Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Do Realtors ever retire?

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.

Beth Oliver
Beth took the time to get to know me a little, and she was extremely charming.  I took her ribboned card home with me and vowed to send her a referral if I could.  Well, over the next many years, I've sent Beth countless referrals of clients moving to Austin . . . and she's handled each one professionally with the care that she showed me that day at the Convention.  As I've become a RE/MAX top producer and office owner, I've referred her to more agents who also enjoy sending referrals to Beth.

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.