"The Hats We Wear"
Written and Illustrated by
Robin L. Ham
Hey, my name is Robin
I’m a real estate broker, author and a design consultant with professional credentials.
I was born in Louisville, KY; grew up in Ohio; Paris, France (short stay) Fashion Design Program, moved to New York City to attend college at The Fashion Institute of Technology, major: Business Manufacturing Apparel, and Marketing and never looked back.
My passions are Photography, Fashion & Style and overall creativity. This lifestyle blog will explore those passions and more…
"Creativity is seeing what everyone else has seen, and thinking what no one else has thought."
Let’s just say Real Estate didn’t start out as a passion. It was actually more of a ‘reaction.’ You see; my husband and I were treated unfairly when purchasing our first home. We worked with 10 real estate agents, but not because we wanted to; it became clear to us the only way to get any satisfaction was to change agents. Time after time, our agents "steered" us to the same neighborhoods and told us we would be “comfortable here”. Each time that happened, we threw our hands-up and found a new agent. We finally connected with an agent who truly did her job of being fair and honest, and voilà – we purchased a home!
Wouldn’t you know it – the saying “good things don’t last forever” crept into the picture because two years later, I was laid off from my job in the fashion industry as a Technical Designer. But I didn’t spend time feeling sorry for myself. Instead I reacted by getting my real estate license in 1998 to make a difference. When life gives you lemons make some lemonade. Being one of the few minority agent in my local market at that time, my colleagues swore I’d have difficulty being successful. I relished in proving them wrong. My second month in the business I converted a rental to a Condo sale. My first two years in the business taught me so much and I actually worked with some of the same agents who “steered” us. Go figure. After spending time reflecting, I decided to take the biggest risk of all and start my own business, RGH Realty #1, Inc. in 2000.
RGH Realty, #1, Inc. was always designed to be a Boutique Firm working with only a few clients at a time – a strategy that enables me to target serious buyers and sellers and allows me to focus on their wants and needs for a successful transaction. I was rolling – successful and satisfied. As a result once more, the fates intervened and the market crashed in 2008. It was devastating for my husband and me because we were both self-employed. In fact, the owner of one of his major accounts committed suicide.
Somehow, my calm spirit took over. I was patient, I watched daily reports, I contacted my clients regularly and when it was done, I can actually say only a couple of people lost their homes during the crash for one reason or another. We weathered the storm together – now the question I grapple with today is how can I continue weathering storms as I educate and prepare clients before buying or selling?
I have always enjoyed all aspects of creativity. One of the creative outlets I love doing, while traveling or site seeing in the city; is photography. In my photography blog series - I will explore the world through the lens of my camera.
My blog is dedicated to the women that love to explore, create and make their own path. After studying, working and networking within the fashion industry for years in New York and Paris - I have felt compelled to speak about the ups, downs and more importantly the enjoyment of finding my own path, leaving the fashion space and always coming back to my first love. - I want to share my experiences and expert knowledge from both the design and real estate space.