My given name is Josephine Davenport Barringer, but I go by Jodie.
Updated: Jan 29, 2019
My given name is Josephine Davenport Barringer, but I go by Jodie. Originally from Memphis, I grew up coming to Nashville on a regular basis to visit my maternal grandparents and cousins and the children of my Mother’s childhood friends, so I suppose that I am a Nashvillian by a half. I moved to Nashville right after college, and after completing my graduate work which took me back down to Memphis, I moved to Nashville permanently when I married a Nashville boy in 1989. I have lived in eight houses in my 21 years here. Clearly, I love to move. However, I have been in my present house in Green Hills since 2004. I am still working on this one…the project that never ends…
I got into real estate in 2000 after my children were both in kindergarten. Divorced in 1995, I was thirty years old, and had a nine month old and a two year old. To go back to teaching high school English, my career prior to having babies, was out of the question due to the fact that my take home pay after paying for child care would have been 347.50. I could not live on that salary, so I decided to work at St George’s Episcopal Church in the daycare with my children until I could think of a job that would better suit my needs and lay out a career that could support a family. Things began to fall into place in 1997 when I had a talk with my father.
In tears, I went to Daddy to try to talk through my fears of being a single parent and a struggling one at that. I loved being with the children at St George’s, but I knew that the salary could not sustain the goals that I had set for myself and my little family, and I was not going to change my goals to fit my income at the time. It was the income that needed to change, but what job could I do that did not require any over-head and could work around my children’s daycare hours of 9-3:00? Daddy asked me, “What are you interests? What are you skilled to do?” Quite frankly, I did not feel like I was good at anything at that time. The only thing that I knew that I could do pretty well and what I really ENJOYED doing was renovating the house I was in and moving my furniture around in my. I had painted, put up molding, planted bushes- changed out toilets, you name it, I learned it. What was I good at? Houses. I was good at houses. But what could I do with that as my interest?
I prayed about it.
And, I prayed, and I prayed, and I prayed.
Indian style, I was seated on the floor of my living room surrounded by bills that I had to figure out how to pay when My boyfriend at the time walked through the door. I wanted him to save the day; I wanted him to pay my bills for me. But he did not. He didn’t even offer! Instead, he said, “ Jodie, I can give you a fish, or teach you how to fish. I am going to teach you how to fish.” I hated that guy. At the time.
What Bill did next was get me to write down three bullets of what I could do for some one. I had just bought his used computer, and we inserted the disk to write three statements of what I could do for people:
- Prepare your home to go on the market
- Move, unbox, and decorate your home within days of the closing
- Revive your current home by working with what you have.
And, Let’s Play House was born. Slowly, as I learned what what needed in the market, I would redecorate people’s homes before they went on the real estate market. At the time, there was no name for this so I just called it: Redecorating you home with what you have before putting your home on the market. A very long name for what would, years later , become known as Staging. I created a moving business, and I moved people from one home to the other: in this job, I would arrive with the movers and direct them as to where the furniture would go. I would then, begin to unload all of the boxes, and set up the People’s houses with what they already had. At the end of day one, the kitchen would be in tact, the bedrooms would be ready for sleep, and the den would be set up to watch T.V. The next day, I would come back to tweak the furniture placement, put out the sit abouts, and determine where each piece of art would hang on the walls. On Day three I hung the art work, tweaked some more, and finished the job of moving a Buyer into a home within three days. And, I could do all of this during my children’s day care hours of 9-3.
This job lasted about two years, until I found myself on the floor pushing an armoir into place. Totally prone and with my feet up three feet of the ground in an attempt to move what took two men to move INTO the house, the front door opened and the Husband walked through the front door. I was horrified! Were my panties showing? This was not the sophisticated image that I was trying to exude. I thought to myself then and there, that I could be doing this job at the old age of 40; I had to find another career that did not involve laying on the floor pushing an armoir into place.
Real Estate! I could sell real estate. Why be on either side of the job that would also fit in around my kids’ schedules yet pay more regularly than this job that no body knew they needed until they were already settled in and , then, found out about what I did for a living. Too many times I had heard, “ Boy, could I have used YOU!”
I went to school and got my real estate license,and went to work at a local Real Estate Firm in town. It was a small boutique firm that would, in time, grow to a size that was too big for me and would lead me back to a small boutique firm. 18 years in the real estate world, I still love to redecorate people’s homes with what they have, but now it is incorporated into my job as a REALTOR. At Neal Clayton Realty since January 1, 2019, my firm home is as warm as my own home. Just as I love my family I love my firm family and the family of clients with whom I have worked.
So, why the blog? When I first got into real estate, I had nothing to advertise, so I just took out some space in a local newspaper and started writing about things I knew about: my family, my love life, and the house that I was working on. This got good feedback, so I kept it up, and slowly, strangers who got to know me through my writing, hired me to work with them , and we became friends in the process.
Real Estate has been a wonderful career for me for just this very reason: I like the people I am working with. They know me for who I am and what I stand for, and what I believe in- though they may be VERY different than I. Despite differences, friendships have been made and kept through many many transactions over the years, thus my tag line:
“Kiss your babies, Tell Your parents You Love them , and Take a walk in the park with a friend.
As I close, I want you to know that I look forward to meeting you and being your friend as well as advisor and guide as we tackle this real estate market known to Nashvillians as Area 2!
Which 2 Are you? 37215, 37205, 37215, 37204, 37209, 37203, 37206? I represent all of the zips in Area 2, come join me and let’s be friends.
So, I close with “Kiss your babies, Tell your parents you love them , and Take a walk in the park with a friend.” Love, Jodie