What do a nurse, a social worker and a real estate agent have in common? According to the aptitude test that Evelyn Black took, it’s her. Really, when you think about it, all three careers share some common traits. Helping people is probably the most significant, and that just happens to be what Black likes most about her career. She also enjoys helping animals, and we’ll get to that in a minute.
Although Black was born in Louisiana, she grew up in Southern California and graduated, with a business and finance degree, from West Coast University, a private college. She credits her formal education with giving her a deep knowledge of the financial aspects of the real estate transaction and with making her comfortable enough to help clients dissect all aspects of creative and less-traditional financing methods.
Black started her real estate career 24 years ago in Southern California where she worked for 10 to 12 years before making the move to Cincinnati.
Right out of college, however, Black went into business administration. “I did this for many years and got real bored with the mundane office work,” she says. That’s when she took the aforementioned aptitude test. “Real estate is such a better fit for me. Every transaction is a little bit different, so it’s not the same boring stuff all the time. I thrive on the challenges of solving problems and helping people,” Black says.
We’ve noticed that real estate coaching is making a bit of a comeback after a several-year slump, so we asked Black about her experiences with it.
“Several years back I took Sweathogs. I actually hated it because they made me work so hard. I literally cried as I sat there and kept calling until I got an appointment. It got so frustrating, but the results were pretty impressive.”
Fortunately for Black, she eventually got to the point where her business ran on referrals – at least 75 to 85 percent.
While Black loves what she does for a living, her heart is dedicated to another cause.
As co-founder of Tri-State County Animal Response Team (CART), Black’s mission in life, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer, “is to help the four-legged victims of natural disasters.” She discovered this mission years ago after reading a book about animal rescue. “The author had started a program called EARS, through the United Animal Nations (UAN). It’s now known as Red Rover and it’s a nationwide volunteer group that helps out in the sheltering of animals rescued from disasters,” Black explains.
Intrigued, Black made a pilgrimage to Louisiana in Katrina’s aftermath to help out with Best Friends Animal Society’s animal rescue efforts. “We were bringing animals off the streets of New Orleans into an encampment,” she explains. “We were sleeping in tents – it was extremely primitive, but it was also exciting. We were there for a week. When I got home I heard there were still animals needing rescue, so we went back.” Black ended up making three trips to New Orleans to help in the animal rescue effort. She was also on the ground after Iowa’s floods and the hurricane in Ohio.
“When we got back here after Katrina,” Black continues, “we realized that if there was ever a disaster here, there is nothing set up to handle that for the animals. We took disaster training, UAN training, Humane Society of the United States training, you name it,” Black says. “We’ve got about a hundred volunteers at this point, and we hold regular training meetings, hands-on mock disaster training and short-term sheltering.”
While the business end of rescuing animals is pretty cut and dry, there’s the emotional attachment to those she’s fosters. How does she deal with that? “You love them while you have them and then kiss ‘em and send ‘em on,” says Black.