Courtney Fox Osborne is keeping it clean

From Running to Real Estate: Keeping it Clean

In Agent Life by Courtney Fox Osborne

Lesson 1: Vehicle must always be ready for parade of homes!

Must clean car! Yes, this much I knew after deciding to make the bold move to switch from a career in resort development to traditional real estate sales this past October; and seriously- the cleanliness of my car (or lack thereof) was actually the first thing on my ‘Job Prep’ to do list. (No, learning the brand new MLS software was not at the list’s top b/c I had to start with something I could easily accomplish!) And it’s a good thing I had a head start because I soon discovered it’s actually written in my Team Agreement that my “vehicle must be kept clean inside and out to maintain a professional impression.” Well, of course it does! I knew I had a lot to learn about taking the leap into full-time sales, but this was one fact I didn’t need to be told.

So before my first official day in my new office, I tirelessly (not necessarily meticulously, tho) cleaned the muffin crumbs, sticky applesauce and curious stains out of my 2012 Chevy Cruze, all compliments of Fox, my handsome & vibrant 3-yr-old:). (Yes, I said 2012 Chevy Cruze. No, I’m not the highfalutin Realtor that drives a fancy car. I’m the smart, eco-friendly Realtor with the baby seat in the back. Did I mention it’s a stick shift? Ahh, see now you’re impressed;)

Jesus, take the wheel!

Backseat of Courtney's car before Tuff Stuff

This is where my son’s backpack sits…why must there always be something leaking?!?

So off I go to my new job in my somewhat sparkling car, and I’m feeling pretty good. After all, cleanliness is next to Godliness, right? It’s like how you feel after a good, hot shower following a grimy, long run in 90 degree weather… I had a little pep in my step!

Then, sure enough, I pick up my son that afternoon, whimsically throw his backpack in my backseat, and homeward bound we go. Now remember, it’s only been 24 hrs since I cleaned my car and what do I find by the time we make it home??? A new, murky substance is escaping Fox’s backpack, only to leave yet another yucky stain on my poor, polycotton Cruze seats. Ahh! The struggle is real, folks! And it never seems to end!

Backseat of the car after a good clean

Much better! The fabric was still damp in this pic, but the hideous stain outline was gone.

But alas there is hope. In this case, hope’s name is Dad…or Dr. Fox as his band students remember him:) My dad is one of those original DIY kind of guys that knows a little bit about a lot of things, all thanks to Consumer Reports and an ultra thrifty belief that you should never pay someone else to do something you can do on your own for way less money.

So, I followed his advice & picked up some Tuff Stuff at my local Walmart for less than 5 bucks and got to work…again:( The instructions were easy: Just spray once, allow foam to absorb up to 40 secs and scrub with a damp cloth or brush. And it’s just as the product promised! It really is Tuff!…er, um I mean tough! Believe me, I’ve already had 2 more leaks in the last 10 days to prove it’s worth. (Note to future self: invest in marine-grade dry bags, not Avenger-themed back packs.)

Consistency is key

Keeping my car tidy is a daily effort, but something I’ve actually started to enjoy…now that the ‘tuff’ part is out of the way.  And here’s a great tidbit for my Eastern Shore friends:  Bebo’s Carwash on Hwy 98 in Daphne offers a great $2.99 “Wacky Wednesday” deal each week, so you can affordably get a professional exterior clean, followed by access to their abundant free vacuums to add the finishing touches to your interior.  Clean floorboards are trending, my friends!  You’re now ready to hit the road on happy trails!

About the Author

Courtney Fox Osborne

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Courtney is a native of New Orleans, LA and a graduate of The University of Southern Mississippi with a B.A. in Mass Communications and Journalism. She is an avid runner and has been working in real estate development in Baldwin County for the last 10 years and has been a licensed AL Realtor since 2011.