When I first joined Big Brothers Big Sisters in 2011 as a volunteer, my ultimate goal was to serve as a mentor, but the end result of seven years with the young man I was matched with was far greater than I had ever imagined. I had become a part of his life and while my hope was to provide guidance and serve as a role model, it was that young man that helped me realize a little more about life. He showed me the value of friendship, community, trust and most important of all, he taught me to think outside of myself.

From attending Titans games to playing basketball at the YMCA and movies at the park, those seven years were filled with lasting memories that helped me grow in countless ways and a yearning to be more involved in my community. I realized through this volunteer experience that I had developed a passion for helping people and that passion could be translated into a career that allowed me to provide for others in the community and my family.

That career turned out to be real estate.

Much like my time with Big Brothers Big Sisters, I learned that as a Realtor, we serve our communities and our clients as guides to homeownership. We’re not just selling homes; Realtors are serving the people in our communities to obtain one of the most single important drivers in creating generational wealth. This not only creates a positive impact on the individual homeowner and their families, it creates an impact on our neighborhoods and our country as a whole.

Like that young man’s mother who had instilled her trust in me with her child, my clients are trusting me with their hard-earned money to deliver their dream home. They are trusting me to deliver results on one of the most important purchases in a person’s life and that is a responsibility I don’t take lightly. In fact, it’s something that I cherish and can feel proud about in every transaction. Seeing a client’s smile light up the room after a closing and the pride in their eyes when the keys to their home are given to them is an experience that is difficult to describe but it’s one that I’m certain every Realtor knows.

It’s been eight years since I became a Realtor and I can’t stress enough the honor it is that people trust with me such a large asset, one that can change the trajectory of someone’s life and shaped mine in countless ways.

My career as a Realtor, much like my time with Big Brothers Big Sisters has allowed me to meet so many types of people that I may not have crossed paths with. This industry has brought me so many great memories and opportunities that I’m grateful for. More importantly, my career in real estate has increased my community and plugged me into a city that I love and, in the process, created an additional family that trusts me as their guide.

If you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, remember that there’s a full roster of Realtors in the community that are ready to earn your trust and are working all across the Greater Nashville area to serve you in their communities.

Realtors, let’s continue on the legacy our industry is building by getting involved with our communities today, tomorrow and beyond.

Thomas Rassas is a Clarksville native. He received his Bachelor of Business Administration in business management from the University of Memphis. Thomas joined Pilkerton Realtors in 2013. He currently serves on the commercial committee at Greater Nashville Realtors.

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