You Could Make This Place Beautiful

Good Bones

by Maggie Smith

Life is short, though I keep this from my children.
Life is short, and I’ve shortened mine
in a thousand delicious, ill-advised ways,
a thousand deliciously ill-advised ways
I’ll keep from my children. The world is at least
fifty percent terrible, and that’s a conservative
estimate, though I keep this from my children.
For every bird there is a stone thrown at a bird.
For every loved child, a child broken, bagged,
sunk in a lake. Life is short and the world
is at least half terrible, and for every kind
stranger, there is one who would break you,
though I keep this from my children. I am trying
to sell them the world. Any decent realtor,
walking you through a real shithole, chirps on
about good bones: This place could be beautiful,
right? You could make this place beautiful.


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Why I Named My Company Abide Residential

Folks often ask me what the name of my company, Abide Residential, means. Abide is a bit of an archaic word, not used very often and forever associated with the legendary Coen Brothers character (who is also considered an honorary mascot of old-time Austin), but it’s also rich with multiple meanings for the way I want to embody my values as a company.

First and most obvious, abide means to take up residence somewhere, to dwell or reside. Of course, that’s the ultimate goal for my clients—to find a place where they want to abide. But it also means “to remain steadfast or faithful; to keep” and “to endure, sustain, or withstand without yielding.” This describes the way I strive to be for my clients—with them every step of the way and on their side, no matter what. 

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The Realtor code of ethics states that “When representing a buyer, seller, landlord, tenant, or other client as an agent, REALTORS® pledge themselves to protect and promote the interests of their client.” I am bound to protect and represent my clients’ interests above all others, even my own. To me, this means being available to talk or text with clients, being present at inspections and closings, giving recommendations for service people when my clients’ refrigerator stops working a year after closing. Sometimes it means being lovingly honest about my gut feeling on a property or how to keep the peace between parties. Sometimes it means asking happy questions like, “you seem so in love with this kitchen...tell me what about it makes your heart sing.” Or hard questions like, “it seems like you’re not feeling quite right about this...what is the hesitation you’re feeling?”

You get the idea: it is my calling to abide with my clients through it all, so I named my company after my business practices, as a daily reminder of who I want to be and what my clients should expect of me. This is the ethic I expect for myself and each and every agent at Abide Residential. If you want a Realtor who will be your advocate and stay by your side, we are your people! Let’s get together and dream.