After fighting fires in Oregon, providing Tactical/Special Operations support in Yakima, Washington, serving in Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm, assisting with the deactivation of the 15th Engineer Battalion and the 9th Infantry Division, I completed my enlistment on November 4, 1991. After leaving the Army, I enrolled in classes at Highline Community Collegeto pursue an Associates Degree with an emphasis in Business.
Graduated from Highline, I continued my education at Central Washington University - Seattle Branch near SeaTac, . My major was to be Business Administration - OMIS (Operations Management - Information Systems). Leaving Central in the Spring of 1995, I went to work for a Casino Management & Consulting firm in Kent. Setting up and managing the office for them, I was officially titled Executive Secretary to the Vice President of Operations - but really I was the office manager/administrator. Not long after I left in the Fall of 1995, this company was dissolved. I don't know if it really was do to my not being there, but I like to think so... hehehe
I then went to work for Future Shop - wow... great sales training! Unfortunately, there were some major things happening to the company (lawsuits) and people were dropping like flies. A better opportunity presented itself to work for the good guys! the funny store, with the funny lower case logo. the good guys! really treated me fair, but I should have realized something when my department manager left shortly after he hired me. I think Mike was probably the most fair and caring managers I have had - and I have had several in my short RUT - oops I mean career. He was straight and yet flexible. I lost touch with him shortly after he left - if you are reading this, or someone knows where he is, I would like to get in touch with him again.
the good guys! gave me a great deal of product knowledge and other opportunities. However, reduced commissions and very slow spring sales prompted me to continue looking. Lynn, was already working for Expeditors by this time, and we heard of an opportunity at EI - and the rest is history. I started at EI on April 14, 1997 working in the Distribution department.
After working at EI's Kent Operations Branch for over 4 years, I made the jump to the Corporate Office in downtown Seattle. I started working in EI's, EDI (Electronic Data Interchange)Group as a Coordinator on December 1, 2001. It can be hard to explain what EDI is and does, basically it helps computer systems talk to each other, click the link above for more info on EDI.
As an EDI Coordinator, I work with our internal, and external customers to set up the EDI partnership. I then analyze requirements, answer questions on new EDI, implement new customers, set up the transactions and notify EDI support of new or enhanced EDI processes. Then I produce specifications (maps) for programming, layouts for customers, documentation for setup of branch systems for EDI Support and branch EDI procedures.
In 2004 an opportunity presented itself to move into the world of Real Estate. I'd always wanted to be an investor and after taking some local seminars/classes on the topic I found one of the instructors had developed some what of a cult following and was quite successful. In talking with him, he wanted to grow it to be a much bigger business and so I left Expeditors and went to work with him full time.
Unfortunately, within a year I realized that what I saw on stage and in front of people was not who he really was behind closed doors and out of the lime light. We parted ways, not so nicely and while he continued in the real estate business, a few years later and having been fined many, many times by our local MLS, the State DOL finally revoked his license, his wif'e's license and their company license for a 10 year period.
I figured it's about time I got my license and started out on my own after successfully purchasing a couple rental properties. I officially obtained my license in November 2006 and hung it with a local Windermere office in Bonney Lake. However, while I was 'figuring out my next steps' I was able to develop an Administrative & Technical consulting opportunity after my first foray into real estate didn't go so well. I worked with a few different companies and at the same time tried to invest into a restaurant business in Seattle. While we were open about 18 months, we just couldn't make it all work and had to close the restaurant within 2 years of beginning, -that- was an expensive lesson. We finally sold the business in the Spring of 2007.
Throughout these 2-3 years the real estate market was going crazy (as we all remember). I figured, ok now is the time to get into the market and continue to ride the wave. I had not been paying attention to the full cycle of the market and entered just . as . the . wave . was . cresting. Oh joy.
My first 6 months weren't so great and Lynn was pregnant with Grace so I figured just in case she couldn't go back to work I better find something that I could potentially obtain health insurance benefits. A friend from thegoodguys! was actually working at Windermere as well and suggested I apply at REI for part time work. I applied that fall and joined the REI call center in Sumner and worked the morning shift (as early as I could, they opened at 4AM) so I could get off work and then go work real estate full time the rest of the day.
As I worked through the beginning of the recession, I was able to generate some good business and while I watched the income of other agents in my office continue to drop and many, many get out of the real estate business all together, I kept plugging away and doubled my sales that first year and doubled again the next year.
Finally I realized I was paying Windermere more in fees than I should and began looking around at other brokerages to work with. I had always been fond of RE/MAX and their history and made a call to my local office and moved there in the fall of 2009. I continued to work at REI until that next Spring when I just couldn't keep up both and decided to leave REI, it was a great experience and miss many of the people I worked with there.
...to be continued...
Lynn (Altenhofer) Colbeth lynn- at -colbeth.com
Lynn was born in Seattle, Washington. She has lived in Washington all her life, but has traveled far and wide outside of this great state.
Lynn also works for Expeditors as an Accounts Payable Representative. She started in February of 1996 as an Accounts Receivable Representative and moved to A/P after about a year or so.
Just last week, Lynn started her new position with the GE Brokerage team. This is a huge step for Lynn and she is doing great!
I'm going to leave it up to her to write her life story - grin...