During my real estate career, which began in January 1997, I have spoken with literally hundreds of people on the phone prior to their visits to Austin. Often, I speak with them several times and begin to develop an image of them in my head. Sometimes, I am dead-on accurate, but many times I am terribly wrong, and they look nothing like I expected. Perhaps I might have pictured a tall, younger man, and an older, portly gentleman shows up to look at homes instead.
I have joked with many of my clients that they have an unfair advantage if we choose to meet in a public place, because they have seen my picture already on my website, and I actually somewhat resemble that picture, believe it or not. It's the same one on my AR profile, and it is about a year old now.
In an interesting twist on this theme, I have made dozens of online friends here in the Rain. In this case, I have read many of their posts, so they have a "voice" of sorts in my head already. I have seen their photo(s), so I already have a good idea of what they look like. Here on AR, however, the voice on the phone is the last piece of the puzzle, rather than the first piece, as it is with my clients.
I have had the pleasure of speaking with several dozen ActiveRain friends during my tenure here, which began in early August of 2007. Many of them sound exactly as I would have anticipated, while others sound nothing at all like I would have thought. Many of them question me about where I am originally from, since I don't sound "Texan" enough to them. I find this funny, since I have never lived outside of this great state. I will admit that I got accustomed to saying "you guys" instead of "y'all" for awhile because of my many out-of-state clients, so I have consciously adding "y'all" back into my vernacular so that my kids will hear it sometimes. No, I am not kidding.
I was born and raised in Dallas (not a suburb, but Dallas proper). I moved to the Austin area almost exactly 20 years ago to go to Southwestern University in nearby Georgetown. I met my wife in Austin in 1991 (she is also a native Texan, from San Antonio), and we chose to make Austin our permanent home. Well, Pflugerville, to be more exact.
When I was 16, I worked as a grocery sacker in Waxahachie, Texas. My mom had remarried, so I lived there for my last two years of high school. Waxahachie is located about 30 minutes south of Dallas, and it was a very small town back in the mid 80's. Many times, people there would assume from my lack of a proper Texas accent that I was from somewhere "up north", and I would kid with them, "I am from up north. About 30 minutes north, to be exact." I guess I was pretty much a smart aleck, but I got a lot of tips with my "charm" back then.
If I have peaked your curiosity at all, maybe you should give me a call sometime and see if you think my voice matches my face and my online persona. You might (or might not) be surprised. I will even tell you my theory on Texas accents when you call. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thanks for reading! I hope you guys have a terrific and productive week! Actually, I hope y'all have a terrific and productive week.