Like many people in real estate, Shawn Kelsey became an agent as an escape from corporate America. After more than 10 years as a regional marketing manager for a big-box electronics store, Kelsey made the switch to selling homes in 1997. “I know it sounds cliche, but helping people is personally very rewarding,” he says. Kelsey lives in Ballwin with his wife, Laurie, daughters Allie and Maddie, and the family’s Yorkie, Bella, and cat, Phoebe. “We live off Kiefer Creek, so it feels a bit like we are in the country,” he says. “We absolutely love it.”

[first & best]
My first sale was for about $75,000 and it did not go well. My biggest sale to date, however, was for $1,870,000 for a beautiful new home in Town & Country.

[keep calm]
I believe in order to be a good and successful agent, you need to have great patience and the ability to be calm in any situation. Emotions often run high in transactions, and people do not always think as well under those circumstances.

[money matters]
Lending has changed over the years. Talk to a couple of lenders up front before you begin looking at homes so you know what price range you should be looking in and are prepared to close on time when you do find your dream home.

[picture perfect]
The time to get the best price for your home is typically within the first 30 days, so make sure the home shows well and is priced right from the beginning. With about 90 percent of buyers looking for homes on the Internet, great photos are a must.

[brush it off]
I learned a long time ago never to take things personally when dealing with a difficult client.

[easy gig]
I have always jokingly said I would like to be a weather person: I know of no other job where you can be wrong half the time and not get fired.

[mickey fan]
The entire family enjoys anything Disney, especially going on a cruise. I have an extensive collection of Disney toys that’s still growing.

[free time]
We live just a few minutes from Castlewood Park, and I enjoy riding my bike on the trails or walking along the bluffs.

[small city]
I moved to St. Louis from the Chicago suburbs in 1985. I like the size of the St. Louis area. You can pretty much get anywhere in about 30 minutes.

Photo: Bill Barrett