Living in a new land can be a pretty overwhelming experience, particularly if one doesn’t know the language and can't really converse with people in a carefree and productive way.
So if one is a native of eastern Europe and wants to master English, moving to America kind of forces the issue.
Thus is the journey of Martina McCrea, who today works as a real estate agent with the Oldfather Group of Ocean Atlantic Sotheby's International Realty.
She has worn many hats over the last few decades.
A native of the picturesque city of Pisek in the Czech Republic, McCrea first visited the United States in 1996. She came for a three-month visit that turned into a year.
"I was very limited when I first got here. But eventually, I could start having conversations with people," said McCrea. "It's a little funny now, but it was horrible back then. My pronunciation of many English words was pretty embarrassing.”
English is actually the fourth language McCrea has become fluent in, the other three being Czech, German and Russian. She said learning to converse in American English was definitely the hardest, in part because of how Europeans are taught to speak the language of the United States. What seem like subtle differences to Americans can be quite confusing to second-language learners, or a fourth-language learner, in McCrea’s case.
“In Europe, they speak the Queen's English, and that's how we were taught," said McCrea. "If you learn that type of English and then you add an accent to it, it can be a disaster, and people just don't know what you're trying to say. It definitely wasn't very helpful when I came here to America, but it got better over time."
McCrea moved to the United States full time in 2000 and has made her home in the Long Neck area near Millsboro since 2016. She became a licensed Delaware Realtor in September 2020 and has begun building her career with the Oldfather Group.
Between her move from the Czech Republic and her new life as a Delaware Realtor, McCrea spent most of her years working as a professional photographer. It's a skill she still uses with the Oldfather Group, taking photographs of different homes for sale at and near the Delaware beaches.
"The company I worked for did a lot of work at area universities, which was all being canceled due to COVID," she said. "The sororities and fraternities weren't meeting or doing things in groups, so that eliminated a lot of opportunities for shooting them. My work was also in places other than Delaware. So when I had a car accident in 2019, that just finally tipped the scale for me into quitting photography and doing something more local, like selling real estate,” she said.
Naming Dewey Beach as her favorite place at the Delaware beaches, McCrea has made a life in the coastal region with her husband, her three children and her German hunting dog named Blue. She's quickly become an important part of the Oldfather Group, one of the top three real estate firms in the state of Delaware in terms of annual sales.
Oldfather Group Founder and CEO Dustin Oldfather said, "Martina is a highly responsive and committed agent. Her clients gravitate to her personable style and utilization of technology where it improves the client experience."
For more information, call Martina McCrea at 443-452-9909 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.