REALTORSŪ are highly motivated and charismatic business people, able to understand and bridge the needs of clients on both sides of a property transaction. We often also are solo practitioners, or interact only with those professionals in our brokerage or immediate locale. In this recurring feature, the Online Washington REALTORŪ will introduce Association members from across the state.
Name: Steven D. Kelley
Position and Location: Broker/Owner, Windermere Real Estate/Wenatchee, 1625 N. Wenatchee Ave., Wenatchee, WA 98801
A REALTORŪ Since: 1977
Designations Earned: GRI, CRS, CRB
How I Chose this Career: I took a class at Wenatchee Valley College in the winter of 1976 that prepared us for the license exam. I took the exam, passed the test, and activated my license at the end of the school year. I wanted to continue in college, but needed additional funds for school. However, I loved the real estate business so much that stayed with it full time.
Why I Stay with It: There is no other career that I know of that allows one the opportunity to make as much, or as little, as you can with the freedom allowed. It is just a great way of life.
I Participate in the State Association to: Stay in touch with the current events of the business. I find that I like myself best when I am involved with association activities. There was a time, while my children were young, when I did not participate at either the local or state level. I am glad I have gotten back involved at both levels, so that I can give back to a business that has given so much to me and my family.
Most Unusual REALTORŪ Memory: I could almost write a book with all of the experiences, both serious and funny, that I have been involved with. I would have to say locking myself out of my car with the engine running, after having locked the door to our project office, at Desert Canyon Golf Resort. My wife had to drive 40 minutes to rescue me. All the while my car was idling; it was a high performance engine in a Dodge Stealth RT and I was panicked that the engine was going to freeze up. Since then, I have carried a plastic credit card type of key in my wallet.
Most Challenging Part of the Job: Without question, it is personal conflict resolution. That is my weak point. I don't like having unhappy people coming to me to resolve their personal problems, whether it is a client, agent or an employee. I can deal with the facts and situations in a real estate transaction, but it is hard for me to deal with the people problems, and there can be a lot of them when you are a broker.
I Get Up Early to: Nothing good happens on Monday mornings before 10 a.m. I am a night owl and most effective after everyone leaves the office after 6 p.m.—often staying until 8 or 9 p.m., or until Mrs. Kelley calls me to come home.
Outside Interests: Downhill skiing. And I enjoying golfing when I can hit the ball straight and two put. I hate golf when I can't do either. My real love is hunting big game. There is nothing more thrilling than a spot and stalk on deer, elk, or antelope. It requires so many skills, more than just pulling a trigger. It may take hours to get into a position for a shot that only takes a fraction of a second. The thrill of the chase is much more exciting than filling the tag. I have come home empty handed many times from a successful hunting trip.
What I Did on My Last Vacation: I was either hunting elk or downhill skiing…it depends on what one calls a vacation. Five hours on the slopes at Mission Ridge in five inches of powder snow can be more like a vacation than five days in the mountains. I think it is a matter of perspective.
Why I'm Looking Forward to this Year: I have an opportunity to make a difference in my business in two areas. First, I am working on improving the Zipform 5.0 program used with the WAR Forms so the program works well for agents. This program has saved me a lot time when writing Purchase and Sales Agreements. We have already made some great improvements. Secondly, there seems to be a "new attitude" that "procuring cause" no longer exists. I can assure you that it does and REALTORSŪ should not try to hide behind the "Agency Law" to avoid their professional responsibilities. If I can elevate the discussion on ethics to include procuring cause, I think we will see a new level of professionalism return to the real estate industry.
My Hot Tip for Colleagues: Never, never, never, quit prospecting. The higher volume one produces, the more important it is to prospect for new business. The other is to get involved in "your business." If someone does not stand guard to protect the private property rights of citizens, we will have limited involvement in real estate transactions in the future. If we allow banking interests to enter the real estate services arena, our future as independent business people will slowly go away. We cannot compete on a fair basis with banks. Anyone serious about real estate should get serious about investing in RPAC and investing their time and talents in the association. We are at a critical crossroads that may take away our way of life. However, if every REALTORŪ would invest $100 in our business today in RPAC, we may be able to keep our voices heard. It is not up to anyone one else.…It is up to ME!
Steve Kelley was among those nominated for the W.A.R. 2000 REALTOR of the Year Award. He was noted for his long-time local board involvement, his role as a state director, and his concern with issues related to manufactured homes.
Posted 4/4/01; 4/16/01.
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