Here we go again, gang. The COLLECTIVE Clergy series is our way of [virtually] looking you squarely in the eye and giving you a firm handshake--or hug, depending on your level of comfort with physical touch--that says, "Oh, hey…let's get this friendship started." This time around, I'm going to get you all acquainted with a veteran of our crew.
Leigh Anne Bernal is one of our OGs. Been faithfully devoted to yours truly since we went by the name "City Homes Salt Lake," and we can confidently attest to the same level of allegiance on our end. Leigh Anne is the best kind of paradox: a high-energy, but wildly laid-back former east coaster with a bemused intensity and wicked smarts. As far as brokers/real estate agents go, she's the type to blow your socks off in the good way. Consistently one of our tip-top producers at CHC, Leigh Anne has been known to have a baby and sell 40 homes...in the same year. Sure, it's partly to do with her passion for helping folks find the space they love (a credo we wholly support), but she's also a straight-up expert in this field, and that doesn't hurt one bit. Leigh Anne looooves to use unpopular colloquial expressions like, "it's a bit of a sticky wicket," or "press the flesh" (which is just a gross way to reference networking/shaking hands), but it's become quite endearing and I'm learning something new every day (like, never say "press the flesh"). She's got an absurdly-cute, tiny boy named Truman, and an equally adorable hubby (hey, Jon!), and the happy three live in a gorgeous home fully rehabilitated by Leigh Anne herself. Jack of all trades, this spitfire. Read on and get to know more...
Describe your perfect home or space...what does it look/feel like? Warm, but clean. Old, and at the same time, new. Unique. Personal. Inviting and open. My current home has a guest cottage in the back and a friend lives there. The communal nature of her friends and my friends (our joint friends!) finding each other in the back yard (her front yard!) hanging out and enjoying a glass of wine (or three!) is delightful. I love it when an evening turns into an impromptu get-together.
One thing you absolutely cannot stand: I do not suffer fools gladly. Professionally, it drives me mad when others involved with my clients are not prompt, professional, and knowledgable. I have high expectations that folks be experts in their field and have a broad knowledge of the entire real estate process.
One thing you absolutely, unequivocally LOVE: Design. Space. Efficiency. I know...that is not one thing (or is it??). I also LOVE my little family. I never thought I’d have a kid, but then Truman showed up and now we have this crazy little life, full of unexpected surprises.
You're a property maven--agent, broker, investor, re-modelista, coach. Tell me why. What lead you to this work? My passion for helping others find their home. My love of home and what that means. My love of good design and how that can effect lives. My desire to support and coach others to find their potential. It's funny...the other day I ran across an old journal where I had written down the characteristics that my next career adventure would need to have (after leaving 20 years in corporate America). I did not know then that I would be in real estate. Looking back at what was important to me then was surreal...especially when I realized that I got what I wanted. I don’t even remember writing down that list! Sometimes, you just put it out there and keep your eyes, ears, and heart open and you get what you want. Makes me warm and fuzzy inside.
Give me your take on our little COLLECTIVE. This place is special. It is connected and connecting. It is open, honest, and ethical. Fun.
Describe your perfect day. What, exactly, does that look like for you? This is a tough one. I don’t think I have a perfect day—it is more like perfect dayS. There are so many things in this crazy world that bring me joy. It could be a day of rest and relaxation (casual brunch, massage, mani/pedi, followed by a quiet evening with my family) or a fun day at the park with Truman, followed by an evening at a show with Jon. Or it could be exploring a new city, a new restaurant, a new antique store! The perfect day, to me, is really any day where I am present and grounded and bringing gratitude to each moment. I know that sounds corny. I get cornier every year.
Favorite read/watch: I got a Kindle for my first Mother’s Day and while nursing my son, I consumed an astounding number of books. I think I burned myself out a bit, so I’ve been on a hiatus from reading so much lately. We don’t really watch TV on the regular at our house (we are cord-cutters!)...but Daniel Tiger has made his way into our psyche! I can’t really remember the last series that Jon and I watched. We do enjoy the occasional movie and La La Land was a recent favorite. Jon even got the sound track, so it is the current background music to my home-life. A little song and dance alway reminds me to smile.
I have a number of seemingly-small (but mildly debilitating) fears. Random explosions, the dark, losing a perfectly good eye to a champagne cork. Any weird/irrational fears for you? Escalators. I do not like getting on or off of them. I have to focus and make sure I don’t get sucked up and/or fall down when I get on or off. Is that weird? It is the same thing on moving sidewalks! I just envision my shoelace or pant leg or something getting caught in there and pulling me in with it. Does that happen? I don’t even want to know. I will not be Googling that. Even talking about this is making me a little anxious.
You could be living anywhere, really. Why SLC? I love it here. I came here in 2010, thinking, "yikes". High desert. Conservative. Not me. But the vibe here is terrific! It's an easy city. A clean city. There is SO MUCH to do here. The cost of living is reasonable, as is the pace of life. It really is my favorite place I’ve ever lived (and I have lived in LOTS of places).
How do you think we can improve this fantastic little slice of our nation? Where are we lacking? The recent addition of the Eccles Theater is nice. The restaurant scene is hopping. The inversion is one thing that we need to figure out. It isn’t an easy fix, and it will require serious commitment from all of us. Epic.