Sunday, August 26, 2012

The Torch is Passing . . .

(or, "Pearland Sam Confesses")

I returned from a three-day business trip to Denver Friday night, a trip I took with my daughter Katie to meet our newest client, PEMCO.  For those of you who don't know, PEMCO is one of three HUD contractors who manage HUD-owned homes.  For a long time, Katie and I have serviced HUD Homes for HomeTelos, but we recently got the opportunity to apply for a PEMCO contract.  Out of over 1200 applications received from eager listing brokers, only 63 were selected as "LLB's" or "listing brokers" for their organization -- we were one of the 63.  (If I sound "bragadocious," maybe I am a little, but my team and I worked hard to build an amazing application presentation both in print an online, so I am very proud of them all!)  The addition of PEMCO to our HUD base that we've previously built with our outstanding association with HomeTelos, will allow us to bring more options to our future -- and existing -- customers and clients.  

But more interesting than that, was what I observed from my "outsider-looking-in" approach to what we experienced.  In my 37+ years as a Realtor, Appraiser, Trainer, Speaker, etc., I am quite used to the attention I get at Realtor conferences.  Frankly, I've learned to like and expect it!  But that's not what greeted me in Denver!  Instead, the attention was focused on my "up-and-coming" 25-year-old protege, my beautiful daughter Katie.

In the past few years, I've seen her grow into what I now see as a smart, savvy businesswoman.  From the little girl who graduated from Pearland High School, to the young woman who graduated from Houston Baptist University (some 30 years to the date after I did), to the smart young businesswoman who obtained her Texas Broker License at a young age . . . I confess that I really didn't see it coming.  And why not? 

Did I not want to see my baby grow up?  Did I get too involved with all the "little" issues of growing up and overlook the big picture?  Possibly all of the above . . . but the Denver trip "opened my eyes." 

In November, Katie is getting married to her long-time sweetheart, another amazing young person who works at RE/MAX Top Realty, Travis See.  (See photo above.)  Travis started working with us when he was 17 years old, and a student at Pearland High School.  He was an office boy, intent on finishing his degree.  When our bookkeeper suddenly quit in May, Travis stepped into the position (with no bookkeeping experience at all) and has handled it in a way even I couldn't have done!  (In case you're reading this, Travis, I am very proud of your achievement.)  There.......I said it.......and those who know me know that I'm not one to "coddle" anyone! 

And so, the beat goes on.  I grew up in a real estate office under the watchful eye of my mother, (last known as "Lou Johnston,") and now Katie has grown up in this business, becoming the third generation Realtor in our family.  The torch is passing . . . .