Early in the new year I decided on a career change.
I have always been interested in real estate. In land and houses. Unlike my father who had looked upon real estate as a bit of a tie down, I guess that my passion had derived from mother’s side of the family. Now that I was on my own and finally free of the shackles of a marriage that had been constraining and abusive I decided that it was time to ease into the property market.
In Real Estate you either make it or you don’t and I soon realised there is no such thing as ‘easing into the housing market.’ I was lucky to live close by the office but really the experience left me both shattered and elevated.
I was shattered to find that quietly but with steadfast perseverance the Islamic world was spreading its tentacles into areas that had been the ‘salad bowl of Brisbane’ by buying fertile farmland and turning it into housing estates. Of course Islam was not the only entity to do this. There were Indian and Pakistani groups as well but they seemed to be better integrated with the community at large. The Muslims in this area tended to stick together more, we never saw the women, they were more ruthless in their dealings and always offered cash. These buyers knew exactly how much the land was worth. They also knew how little they could offer the owners who were in the main younger people who had inherited the land from their parents and who were not prepared to put the time and effort required to successfully farm their inheritance.
I had built my own house by subcontracting and that took about 2 years but it was an experience that I found rewarding in so many ways. The challenge of doing it by myself as a ‘woman’ brought me into contact with many builders and suppliers so that by the time I was ready to dabble in a real estate career I was quite well known and this did help me. I needed this connection in an otherwise hostile ‘dog eat dog’ environment of the agency that was so close to my home.
On the downside it was very easy for these cash paying customers to keep an eye on me and I was aware that I had been on their radar since my accidental discovery of the ‘Brotherhood’ prayer house just down the road from my home.
But the upside was much more healing and restorative. Often I found myself wondering if there was a ‘higher power’ that directed my footsteps. Happily, I was always a believer in the power of destiny and I never questioned my belief that we were meant to meet.
It was an unplanned meeting, a chance encounter that lead to a more lasting change in the direction of my life – forever!