I taught school for 19 years. I was one of the teachers who opened the language center in Henrico County, and then I decided that I needed to do something else, so I started doing real estate. I worked with the Ren Jones Group until last December. He approached me to see if I wanted to buy the business and I thought it was a great opportunity. There are six of us and [my son] is coming so there will be seven of us.
I come from a place with very luscious vegetation. I just wish I could keep luscious vegetation all year round, so I try to bring it into the house, kind of a combination of Caribbean and a little Oriental.
The painting on the wall [in the dining room] is my cousin’s. She specializes in painting black women and I just love her paintings. All of my family is in Costa Rica and I’m in America, just me. We go visit when we get a chance, but with this business you can’t take off. You work all the time. I probably average 70 hours a week. The life of a Realtor, if you’re successful, is tough — but it’s great cause you work with people, and I love people.
[I sell] probably between seventy-five to one hundred houses [a year]. My team is probably selling one hundred fifty. We are in the top two percent of Richmond Realtors in volume and in dollar amount.
We have refurbished eleven houses; we’ve been in this house three years. My tastes have changed in the last five years. I was much more conservative, and [the dining room], definitely that’s not conservative. I have a lot of traditional pieces, but the chandelier is wild and the paintings are wild, and the colors — I like my wilder colors. And I think as I see more houses I get ideas.
But I always come home and say, “I’ve got a very nice house, I’m really happy with my house.” Because you see a lot of houses that need a lot of work. — As told to Carrie Nieman; photographed by Stephen Salpukas
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