Retired at 65 … not years old, years on the job

10:00 am | October 23, 2013

Photo by Kayla Carter
Grace Broome retired earlier this month after working 65 years as a real estate agent and property appraiser. Grace has been affiliated with her husband in the real estate business since 1948. Both are now retired and their two sons run the family business.

It’s not that Grace Broome didn’t believe in retirement.

She just found a lot of satisfaction and enjoyment in working.

However, after 65 years of selling real estate and appraising houses and property, Broome finally decided to call it quits, with Oct. 4 her last official day on the job.

She first began working in 1948 as secretary to her husband, Horace Broome, who had opened a real estate office in town. In 1950 she got a real estate license and took on the task of selling houses and property.

With that, Broome broke some new ground for women: at the time, there were only three women in the state who held real estate licenses – Broome and two agents in Nashville.

“It was difficult when I started. It was a man’s world and you had to prove yourself. Very few men wanted to talk to you about selling property,” she said.

“The mortgage brokers in the 1950s and 60s were all men and they were very intimidating to female real estate agents. Our broker always accompanied us to meet with the mortgage broker,” she said.

However, Broome explained it was much easier then to get a real estate license than it is now. “All you had to do was to go to Nashville, give them $15 and fill out a one-page application. They’d look at it and give you a license. Now, there are educational requirements and you must have a sponsor and work a minimum of one year with a licensed agent. You pay a fee of $110 and take a test. After that you must pay dues of $140 yearly in addition to insurance,” she said.

Broome switched to being a property appraiser in 1978. “I realized I liked to look at property, but I didn’t like selling. Also, real estate was still pretty much a man’s world,” she explained.

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