because breaking out into a new industry on faith alone is very scary!

5. I’m planning to finish up 2013 strong and have even bigger plans for the next year. I sincerely appreciate everyone who has sent buyers and sellers my way, called me for real estate advice, and supported this dream of mine. I seriously could not do this business without you all sending business my way, so please keep it coming!

Pamela Petrus, RealtorHere’s to an even better 2014!

Be Thankful.

Thankful flowers

Thankful flowersToday I cried. With the way my emotions have been running wild this week, that’s not necessarily a surprising thing. (If you follow me on Twitter, you know a little about what I’m talking about.) However, this morning’s tears are different. I just received an email that touched me to my very core. There’s something about getting that shocking dose of perspective that’ll really send you heading in a new direction.

You see, this morning I was beginning that downward spiral where I was letting one relatively small thing really bring me down. It was only 9:00 am and I was already feeling like this day was a lost cause. I was trying hard to pull myself out of my second “funk” of this week but was being rather unsuccessful. I sat down to check my email and read something that nearly broke my heart.

I’m going to try to be as vague as possible here for the sake of discretion. I received an email from an industry partner thanking our company for donating a couple of heaters and an electric blanket to her and her husband. Apparently her husband is terminally ill, and they’ve been in the hospital for over a week. They were coming home yesterday but would be doing so to no heat. I’ll spare you the details of the story, but rest assured that it was heart wrenching.

Now, I could take this story in the direction of how blessed I am to work for such a giving company. This is only one story of them/us giving back, of course. However, that’s not what this was about for me. Instead, it was a very sudden and harsh realization that my bad moods over the last week were very selfish and indeed pointless. While every little thing hasn’t gone my way lately, I have heat. I have a home to come home to everyday that’s filled with plenty of nice things…food to eat…and people that love me. Who cares that I couldn’t find the perfect outfit to wear this morning?! Who cares that every little detail of life isn’t going my way right now?? Practically every small thing that I’ve been upset about and fretting over the last few days is SO incredibly trivial. The fact of the matter is, I have a MILLION big and small things to be thankful for. Heat, for example.

During this month of thanks, I find this scenario even more heart-breaking. Each and every one of us passes someone on a daily basis that has troubles ten times more difficult than our own. Each and every day, we meet someone who we could help in even the tiniest of ways. However, most of the time we don’t. We don’t even know what’s going on in these people’s lives, and we do very little to reach out and actually make this world a better place.

So here’s my challenge. First, I challenge you to look around you and see what you can do to help. Whether big or small, you CAN do something to improve the lives of others. You don’t have to have a ton of money or time. Sometimes it’s as simple as a smile. Sometimes it’s just a kind word. There are no excuses for why each and every one of us aren’t doing something to reach out and help.

Secondly, as practically everyone I know is posting what they’re thankful for daily this month (I’m working on a similar blog post that’ll post this Friday.), I encourage you to really be thankful. It’s not enough to post something random on facebook every day. I really want you all to sit and think about how different your life could be. Sure, it’s not perfect. And sure, there are a million ways that each of our lives could be better. However, if you really sit and think about it, and I mean really think, you’re probably pretty lucky. You can probably think of at least 10 people who aren’t as fortunate as you are. So this next challenge is to, while we complete these daily posts of thanksgiving, try to really notice what all you have to be thankful for. Try to consider how infinitely worse your life could be. Try to be unequivocally grateful for having so many things to be thankful for.

Whatever you do throughout this holiday season, just don’t forget how lucky you are. Pay attention to ways that you can help your fellow man, and let’s do what we can to make this world a better place…even if it’s one person at a time.