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Wanted: passion in real estate – dead or alive



Disclaimer: This is not a blog post about social media. Although, I have to give a shout out to Benn Rosales for his eye catching headline: Why Real Estate Passion is Dead.  It got me thinking about this new emphasis on passion.  I think it used to be called liking what you do.

“Gimme a ‘P’…Gimme an ‘A’…

Everyone from Tony Robbins to Guy Vaynerchuk have latched onto this passion thing. Life is not worth living, it seems, unless you can live it full out, throttle wide open with a smile on your face and a zippedy-do-dah on you lips.  Anything less and you might as well finish off that bottle of Valium and chase it with a half fifth of Jack Daniels and check on out.

It reminds me, in a way, of the time when I was but a wee grasshopper sitting at the feet of the kung fu real estate masters.  There was an agent in my office who loved showing houses.  I mean, she really loved it.  So much so that her clients begged her to stop showing houses and help them buy one.  I guess her clients didn’t quite share her passion.

I also see, quite a bit, this passion in marketing blurbs about how agents have this passion for real estate or for exceeding their clients expectations or whatever.  In fact, I’m thinking that passion is becoming the substitute for experience.  Don’t get me wrong.  I know there are tons of people out there with lots of experience that could use a little passion or, at least, enthusiasm about the j-o-b but passion only goes so far when the ink is barely dry on your license.

“Gimme an ‘S’…Gimme Another ‘S’…

Yet, I find myself becoming more and more cynical and jaded with every passing year.  During my wee grasshopper phase, I  was the naive idealist who thought I would be able to change the perception of real estate professionals as slightly better than Congressmen but worse than Used Car Salesmen.  I was going to really, really help my clients achieve their dreams and help Raise The Bar, to boot (even though I didn’t know what Raising the Bar meant, at the time).

I even got dressed up for settlement.  Sometimes the full blown suit, other times a nice sport coat and tie.  After all, this was the Big Day.  The culmination of months of work.  The time when the buyers got the keys or the sellers got the big check (back then sellers got a check). My clients showed up in flip flops and sandals with shorts and t-shirts.  It didn’t take me long to figure out it didn’t freakin’ matter if I showed up or not.

Then I realized that contracts are really just “guidelines” with dates and time frames that were missed more than met. There were rarely any adverse consequences for default or breach. Brokers — recruiting propaganda to the contrary — did not go to the mat for their agents for procuring cause or broken Buyer’s Broker Agreements. Independent contractor meant “you’re on your own” . Other professionals in the transaction from other agents to lenders to title company people would regularly ignore pleas for communication or updates…or lie.

“Gimme an ‘I…O…N'”

So I became a good technician with some empathy.  Yes, I do care about the outcome for my clients but I am under no illusion that they care about me.  I still try to keep an open line of communication and I want to believe the other real estate professionals in the transaction but now I “trust but verify”. And I no longer bounce out of bed every morning with breathless anticipation about what the day will bring.

Some people (Tony Robbins? Gary Vee?) would tell me to quit and find my true passion and then monetize it.  To them, I say, pay my mortgage.

Sure, it would be nice to feel really good about what I do every day to earn an income.  But money trumps passion every time.

“Loves sunrise walks on the beach, quaint B & Bs, former Barbie® boyfriend..." Ken is a sole practitioner and Realtor Extraordinaire in the beautiful MD Suburbs of DC. When he's not spouting off on Agent Genius he holds court from his home office in Glenn Dale, MD or the office for RE/MAX Advantage Realty in Fulton, MD...and always on the MD Suburbs of DC Blog

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  1. Eric Mieles

    September 21, 2010 at 1:14 pm

    WOW, it is a sad, sad thing to know that so called professionals such as yourself who have this open forum use it to spout off your jaded views. I believe whole hardly that you completely missed the messages of Gary V and Tony Robbins.

    Passion is unseen energy. Energy can be the key differentiator in clients choosing you or ME. When “Professionals” engage in a sales cycle and their really in tune with their profession clients can pick up on what makes you special, what makes you unique in this crowed marketplace of MEDICORE agents.

    Gary V’s message is not to just have passion and that will lead to money. His message is that passion combined with today’s tools could 100% lead to monetization opportunities. So that being said let’s break down this Passion=Monetization model.

    You have a “World View” that believes passion doesn’t have its place. That living a life of energy, anticipation, and desire to conquer and leave a mark on the world is wishful thinking. YOU have a jaded outlook. However, YOU decide you want to expand on this topic. YOU believe there are others who would agree with what you have to say. YOU create a blog which now is your platform. YOU spread your message everyday for a year. Before you know it you check and four hundred jaded people have latched on to your daily rants.

    YOU set up a FB page. YOU begin to create an audio show on iTunes and now have a Podcast called (Sour Puss). YOU begin to spread your content in various formats. YOU now how leverage to get sponsorship. YOU target other businesses who would love to speak directly to your target market. I don’t know maybe Criminal Defense Attorneys who defend negative people, maybe DMV who has had the same process for God knows how long and LOVE to piss people off.

    YOU begin to get a steady stream of income now from being Negative Nelly. YOU now live with “Passion”!!

    • Ken Montville

      September 21, 2010 at 2:36 pm

      I wish this Law of Attraction stuff really worked but I’ve been trying to attract “thin-ness” to myself for years and it just doesn’t seem to take. I know…patience.

  2. Rob McCance

    September 21, 2010 at 2:20 pm


    This is the best frikkin post I have read in as long as I can remember, maybe EVER.

    Not only are you a gifted writer, it’s well thought out and to the point. And, the points are great.

    “Passion.” How passionate can you r-e-a-l-l-y be about missing all your kids sporting events to drive some unfocused yahoo around ALL weekend in a shotgun style method looking at near-random properties? All with a late Friday night notice..

    (and people please don’t tell me this should never happen or never does happen, because we all know it does, regardless of our best efforst to qualify, guide, inform, etc.)

    Anyway, kick cuss post, my man!!

    • Ken Montville

      September 21, 2010 at 2:37 pm


      You’ll make me blush. I appreciate the compliment!

  3. Eric Mieles

    September 21, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    So funny. This is the reason we will always be looked down upon instead of held up like Lawyers, Accountants or any other specialized profession. How sad!!

    • Rob McCance

      September 21, 2010 at 2:58 pm


      “Lawyers and Accountants” huh? Interesting. Those are the high bar?

      It’s not sad at all, it’s real. Here’s the deal: we don’t have to appease or live up to your ideals. We have to make our clients happy, which can only happen by providing kick butt service, trust me.

      ALL (as in 100%) of my clients love my service and end up sincerely liking me…sometimes too much. I get calls for lunch, emails just to chat, and just this morning, got an email from a January client asking if my son could come play with their son.

      I’m sure Ken has similar success.

      Nobody is “looking down” on this Realtor here in Atlanta. Check the Client Feedback section on my site. All unedited. That’s called proof.

  4. Fred Romano

    September 21, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Agents and Brokers need to have lives too. Great post Ken! This is all true and one of the reasons I changed my business model 4 years ago. Clients really don’t care about us, they use us and we use them to make money. Of course there is a lot of things in between but at the end of the day, if you did a good job, they will send futures clients your way!

  5. Eric Mieles

    September 21, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Wow, I feel like I’m in crazy land or something. Regarding Lawyers and Accountants, when people get in trouble they automatically know they need a lawyer. When People open businesses they get an Accountant to look after the books. When people look to sell or buy a home they automatically go to the internet and might (MIGHT) call a Realtor. And when they do there skeptical and they view us as dispensable. With comments like the last guys who would blame them “Clients don’t really care about us. They use us and we use them to make money”. That’s what’s extremely sad about these mediocre agents who ruin it for the people who have tremendous PASSION and a real LOVE for what they do.

    If you provide “Kick Butt Service” then it seems like your “Passionate” lol about making sure your people are taking care of…..No???

    You’re absolutely right. You don’t have to live up to my ideals. I’m a nobody to you however it is sad when people slog out of bed with no enthusiasm, no drive or energy to accomplish their inner most dreams. Do you think we were put here to just get by, to just do a JOB and go through the motions only to be AVERAGE?

    I personally don’t think so and I think it’s one of the biggest disappointments in life. When you were a kid is that what you dreamed about? Do you used to say “When I grow up I just want to pay a mortgage”? I doubt it. Whether you agree or not PASSION has a place and it can catapult you to doing things one never dreamed.

    • Rob McCance

      September 21, 2010 at 3:55 pm


      I don’t think we are so far away from each other on this stuff. Mostly semantics.

      I tell you what I’m passionate about: tennis, my kids, running on the beach, etc.

      I *like* real estate and the game (challenges) that it presents. I do not LOVE it. So what, I’m still going to to a way above average, outstanding job at it because this is who I am. I don’t slog through anythng in life.

      I think people that need speeches from the Tony Robbins of the world have an intrinsic problem that will not be cured by listening to this passion nonsnese over a weekend.

      And lastly, let’s face it, how many people get to be “passionate” about their professions at the end of the day? You think the guy working at Dunkin Donuts is passionate? A cab driver..a pilot that just logged 10 zillion hours in planes and airports…?

      Who? Very few, that’s who.

      But the rest of us can be truly motivated, enjoy what we are doing and do an awesome job and maybe even make a lot of money.

  6. Karen Brewer

    September 21, 2010 at 8:09 pm

    Odd that you write about this.I just submitted a similar article to a major NYC dailt about this “passion” thing. Thing is…this nonsense about finding your passion is being fed to our kids by college admissions officers,high school coaches anyone who wants our kids to perform beyond where any chilkd should. “We want kids who are passionate” goes the saying.If you can find that by the time you are 16 what the heck do you do with the rest of your life. Its just jibberish and I cant believe so many people fall for it…kind of like the soulmate thing.

  7. Eric Mieles

    September 21, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    I think we’re very far away my friend. Not even in the same WORLD. You “Like” real estate and you do “well” what if you loved it? There are many people who are passionate about what they do. Imagine if Jordan wasn’t passionate about the game. Imagine if Peyton Manning just “Liked” football. Imagine if Serena Williams thought tennis was a hobby.

    If the Dunkin Donuts guy isn’t passionate about his job them why can’t he find a job that he is passionate about? Why can’t he tap into something he loves to do (Knowing there will be days that are tough and hard) and become GREAT at it rather than just be GOOD and earn a paycheck?

    The problem with most of the people who commented, especially Karen is that you’ve been conditioned to believe what the world has sold you. You’ve been conditioned and you’ve conformed to STATUS QUO and MEDIOCRITY. Yes, Karen tell your kids to forget about passion and find a real job. Tell them to work their whole life working a job they don’t really love, buy a house, get married, have kids and retire only to look back and regret that they didn’t go after what they truly felt in their heart. GREAT ADVICE, tell them to be safe and find security don’t go out on the edge, don’t take any risks.

    The majority always conforms, they always accept which is great because it leaves the TRUE LEADERS, the TRUE PASSIONATE individuals to bypass the average and reach bliss.

    • Rob McCance

      September 21, 2010 at 9:47 pm

      Not agreeing. At all. And I’m extremely successful and always have been. I’ve been self employed for 14 years and have run three very successful companies in three completely different disciplines in that period.

      Liked all of them, “loved” none of them. And, I’m a super happy well rounded individual, not deep down longing for something…

      In 2009, my Accountant advised me to put $40k into my SEP. Ask one of your highly regarded CPAs to do the math on that one for ya.

      Your hypothetical dreaming hits something called REALITY at some point. Then what?

      You touched on it with this:

      “If the Dunkin Donuts guy isn’t passionate about his job them why can’t he find a job that he is passionate about?”

      Why don’t you pull up to the window and ASK HIM? Because, you will get a earful of REALITY. And your “go find what your dream job and make a living” deal would look pretty short sighted, unrealistic and probably quite embarrassing.

      Also, FWIW, Andre Agassi was #1 in the world and hated tennis. Just imagine if he even liked it.

      There are some people that view the money making part of life as nothing more than the funding phase to everything they really love to do, with the latter being things that would never pay the bills, i.e., coaching their kids baseball team, or playing 4.5 level tennis, etc..

      What about those folks? How does your one-size-fits-all pie-in-the-sky nonsense fit those happy people?

      You sound like one of these generation Y types with no clue. You’re late for the next Tony Robbins pump up session, or an Excel meeting, or Amway.

      • Rob McCance

        September 21, 2010 at 9:58 pm

        Or some social networking event with everyone dressed up in prom dressed…and cumber buns.

        Sorry, I forgot about that one.

  8. Jolenta Averill

    September 21, 2010 at 10:00 pm

    Interesting point, if not a little self-indulgent. Why focus on the negative when at least half the time there are so many things in this business to be grateful: a wonderfully gracious client who becomes a true friend, a transaction that makes us a far superior agent than we were just the day before, a deal so well-executed the client is moved to the point of recommending you to everyone they know, the windfall closing you thought wasn’t going to happen that just paid for a new car in one fell swoop. I don’t mean to sound like a pollyanna – sure, I have my share of super challenging days as well. But the difference is that I love the business of real estate so much that I have no desire to retire from it…ever. In fact, I am deliberately building my business in such a way that if ever I become disabled or just too old to hobble around any longer and show (or list) homes, I’ll refer business out part-time, make training videos, do real estate coaching, etc. Anything to stay active and involved in the business that I sincerely feel is my true calling. If you’re not that passionate about real estate, you definitely should not settle. Life is way, way too short!

  9. Zachary Hosford

    September 21, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    Hey Ken,

    Howdy, it’s been some time, I wish I could agree with you. I want to make this short and sweet so here we go. I love real estate and I am passionate about it. My passion is seen by everyone of my clients although the ink is still very wet (3.5 years), I get antsy when I don’t get to the office early. I make choices every day of where I am going to be and what I am going to do, without passion real estate is just going through the motions. I can’t imagine not doing what I love and not having that deep burning passion to make the most of my life.

    My wish is for all to fin the passion inside and live it, because when we die money doesn’t travel very well but the passion you gave to others will.

    This was hard to write so simple and short.

    Always my best,

  10. Eric Mieles

    September 21, 2010 at 10:37 pm

    And you sound like one of those Old school Stick in the mud “Change is scary” types. I may have hit a nerve lol. I’ve learned when someone needs to bring their earnings or use their earnings as a benchmark for what they’ve done, than I know something’s wrong.

    As for asking the Dunkin Donuts guy that question and getting a dose of “Reality”. I’m sure if the answer is what you say than he’s been stuck and conformed just like you. He’s bought into the reality that was sold to him.

    He has power, you have power and so do I. Its weird coming from a guy who’s “so successful” to say Dunkin Donuts is someone’s reality and that passion couldn’t get him somewhere else.

    It’s funny that you’re commenting on a blog, that’s sparking a debate, that is allowing US (Strangers) to converse and YOU still cannot see the true REALITY of what’s going on. In your OLD days this would have never existed and would have never happened. Lol you probably have a FB Fan page, a twitter account and a kick ass website lol and you probably know what LOL means.

    SO that leads me to the Little League baseball coach. He can if he wants to learn and live his passion. Why can’t the little league coach set up a blog site that keeps track of the team’s progress? Why can’t the coach video tape all the kids’ practices so that the parent who can’t attend watch and critique? Why can’t he post pics and comments educating the town and talking about the many things baseball does for youth? Why can’t he charge for advertising and sponsorship? Why can’t he begin to start a movement that little league be a requirement in all schools because of what he believes it will do for kids self esteem and growth? What happens when it gets picked up by the national news? What happens when the blogs write and comment about it? What happens when a debate is sparked (Like this one) over it? What happens when you’re asking your child his thoughts on this movement? What opportunities would the “Little” town coach have then?

    Please with all due respect understand the world is incredibly different now. We have tremendous power to do and say and begin whatever we want. Passion is incredibly important. It has allowed me to “Crush” you (As Gary would say) with my position and words. WAIT……I think I your becoming a little PASSIONATE about this topic!!

    • Rob McCance

      September 21, 2010 at 11:42 pm

      Your comments make it abundantly clear that you absolutely don’t know me, or a single thing about me. You’re taking stabs at my age and personality type that are so far off, it’s embarrassing for you.

      I admit the SEP info was chnitsy, but I didn’t give my income, I gave you the minimum amount my accountant wanted to go away. Either way, it’s lame and I know it.

      My point was to educate you that you can be extremely successful doing something you like, not love.

      How can you actually type this regarding the Dunkin Donuts employee example: “I’m sure if the answer is what you say than he’s been stuck and conformed just like you. He’s bought into the reality that was sold to him. ”

      First, I didn’t give his answer. I asked you to go discover it, and learn something about the real world vs the fantasy space where everyone passionate about something can excel beyond their wildest dreams.

      No amount of passion, good luck or determination can get some people out of the HOLE they were dealt at birth. The disadvantages they faced, the education they never got, the family they never had, the discrimination, the money that never existed for anything in their lives. The piss poor situations they were exposed to.

      If you do not understand this then you can not understand any of this. Someone could of been as talented as Jordan, but never have been allowed to even GO TO SCHOOL!

      I’m not going into the nonsense about the baseball thing other than to say good luck displacing Cal Ripken’s site and the hundred other professional instruction sites out there run by ex Major Leaguers! You don’t have a clue how that business works, obviously.

      The only thing you are crushing is common sense, my man.

      You can have the last shot. I’m done with this and you can’t fight crazy.

    • Rob McCance

      September 21, 2010 at 11:57 pm


      I almost missed this from you:

      “Lol you probably have a FB Fan page, a twitter account …..”

      That my friend, is a complete miss. But almost 100% of everyone else here at AG does, so be careful with that one.

      Too funny. Some traps need no bait,


  11. Dan Connolly

    September 22, 2010 at 12:30 am

    There really isn’t anything wrong with what I think is the basic premise of your arguement. If someone can find a way to monetize their passion, what a great life! But what doesn’t really work with your approach, is the idea that it is the only way to have a great life.

    You began your discussion with words like “jaded” and “spouting off”. You are attacking those who don’t agree with you. The hard reality today is that being passionate about what you do is no guarantee that you will succeed.

    I have a friend who was passionate about the trumpet. He studied tirelessly and actually was quite a star in college. His college group travelled all over the world and he really felt like that was going to be his life. The problem was that there aren’t that many jobs open for trumpet players. There are only so many symphonies and most of them have a very low turnover of trumpet players. So where is he now? Renovating houses!

    I think most of us were quite passionate when we started out. After the first thousand sales some of the luster wears off for the day to day activities. We can still have passion in our lives but it is more about the results and rewards of the business, family and friends and the things outside the business. Less about the day to day activities that get us there. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great feeling of accomplishment helping people buy or sell a home, and helping them acheive their dreams. But as hard as it is to make a living, I do not judge those that do what they don’t really like to support their families.

    • Rob McCance

      September 22, 2010 at 1:18 am


      Well stated. Much more eloquently than I could do it. I got wrapped up in the debate too deeply.

      The trumpet player is a good example.

      Another one is all the dedicated baseball players who have played the game since they were six years old. They dedicated their entire lives to playing the game. Only a small percentage will play professionally.

      Are the thousands that did not make it, who were passionate about playing the game, now exiled to a life of mediocrity and basic lack of success? (no)

      A passion for playing is not a passion for teaching (huge difference on many levels) or coaching or any of the related areas. Finding passion B will be tough. It may not exist.

      Some of these people may end up being millionaires doing things they really like, but do not love, or have “passion” for.

      The whole word is over used.

      The concept is not valid.


    September 22, 2010 at 4:35 am

    passion ebbs and flows. its like relationships. sometimes passion just wanes. doesn’t mean u don’t love your mate…i don’t think it is human to be constantly 110% passionate 24 hours a day 7 days a wk 365 days a year about your boo…or your profession. we’re only human!

  13. Paula Henry

    September 22, 2010 at 7:26 am

    Wow, the debate is passionate!
    Passion : any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate.

    I agree, it is difficult to have passion everyday for every part of the real estate business. Some aspects of the business remove all sense of passion and leave you drained; while other aspects energize and revitalize (no, I’m not talking about payday).

    For me, showing homes all day is an effort and does not energize me. I am good for five to eight homes, then I am done. I don’t want or like to be “on” for that long. This doesn’t mean I can’t have a good time doing it; I have had many clients I thoroughly enjoyed spending time with, but if that were what I had to do everyday – I would have to forego this career choice.

    Listings, marketing, photography, training, – these are the things I love! I don’t believe you have to have passion to be successful, but passion can drive you beyond the ordinary to accomplish more.

    In Rob’s case. passion for time with his family drives him to be successful in real estate. He does have passion – it’s just that real estate is not his passion. It supports his passion!

  14. Chuck Gillooley

    September 22, 2010 at 8:35 am

    “‘Passion.'” How passionate can you r-e-a-l-l-y be about missing all your kids sporting events to drive some unfocused yahoo around ALL weekend in a shotgun style method looking at near-random properties? All with a late Friday night notice..” Amen to that..

    Somewhere in this well thought out debate someone brought up the analogy of lawyers and CPA’s. Not a good comparison — those folks start billing you the minute they pick up the phone or lift a pencil to help you. Us? Nope. We’re lucky if we ever close this “unfocused yahoo”. More likely, they meander away… radio silence, or worse yet they randomly buy something from an agent holding an open house. It happens. Maybe the public perception about us would change if we didn’t offer so much service for free?

    The point…yes, you need to LIKE what you’re doing to be successful. It’s what drives you to go the extra mile to miss those soccer games, and show houses in crappy neighborhoods during a driving rainstorm. But PASSION? Nah… bless you if RE is your passion, but I honestly can’t remember the first or last time I met someone (who wasn’t wet behind the ears) that was passionate about this biz.

  15. Eric Mieles

    September 22, 2010 at 9:07 am

    @ Dan The author used the words Jaded himself and it’s obvious he is. I am fully aware that living with passion is no guarantee for a great life. However neither is doing something I’m okay at and just waiting till I get off to go do what I really want to do. What PASSION does do is provide me something far greater than MONEY, SECURITY or any of the other attributes many believe are SAFE and that is FULFILLMENT!! The knowledge to know I’m not cheating myself and wasting my life on something I LIKE rather than WORKING toward something I LOVE!!

    So I think many people got just a little off what this initially was about. Passion has the ability to transform what you do and give you a sense of truth and energy. Can you live, work and do “Good” without it, of course. Is there days when you won’t be totally passionate about every aspect of your business, of course. However I just truly believe it’s a shame to deny what we truly feel we may have been called to do. Each one of us has an intrinsic power and talent to something just a little better than the next person. And why would we deny that silent scream that want to come out and give the world something that’s totally unique to you. IT”S A TRADEGDY. IT”S A SHAME. YOU are denying yourself and really you’re denying the world of your true gift. We need more passionate people. We need more checkout line ladies who greet us at the store and smile because they feel good about great service. We need more PASSIONATE Realtors who LOVE LOVE what they do. We need more business men who are PASSIONATE about their roles.

    I’m tired of seeing DRONES all around me. Who come in and just DO what they need to. What a waste!! What a horrible waste if I’m one of your clients the guys clients who commented above saying “We use clients and they use us”! He should have his license revoked. What a waste if I’m dreaming about surfing all day but I DELEGATE to going through the motions and send two listings to my new client because I really didn’t want to go through the 100 I should have.

    What you do not understand is if I want to really surf all day WHY can’t I find a way? Why can’t I start today to putting together a plan. Researching opportunities on some little island. Doing whatever it is necessary to go and do it and ONE DAY BOOM. I get to live my passion in life. The problem is that you have gotten stuck in the rat race. The race that says YOU need that mortgage, that nice little car payment, the nice toys and the monthly overhead that comes with it. You’ve become a slave to trading your time for money and NOW you feel obligated to DO WHAT YOU HAVE TO DO. BUT I’m here to tell you the world is a different place. You can work and LOVE and LIVE not just exist.

    We all want the EXTRAORDINARY. God forbid one of your kids got sick would you look for the best doctor of the guy who’s just there? If he had heart trouble would you want the BEST surgeon who has lived his work or the guy who can’t wait to get on the greens to play a round because that’s his passion? Really please don’t lie to yourselves.

    Passion is an incredible thing. It can do amazing things. I fully understand it’s not needed and yes, according to you, you can be successful without it but why would you want to?

    I’m actually grateful for this post because it has allowed me to show my PASSION. I’m grateful for the debate.

  16. Janie Coffey

    September 22, 2010 at 9:11 am

    I’m putting my hand up. I, Janie Coffey, am still 100% passionate about my decision to make my living selling real estate. I love it. I love the creativity of it, I love the challenge of it, I love the flexibility of it. As Herman said above, it’s sort of like having a mate. Real Estate can be my difficult, hard to understand and frustrating mate, but it’s the mate that I can’t give up like and addict can’t give up crack. I love it, I’m passionate about and even starting at the beginning of a free fall melt-down for real estate professionals, I’m still addicted to it like a fat kid likes cake!

  17. Eric Mieles

    September 22, 2010 at 9:23 am

    @Chuck then why don’t YOU GET OUT!! Why then stay in a business like this if that’s how you feel? YOU actually are the one ruining it for us to command more money, to be able to charge for all our little services, to be looked upon as true professionals and not someone who dispensable and okay that they waste our time. YOU guys are the ones holding us back and because of these comments and attitudes we are shackled because the people know how you REALLY FEEL. AGAIN what a Shame!!

    • Rob McCance

      September 22, 2010 at 9:53 am

      That’s completely ridiculous and out of line.

      Ok, time for some humor. Check out this video I found this morning.

      Not quite sure the music matches the video. Might be a stretch.

    • Chuck Gillooley

      September 22, 2010 at 4:15 pm


      Holy cow… RELAX, dude. Please read my comment again, because it’s clear you are WAY too inflamed to think straight right now. I said that I L-I-K-E selling real estate. I’m VERY good at it, and I like it.

      Does that mean I am passionate about RE? Probably not.
      Is it wrong to be passionate about it? Definitely not.
      Is your characterization of me way out of line? Definitely.
      Is your skin a bit too thin? Ditto.


  18. Bob Wilson

    September 22, 2010 at 1:08 pm

    Its simple Erik – there is money to be made in real estate that cant be made in things we are passionate about. Like the trumpet player or teacher, or coach, some things just don’t pay. Do you believe that so many of the people you depend on behind the scenes to get your deals done are passionate about their jobs? The hourly workers at the title company? The guy who installs the for sale sign? The laborers absolutely required on the construction site that will be that next luxury home?

    Is real estate your passion, or just high end real estate? Is your passion fulfilled by the social circles luxury real estate allows you to be a part of, or would you be just as passionate about providing top shelf service to the first time buyer or conforming loan market? Just curious if real estate really is your passion, or if its the lifestyle your niche affords.

    I also have to wonder about how customer service is something to be passionate about and how you can compare passion for helping rich people buy or sell real estate with someone making scratch but fighting for kids, or the agent I know who sells real estate to make money, but who’s passion is their volunteering at a hospice.

    I have the privilege of knowing a handful of the most productive real estate agents in the country. They are fueled by many things – competition, being number one, money – but none of them would say they are passionate about real estate. A few, I would suggest, have little if any passion about anything – yet they are wildly successful – in the world’s eyes.

    The comparison of real estate agents to professionals who require years of education has to stop. Its laughable and it does not require the same education. As for lawyers and accountants, you would be hard pressed to find a less passionate group of professionals on the planet. I know literally dozens of attorneys, but only one who is passionate about his job – he is a public defender who specializes in capital cases. The CPAs I know – most would change jobs tomorrow, but for the money.

    The same can be said for doctors and most other professionals. Some of the ones that show up at your networking events may be passionate for now, but that will change as they have families. If their career continues to be their passion, then their family will be short-changed. What happens is that these 6 figure professionals will discover that their jobs now fund their passions, as Rob said.

    You brought up coaching. I know several who are passionate about coaching kids. One of the best runs an HVAC company. No passion there, but it funds his ability to be involved in the lives of kids where there is no financial future.

    I appreciate your idealism, but it is just that – idealistic. And naive. Unfortunately only time will bear this out because passions change with life experiences, and life experiences certainly dictate what passions can be indulged.

    Professionalism isnt the same as passion. The buying public demand professionalism. They could care less about your passion. I also don’t believe that Passion 101 is going be a prerequisite part of the curriculum at HBS, Wharton, or Carnegie Mellon anytime soon.

  19. Eric Mieles

    September 22, 2010 at 1:24 pm

    With all that being said there are more Billionaires in the world without MBA’S from any of those institutions. How could that be? They had a deep desire to be great, to capitize on an idea, opportunity and they had a vision. They had passion and an inner hunger to be great at what they did.

    Is my assistant, sign guy, or anybody else passionate about their position….probably not BUT I would say in the meantime they should be cultivating, finding, and developing whatever it is they are passionate about.

    Some of those professions don’t pay according to whom? How is it that this blog is generating thousands on sponsorship and advertising? How is it a kid from NY who worked in a retail store turned his father’s business into 50 Mill gross rev? How is it that people are making more money from their online start ups than you or me working “Traditional” jobs?

    You’re still looking through the lens of an old timer stuck in traditional formats and systems and you’ve convinced yourself that the impossible is just that impossible.

    Passion is desired from today’s consumer. You just wouldn’t know because you don’t have any!!

    • Rob McCance

      September 22, 2010 at 1:38 pm

      There’s apparently a clear link between passion and delusion.

      Here’s Eric’s kind of passion:

    • Bob Wilson

      September 22, 2010 at 1:49 pm


      Now you sound like the fool. You have no idea what many of us are passionate about. You dont know that when we started we had passion for the job, but as life evolves, passions do so as well.

      I know a few where 6 figure income is a rounding error in their checkbooks, but what made them the money was not passion. Don’t confuse drive with passion.

      Your argument also has a quite a few holes in it. What you refer to as your passion sounds more like just a desire for money.

      “YOU actually are the one ruining it for us to command more money, to be able to charge for all our little services, to be looked upon as true professionals”

      That sounds like you are fueled by money and ego – being “recognized”. Is that what you are passionate about?

      “Is my assistant, sign guy, or anybody else passionate about their position….probably not BUT I would say in the meantime they should be cultivating, finding, and developing whatever it is they are passionate about.”

      That is what Dan and Rob have been saying. You cant have it both ways. You cant say that you have to have passion about your job or quit, but also say the above because according to you,

      “If the Dunkin Donuts guy isn’t passionate about his job them why can’t he find a job that he is passionate about?”

      You also didnt answer a single question. Why?

      • Rob McCance

        September 22, 2010 at 2:53 pm

        Bob, now you and I are both “old timers” and Chuck Gillooly has got to quit his job. Reason: lack of passion. Termination.

        You know what, Bob, we really don’t need to even reply to this nonsense. Anyone with their head that far up in the clouds and so far away from reality will get nowhere in life. It will all work itself out.

        At some point, it takes reality and execution, unless you can figure out how to SELL this BS-in-a-basket, like Tony Robbins.

        He cound not answer a single question I posed. he just kept ranting and ranting about the wonderments and opportunities of the world.

        And now, he’s backtracking all over himself and screwing up his previous points. I guess it’s all part of the “crushing” he’s giving us.



        “You’re still looking through the lens of an old timer stuck in traditional formats and systems and you’ve convinced yourself that the impossible is just that impossible.
        Passion is desired from today’s consumer. You just wouldn’t know because you don’t have any!!”

        • Chuck Gillooley

          September 22, 2010 at 4:25 pm

          Quitting as we speak. Anyone want to buy a slightly worn RE blog for cheap?

          • Rob McCance

            September 22, 2010 at 4:30 pm


            Me too then. If you’re out, I’m out. it’s not worth being in here w/o you.

            My crappy site is on the block as well. Here’s news for Erik: in the time span of this post my site has collected 8 leads and another one just popped in.

            If I were only passionate about lead gen, I’m sure that would of been 80 leads.

            Gotta go make some very un-passionate calls and see if I can help anyone out, I mean help them FAIL.


  20. Dan Connolly

    September 22, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    The bottom line is nobody will argue the fact that IF you have passion for your job it can be a wonderful thing. The arguement is that if you are not passionate about your job you should quit and try to figure out how to monitize your passion.

    Perhaps sports would be a better analogy. Do you know how many kids are passionate about baseball who have no way of ever being paid to play baseball? Understand something, they are not passionate about coaching baseball, they are passionate about pitching in the big game. It’s a flight of delusion to act like if you are passionate about something there is a way to make it happen. That is some kind of pipe dream. Sounds good and sells seminars to desperate people, but it is not based in reality.

    Here is another analogy, no matter how passionate you are about Lady Gaga, she ain’t letting you into her meat suit.

    The thing that rings flat about your position is the holier than thou approach you take. It’s about respect. I will bet anything you are relatively new to the business.

  21. Eric Mieles

    September 22, 2010 at 3:55 pm

    Okay so here we go:

    “It’s simple Erik – there is money to be made in real estate that can’t be made in things we are passionate about”.

    -I guarantee there are people who could take what you’re really passionate about and make more than what you do in real estate or how about finding a niche in real estate that you can be passionate about? I don’t know why that’s so hard to understand or believe in.

    “Is real estate your passion, or just high end real estate? Is your passion fulfilled by the social circles luxury real estate allows you to be a part of, or would you be just as passionate about providing top shelf service to the first time buyer or conforming loan market? Just curious if real estate really is your passion, or if it’s the lifestyle your niche affords.”

    -I have many passions and I make sure I put time energy and effort to doing and living all of them. Real estate is one of them and I just really love the challenge it provides. I love taking a home and positioning it and marketing it so that it gets noticed. I love talking to people about the buying and selling process. I REALLY REALLY love the creative and thinking aspect involved with getting better and better at my job (Oh….sorry..My passion) and I LOVE LOVE the look on peoples face when they sell or buy a home. If I didn’t feel this way, if I just loved the commission checks than I would be gone because it’s just the way I’m built. I’m wired to not waste time because life is so precious and short and I deserve to do and have and be what I REALLY wants to be and do.

    “I also have to wonder about how customer service is something to be passionate about”

    -Because I love exceeding expectations. I love getting the trust, care and loyalty from people because all their used to is YOU or WORSE ROB. (I’ve never heard someone so pessimistic..Gees’) Providing amazing service gives me an amazing feeling because that’s the highest honor you can give “TO SERVE OTHERS”. Think not, you probably think you’re a salesman well the word originates from SERVE…TO SERVE!!

    “Don’t confuse drive with passion.”

    -Really?? So a driven person is not a passionate person?? Here’s the definition
    -“any powerful or compelling emotion or feeling, as love or hate”. I think drive is a compelling emotion!!

    You can monetize your passion. You can find a way to make a living doing what you love and you can impact and move people by your unique energy and passion!!

    • Bob

      September 22, 2010 at 8:18 pm

      I didnt characterize you at all Erik, because I don’t know you, but you certainly have been the attack dog here with your characterizations. You haven’t been attacking the position on the issue, but the people you don’t know who voiced those different opinions.

      Your passion aside, you fail Debate 101.

      “So a driven person is not a passionate person??”
      No Erik, drive is not the same as passion. They are not opposite sides of the same coin. They may coexist, but drive is not dependent on passion.

      Agassi was driven to be #1 in the world, but he wasnt passionate about the sport that he excelled in and that made him millions. He hated it from day one, yet tennis fans thought he was passionate about tennis because of the intensity with which he played and the preparation that he put in before a match.

      Jimmy Connors was passionate about tennis. So was John McEnroe, but they didn’t bring any greater amount of excellence to the sport than Agassi.

      What you fail to understand is that passion doesn’t equate or even guarantee excellence. You come on here and insult people who are very good at what they do. I can promise you that while Dan may not have your passion for real estate, his skillset and work ethic, character and integrity, and humility and respect for people is something you should aspire to possess.

      Most of the people you blindly pass by every day do their jobs as well if not better than you do yours without being passionate about it. They do because they have to – for reasons you may not be able to comprehend. but they do it and they do it well.

      I have dealt with many agents who are “passionate” about this biz. In the last few years those that were the most passionate were also the ones most responsible for helping people become my short sale clients a few years later.

      Sorry Erik, but when it comes to expertise and professionalism, passion isnt a tool in the bag – it isnt even a measuring stick. Passion is fueled by emotion, as you stated, and emotions are fleeting.

      While I applaud you for your passion, it didn’t earn you the right to criticize the character of the professionals on here that you have.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 22, 2010 at 10:34 pm

      Wow! thanks Bob!

  22. Susie Blackmon

    September 22, 2010 at 6:45 pm

    Passion caught my eye. Go figure.

    I’m not stepping into this fray except to say passion to me is a real Cowboy in tight blue jeans.
    And a vintage Airstream gussied up in Cowgirl style.

    That’s all the real estate I need. 😉

    Enjoyed the banter. Thanks!

  23. Eric Mieles

    September 23, 2010 at 11:42 am

    — So @Chuck I read your post again and had the same reaction the second time around. Maybe you should read it again. My skin is way thick brother. If it wasn’t I would have let the impassionate sway my conviction and QUIT six posts back lol.
    I don’t believe I was anymore out of line than the other gentleman who were commenting as well. Let’s take a look.

    -Dan “It’s a flight of delusion to act like if you are passionate about something there is a way to make it happen. That is some kind of pipe dream. Sounds good and sells seminars to desperate people, but it is not based in reality”.

    -Rob “Anyone with their head that far up in the clouds and so far away from reality will get nowhere in life. It will all work itself out.
    At some point, it takes reality and execution, unless you can figure out how to SELL this BS-in-a-basket, like Tony Robbins”

    -Rob “You sound like one of these generation Y types with no clue. You’re late for the next Tony Robbins pump up session, or an Excel meeting, or Amway”.

    So as you can see it went both ways. And to finish I just wanted to paste a recent blog post from one of my hero’s Seth Godin:

    “I need you to see things my way”

    And that’s the frustration of the marketer or the artist who hasn’t figured out how to navigate critics and the marketplace.

    If you need the validation and acceptance and patronage of everyone you meet, you’ll get stuck, and soon. Everyone isn’t going to get it. Everyone isn’t even going to get you, never mind what you sell.

    Experienced marketers and artists and those that make change understand that the new is not for everyone. In fact, it’s not even for most people. Pass them by. They can catch up later.
    It’s not a referendum, and you don’t need a unanimous vote of acclamation. No, you merely need enough to stay in business, to keep moving, to make a dent. And then your idea can spread.
    If the kids in the BACK of the bus/audience/store DON’T GET IT (or don’t get you) it’s their loss. Focus on those that want to celebrate the work you do instead.
    -Seth Godin

    • Rob McCance

      September 23, 2010 at 11:50 am

      Hey man, I only got two quotes.

      Why didn’t you quote any of my excellent questions (that you never answered or even addressed)?

      Anyway, just glad to see you back. Thought you might of high tailed it.

      It’s like watching a train wrek and it’s fun to skim your replies for new crazyness.

      Anyway, gotta run. Headed down to Roswell to show some properties. I’ll make sure and be dispassionate and do a lousy job. Just to see if that works..


      What does LOL mean, anyway?

    • Chuck Gillooley

      September 23, 2010 at 11:56 am


      That’s fine. You are entitled to your opinion, and I respect that. But unlike you, I don’t try to SWAY (your words) others to my way of thinking. That’s not how I define respect, “brother”.

      I’m out.. I actually have clients to service and deals to close today. You apparently have an abundance of time on your hands, and I think it’s crystal clear to everyone reading this thread why that is.

      Peace out, brother.

  24. Eric Mieles

    September 23, 2010 at 11:53 am


  25. Tucker Wannamaker

    September 27, 2010 at 11:37 pm

    I have a friend of mine who is an agent. His passion is helping people, and real estate is his excuse. He inspires me because he seems to have a “passion” for something bigger than himself. He deals with and gets through the frustrations of real estate by having a bigger drive than the real estate itself. That is what I am working to find. A bigger picture. And that is what it seems has been lost some from real estate.

    The word passion actually has more root in the meaning “to suffer” than anything(i.e. the passion of Christ). It makes me think about what I am willing to suffer for because of what may be bigger than the suffering. I think it was Rob who mentioned their kids as one of his passions among others he had. Sometimes we have excuses.

    I’m a title rep. Am I passionate about title insurance? Not exactly. Am I passionate about bringing bagels and donuts to agents all the time(which I don’t)? No… Am I passionate about trying to help people get into a better situation than what they had before they met me? Yes. When I worked at a coffee shop it was the same thing. Coffee was my excuse, but helping people have a better experience in their lives is what kept me going.

    I saw myself becoming a jaded and bitter person once upon a time and it completely scared me and that also drives me to hopefully not get that way. I always hated those grandpas who were just bitter and grumpy and lived for themselves. As a younger guy, they weren’t exactly inspirational nor something I looked forward to becoming. I hope that I never become that.

    There is always going to be pain, there is always going to be stupid buyers(or agents for me) who want to waste our time. I just hope to have a bigger picture that can help drive me. Money is and will become a byproduct. I’ve just come to understand that “money” and “me” are some of the smallest pictures that I could choose as passions for myself.

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Green Live & Work

Regenerating architecture: green building product innovations

(Green News) Sustainable design has evolved beyond robotics, and has tapped into the basics, using pre-historic methods: bacteria. Genius!





A Third Grade Teepee

Remembering back to third grade science class, about ten sticks bound together at the top with twine of some sort, and a little beansprout planted at the base of each pole, eventually became the coolest shelter this eight year old had ever seen. Seedlings wound their way up, tendril by tendril until their leaves reached just far enough to clasp and join, and create and fantastic teepee that was actually a food source, too! Talk about the ultimate in sustainability – but that was old school.


Making Something Out of Nothing

Enough about my blast from the past. I was seriously thrown into nostalgia when I thrust onto the path of this fantastic article by Gary Wollenhaupt earlier this week regarding some of the most inspirational green-building products I have heard about in quite sometime. It must have something to do with the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute’s Innovation Challenge and building products that seem to become something from nothing! Apparently these folks were up to the task!

So, maybe the little teepee which was representative of the sacred “three sisters” or corn, beans, and squash that the Native Americans utilized as their staple crops symbolized something else to me. The regeneration of soil, the regeneration of the land, and a regeneration of that happy little elementary school structure, covered in beans which became the perfect hiding spot.

Obviously, the teepee wasn’t innovative, but for this little kid, the shelter “appeared out of nowhere” once those leaves filled in. The Forbes article pulled together an arsenal of truly innovative products that are not only environmentally friendly, sustainably-minded products that will certainly turn many green-builders on their heads!

The Home that Regenerates Itself

Innovation comes in many different forms. Lots of great builders looking to build sustainable homes look towards energy efficiency in a hard-core way and building with products that take building to a new level; however, these innovators have gone and created building products that supposedly grow themselves, or are fire-retardant, or are -say what?- regenerating when they are broken? Oh, ok? This sounds like something out of the future, and we don’t even have our hoverboards yet!

Seriously though, it is amazing to think that there is a product made of a bacteria which will regenerate itself. Self-healing materials have been around for a while, but not necessarily for home building. Wollenhaupt noted that the”Bacteria engineered to thrive in dry climates is helping to create a concrete that can repair itself.

The bacteria are mixed into the concrete and release calcium carbonate, similar to limestone, as part of their waste process. The material fills in holes and cracks in the concrete, making it last longer and reducing maintenance costs.” As someone who is incredibly interested in developments like these, I am quite curious as to their durability and what the testing has been like for the products, but can’t wait to see what the future holds for green building products that bring us full circle! Fascinating, isn’t it?

Watch it Grow

It will be fascinating to see what happens when these homes are built out of these biologically and ecologically innovative building products, and if they will indeed withstand the test of time and do as they say they will. Take some time to view the entire roster of impressive applicants to the Cradle to Cradle Products Innovation Institute, the California based non-profit who put on the event, check out their information, and applaud their achievements in green-building and design!

Now I want to go in the yard and build a little pole-bean teepee, and watch it grow. I don’t think my back yard is at the “coral-like” regenerating concrete bio-product level quite yet.

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Green Live & Work

Superadobe: super sustainable building phenomenon

Taking something that already had the power to be awesome and making it, well, super-powered, that is what one bright-eyed architect did with an age-old building concept. Let’s take a mini-adventure into the world of Superadobe, where a blending of concepts which are thousands of years old with some new ideas has created yet another buzz in the stratosphere of sustainability and green building.





Superadobe, I am Your Father

I believe it was Christopher Nolan who said “Batman and Superman are very different characters but they’re both iconic and elemental.” Either way you cut it, adobe is elemental, and adobe is nothing new; I make the comparison the Batman and Superman because they are both superheros, however different…

Adobe is also something nothing short of super. From the ancient Egyptians to the Anasazi Tribe, many cultures near and far have utilized the brilliant mixture of straw, soil, sand and water tamped together to create a sun-hardened earth house for shelter through the ages. These homes are sturdy, cool on the inside in the heat of the Sun, and warm on the inside during cool nights.

It is quite possibly some of the most amazing architecture that we can find when we look at the history of our progression of architecture, next to the great pyramids and cliff dwellings. Let’s face it, in many parts of the world, because of its magical simplicity, adobe is, after caves, how humans survived the elements.

Superadobe is Born Powerful

In the present, an Iranian born architect, Nader Khalili, has discovered, well- I say present, but it was some twenty plus years ago- how to perfect the concept of adobe and bring it forward into the new age. Through modification of the structural processing of the staging of the adobe, Khalili has managed to create a product and process that he has coined as Superadobe. Khalili has said that “Superadobe is an adobe that is stretched from history into the new century. It is like an umbilical cord connecting the traditional with the future adobe world.” He has an interesting take on adobe and its re-emergence to the “new world” through his superadobe product.

Moon-dust or Sand. Take Your Pick – it is Still Super.

What this really means is that his process of taking long tube-like bags, usually made of sturdy polypropylene or sometimes straight-up burlap, and filling them with sand, or rice or any sort of fill, then creating a trench for the foundation, and forming the frame out of these tubes which are filled with the “fill of choice” and then tamped down, either by hand or with a pneumatic tamper. As the foundation is created, windows can be created by having voids not filled, or cut out after the fact. A huge part of superadobe, beyond the tubular filled bags of soil or the like is the barbed wire which reinforces the shape of the buildings, which are generally a coil of these reinforced tubes which ultimately form a beehive shape. There have been extensive experiments with the concept of superadobe, or the earthbag building concept, which Khalili first came up with after attending a symposium at NASA in 1984 where he was trying to figure out who to build structures on the moon! Imagine, bags full of moondust. That sort of sounds magical, or super! Doesn’t it. Just agree. It does.


From the Moon to Your Backyard it seems that not even Kryptonite will take  this stuff down! Superadobe is one sturdy building concept. It is aerodynamic, just as its predecessor, just regular old adobe is. However; with the beehive and or rounded edges that it tends to take on, it can survive hurricane force gales. A superadobe home or building can be built by unskilled labors in a matter of days by the resources available on site, either of the sandbags, or of the specific tubing and barbed wire. The buildings are sturdy, sustainable, cost effective and can be built in nearly all elements. As a builder, one would look to superadobe from the cost effective standpoint for a client who is thinking about passive solar design; it tends to stay cooler during the day in those hot climates, and warm in the evenings in cold climates. The stuccoed exterior is incredibly low maintenance and provides the client for an exceptional opportunity for reduction in utility bills, or for even being off the grid, if they so desire. New offices looking for an interesting, cost effective and sustainable building concept, could certainly look at superadobe as an option. The unique building structure of the circular and hive-like shapes lend towards something new and different. If you want to stand out from the crowd, be sustainable, and possibly have a quick build, superadobe could be for you.  It From the moon to Costa Rica and everything in between, superadobe is a sustainable building concept that has green building aficionados looking towards the sun. It’s a bird, it’s a plane. No. It’s superadobe.

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Green Live & Work

GreenSpur: sustainable construction, reclaimed materials

GreenSpur Unveils their first OneNest Project home built in Virginia, a sustainable construction project that could be duplicated across the world.



sustainable construction

sustainable construction

One of a kind sustainable construction project

This weekend was full of anticipation and completed, what could be called “full-circle-excitement come to fruition” for those who have been keeping tabs on the GreenSpur construction team. Not so long ago, I brought word to you about the incredible opportunity that Mark Turner and his concept team were working on regarding a fully sustainable, green-built home constructed of Structurally Insulated Panels (SIPS) and reclaimed materials.

This project is the first of its kind and is hopefully going to be one of many that will be replicated internationally as a model of sustainable construction that meets the needs of a true nest.

Flying into the Nest

Minimalism, with a true rustic elegance is what you find peering out at you as you make your way up the steep, curving drive to the Delaplane OneNest home set atop a perfect hill overlooking the foothills of the Shenandoah mountains. It is almost as if someone has called in the gentle fog to hover just at the top of the treeline for intrigue, mystery and sultry ambiance to pull you into the site. Recall those mystical tendrils of smoke that lure… that is what pulls you here…to something new and exciting.

Before you get to the site, strategically placed communal fire pits with site-found logs are hissing, popping and generating that delightful campfire smell and then there is that house. With the elevation of a classic barn marrying a contemporary sanctuary, OneNest sits there among newly planted native river-birch trees, nestled in yet peeking out. The patina of the tin a deliberate match to the brick-red rust of the seamed and painted hardi-plank that covers the SIPS.

The standing seam metal roof line is a delicate yet masculine balance to the reclaimed history that is woven into this home through the use of wood paneling straight from past cabin quarters of the John Marshall property. The facade wouldn’t be complete without the mirror image of floor to ceiling windows flanking a steeple like fireplace that is masoned in stone harvested directly from the site. Usable porches galore. Panoramic views of the fog rolling on and on across the pits and valleys of the foothills while the cows come home. A matching barn is just beyond the main house that has an awning wide enough for a classic riding tractor. Classic is right. This is just the exterior.

Getting Cozy on the inside

Delivering more inside, OneNest’s vaulted ceilings are welcoming and open, leaving one to be baffled by the thought that this space is one-thousand square feet. It could be thousands more; the trompe l’oeil affect of the grande windows to the view beyond pulls the eye out and into the distance. The living room has very functional usable built-ins and is open to the stunning kitchen with a wonderful amount of storage. The fantastic use of counterbalanced Connecticut-style pull down lanterns is just one more ‘trick of the eye’ and fun for the gorgeous space and means to draw the eye up to the loft space above which is the master suite.

Past the kitchen, a full bath, well appointed and glowing is to the left, and storage to the right. Beyond that, windows, again floor to ceiling brighten the space and pull in the outdoors while highlighting the spiral staircases to go up and up into the nest. Before heading up, a nosy poke into the crawl space reveals some more smart design, wine-cellar in the crawl built from galvanized metal buckets and wine-racks; a good use of space in an otherwise unusable crawl!

The second floor is home to the lofted main bedroom, which has a lovely view of the great wide yonder and can be conveniently enclosed with thoughtful curtains; wrapped around the far right of the bedroom is a little nook- great for reading, a dog-friend or maybe some lovely indoor plants for creating a nice indoor air quality. The master spa-bath is impeccable with an egg-shaped soaker tub, walk-in shower complete with rain head and well, it is simple, yet stunning. Plus, there is a fireplace above the bath. Nice… I

n the central stairwell, up once again, the next level houses the guest room with incredibly functional use of space, reclaimed wood and a sumptuous bathroom which is just incredibly well done. This OneNest space is an unbelievable four stories of beautiful, reclaimed, green living space built to help the owner truly nest in, living in what they need.

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

sustainable construction

Nesting as a Trend

Why OneNest? Business partner, Arian Lewis, stated “this is something that can be replicated in any country across the world. I’m currently talking with contacts in Malaysia to see about using our concept houses there.”

Lewis is the partner based out of the Oxford England team, who has been working on outreach to developing nations. These homes can be built anywhere. They are sustainable and don’t have to take up a lot of space or resources. Minimal or luxury finishes can be put into them and the product can be built an a relatively small amount of time.

Mark Turner, the brainchild behind GreenSpur and the OneNest project, said when asked what the biggest take away should be for the project, “Well, this was absolutely a labor of love and I wouldn’t have had it any other way. I wanted to do something different that other builders weren’t doing and that would change the way things were being built in the construction industry.” He has proved it once before when he built a net-zero house on Capitol Hill, now he has done it again with the OneNest project’s first completed home, built in 100 days in Delaplane, VA.

Turner reminds us all that “OneNest is the context of everything in one world- a natural resting place.” Mark has also been quoted, “When I think about designing and building PLACE, I am inspired by Stegner’s quote, ‘There it was, there it is, the PLACE where during the best of our lives friendship had its home and happiness its headquarters.’ This 1000 SF OneNest Project is our team’s best attempt to capture this spirit. We are using radical approaches in design, materials and building science to capture that simple notion that we all universally yearn for: ‘happiness its headquarters.'” I love this about this team, they are so grounded in their since of duty to balance and harmony with nature, life and the elements.

What is Next for OneNest

Looking at their mission, Delaplane was a lovely place to select for the first part of this project’s journey. Just off of John Marshall Highway in historic wine country, this may be an idealistic “happiness headquarters.” The first OneNest will be open for extended stays as well as events for the next six months to continue to the conversation within the community and beyond about this intriguing and passionate design and building concept.

Where do you think we’ll see more of these beautiful, sustainable creations across the States and internationally? Start the conversation by making the visit.

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