We love what we do.
Around 9:30 Friday morning, a woman called our office saying she was in town from Missouri for the weekend with her family, needing to find an apartment to move into by January. Just a typical phone call on a typical weekday in the Smart City office. She asked if they could meet an agent at our office as soon as possible to discuss exactly what they want and need. Perfectly normal.
I messaged our team of agents to see who was available to tour, and our agent Terrance said he could come in and meet the family. A few things about Terrance: He married the love of his life last month, a man named Kemon. Yes, he’s gay, and so are a handful of our Smart City employees. Terrance is also a don’t-mess-around, get-things-done kind of guy, and even though he’ll tell things like they are when necessary, he’s also one of the sweetest guys we know.
Terrance met the clients here at our office a half hour-or-so later. It was a middle-aged couple with a young son in ninth grade. The woman talked specifics: good school district, reasonable price point, two bedrooms, two bathrooms. Must be in a diverse area. Must not have schools with racists or homophobes. That’s when I took another glance at her child. He’s a super cute kid, with that side-swept, Beiber-ish hairdo and dressed like a normal teenager in jeans, tennis shoes and a hoodie. He also had on a long necklace with a magnifying glass pendant hanging from the chain. Funny, I thought, how that’s our logo, a magnifying glass searching the Dallas skyline.
As Terrance worked on running an apartment search for them, it grew apparent the mom was the chatter of the family, talking up me and some of our team, including our owner and broker, Cassie. We talked Dallas neighborhoods, culture, schools, apartment pricing and just how different life would be in Dallas for the small family, especially when compared to their life in Missouri.
We never pressed exactly why they were moving here – that isn’t truly our business, and doesn’t really affect our service to our clients. But the further we went into the conversation, the more clear it became that this mom had specifically researched and looked diligently into big cities with good schools, strong job markets, accepting and well-rounded cultures and, of course, less intense winters… And she had landed on Dallas.
Cassie, a full-on advocate and lover of all things Dallas, went into a bit of bragger mode at that point, boasting about all the fun things to do here, great food, killer entertainment and “tons of pretty girls” for the teenage son.
“Well,” his mom answered for him, in true chatty-Kathy fashion, “He’s a bit more interested in pretty boys.”
This comment turned her son tomato-red in about two seconds flat, but Cassie flew into her “Ohmigod, you’re really going to love Dallas!” spiel, while Terrance gave the kid a small side hug and told him, “Welcome, little brother.” In another two seconds, the son was beaming with the biggest smile, and I may or may not have been tearing up in the corner.
This woman and her husband listed their house two weeks ago, and that morning it went into contract. They have no jobs in Dallas, and no home, yet. But they are literally pausing their lives and everything familiar in their small, Missouri hometown to move here for their son, who we learned feels unaccepted and unable to thrive in their current town.
So, while no city is perfect or without some sense of discrimination, we are so happy to brag that Dallas is one of the greatest and most accepting. And, like we told our clients that morning, you’ll always have some family here at Smart City Apartment Locating.
by Audrey Swanson