Kathy Anderson has lived in Cannon Falls for the past 43 years, and enjoys spending time at her farmhouse, when she isn’t traveling with her husband and kids.
Anderson describes herself as an optimist, a trait making her well-suited for her job of 18 years, a real estate agent.
Adopted at birth, Anderson grew up in Red Wing, hundreds of miles away from her birth mother.
Despite this, Anderson shares a love for sewing with her, while she also enjoys hobbies of her own; gardening and riding motorcycles among them.
Q: Did you ever see yourself becoming a real estate agent?
A: I feel like some of my strengths I didn't realize when I was in school. And quite honestly, if someone would have told me 20 years ago that I would be in real estate and loving it, I don't think I would have believed them. But it suits all of my strengths really well. I wrote a report, and found it not too long ago of three different careers. I think one was a social worker, one was an interior designer, and I'm not sure what the third one was. Honestly, being a real estate agent, you do work with people on what their dreams are, and their goals, and the interior of the home. So it kind of is those things in a different package. Working with buyers, and finding out exactly what they're looking for, and helping them find that in a property. I would say my job is really a matchmaker. And for sellers, it's really helping them tell the story of their house. So I feel like I'm kind of a storyteller/matchmaker.
Q: Which catastrophe had a greater impact on real estate: the housing crash or COVID-19?
A: I've been a real estate agent for 18 years. When the housing bubble burst, we had the big recession, and we were still hand-writing a lot of purchase agreements. You had to meet face to face with people to put a purchase agreement together. As things have evolved, we now do all electronic purchase agreements. You can sign electronically, and things have just sped up so fast. I would say the market crash was more unsteadying. I did look at alternative employment options, part time, during that, because that was really bad. Whereas this, I'm more established as a real estate agent, which can make a difference, but that was longer lasting. Harder hitting. It was much more devastating in a lot of ways for a long time for people. Although, that was more financial. This is life and death, and is more devastating for people's lives. Doing video open houses, or video showings, it helped me learn some new technology that is now carrying through. As we're kind of ramping up again, with COVID, to be able to show a client a house, where they don't have to be there, can be really helpful for them. While COVID is horrible, I feel like we've all adapted.
Q: What is your favorite part of your job?
A: The best part of this career is just all of the people that I encounter from selling their home, buying their home, lenders, they're really amazing people, and they've impacted my life. One put me on the path to finding my birth father, which is super weird, but so true. Stories evolve with clients. I was adopted at birth, and found my birth mother, but looked for 30 years to find my birth father. I had a client who was in the Marines, I said “Hey, are you Marines connected somehow?” He told me about these online groups for retired Marines, so I joined one, and got a photo of my birth father. It's the only picture I have of him. So clients, just, come into my life and just change it in ways I could never expect. It's really a cool career, really awesome.
Q: How did you find out you were adopted?
A: They told me when I was going into kindergarten, because they were worried that other kids would know, and that they would say something. They gave me the cool speech that was used back in the day, where they would say “Of all the kids we could have, we chose you.” And so, I always thought I was chosen, which was a really special way to do it. Later, I realized I was the only choice they had. But, they are just the best parents ever. When I got out of high school, I was able to do some digging on my own, and found my birth mother, and knew her my whole adult life. Just as a friend. My mom, my adoptive mom, who I consider my mom, knew her as well, and was very secure that my mom was my mom. Diana was my birth mom. I consider adoption just a huge blessing. I have a good life, and I am so thankful that I have the parents I do. Life turned out great.