Beth Oliver did! Do you know her?
You may remember that I was a large . . . hmmm . . . really fat man most of my earlier life. In December 2002, I realized just how uncomfortable it is to be 400 pounds while on vacation in Rio de Janeiro. I didn't fit in their taxis, I looked like a whale on Ipanema Beach, and walking up and down the coast was miserable. So, I came home and in January 2003, I had a gastric bypass and lost over 200 pounds.
There's a reason for me telling that weight-loss story. When I first joined RE/MAX in 1996, I was tipping the scales at 400. But nonetheless, my RE/MAX friends encouraged me to go to the State Convention in Austin with them. So I went.
As you can imagine, it was a giant networking event, with lots of classes, vendors, and everything that makes up a convention. Being 400 pounds, I was intimidated by this crowd of over-achievers and tended to stay quiet and to myself. (I was new to RE/MAX and was still recovering from financial ruin.)
Whilst sitting in the corner alone, eating worms, [emphasis added, lol], along came this very nice lady who sat and introduced herself to me. Her name was Beth Oliver, and she was a top-producing Realtor in Austin. She gave me one of her business cards, and she'd punched a hole in it and tied a red ribbon to the card. She told me how important referrals were to her business, and that she came to these events for the sole purpose of generating referrals.
A couple of years ago, I ran into Beth at another RE/MAX convention, and I told her how we'd first met because I'm sure she didn't remember that . . . not like I did! We'd become great colleagues over the years, and I must say that she's a wonderful person as well as Realtor.
I just learned that she has officially retired, and has visited the south of France with her husband to study French! I can't stop remembering how she made me feel, just by being friendly to me when I was in an awkward place.
I took her lead, and I try to be nice and friendly to everyone at conventions, too . . . especially those who don't seem to "fit in."
Beth, the real estate community (especially me!) will miss you . . . but you have earned your retirement! Enjoy!
MORAL OF THIS STORY: Treat everyone with respect, dignity and courtesy . . . the person who is going to change your life the most is not in your life yet.