Top SF Realtor POV: Balanced Life, Balanced Cycle

Top SF Realtor POV: Balanced Life, Balanced Cycle

by Shelly Sutherland

reading time: 1 minute 35 seconds

Shelly Sutherland is a top San Francisco Realtor who has partnered with buyers and sellers of residential property for nearly 25 years. Explore her website at

I have always hated riding my mountain bike uphill. I much prefer going fast, downhill on the narrow trails at Mammoth Lakes, California, where I am now as I write this. 

Before this latest trip to my family’s cabin, I traded in my 20-year-old bike for a new one with all the latest cranks and gears — et voila! I discovered I’m not a terrible rider of hills and I have plenty of stamina. Who knew?

The past 20 years with the old bike led me to believe that I was never in good enough shape for my riding. If only I’d had better equipment, I could have been on the racing circuit instead racing around San Francisco in search of perfect properties!

I vote YES for these “assists” to make my life more enjoyable and pain-free. As someone who has been able to avoid pain most of her life, grinding uphill on a mountain is not my idea of a good time. I watch from the sidelines as cyclists do the Death Ride or the Badwater Ultramarathon. I’m in awe as well as horrified. I push myself up gradual slopes and reward myself with the joy of speed and adrenaline on the downhill. That satisfying balance between exertion and pleasure or pain and reward frames my daily life.  

There’s a parallel when it comes to buying real estate because the process of finding and closing on a home can be an endurance test. There’s a fantastic reward at the end yet the climb can be challenging.  

When I meet buyers, I encourage them to enjoy the process and try not to get burned out. My clients and I — working together as a team — focus on properties that really suit them and that they have a strong chance of winning. We write one to three offers (not dozens!) until they are successful. The end result is a new home that enhances their lives. 

I think of myself as the “assist” to get them through the home-buying process, much like the lead cyclist in a peloton. In my role as Realtor, I’m devoted to making the home-buying process enjoyable rather than arduous, and I strive to always balance the pleasure/pain quotient.

Photo Credit: William Hook

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