Wednesday, February 6, 2013

A Love for Standup Paddling Through Real Estate

I phone solicited my way into Standup Paddling.

Never surfed, never SUP surfed.  Hated kayaks (back pain), had windsurfed about 5 times.  I lived in one of the most water-rich cities of the world and only ran and climbed.

“Why can you lease my building?  You are telling me you have never done it before?!”

The conversation began.  It was with Heather Merry, Remick Merry’s wife (The Godfather), and she is a savvy busineswoman.  

“I have found that I do a much better job than most realtors! (agreed!),” she said, something I now here almost daily.

Somehow, I managed to convince Heather a rookie deserved a chance, which led to a meeting, where Remick interviewed me at my real estate office.  Usually, if the wife is savvy and direct, the husband, in a real estate transaction, is a little laid back, maybe passive.  

“Let’s bring your manager in to validate your reputation.”  Remick knows how to get at the answers he wants.

Remick gave me the rundown too.  At that point in time, we definitely sat across the table from each other, thankfully.  I had never done a commercial real estate transaction, an I was begging two experienced businesspeople to let me do theirs.

Fast forward about 9 months, the deal closed, the relationships seasoned, and the Godfather calls me to try this “surf thing” on a cool fall night near his house in the Puget Sound with several other friends/family.

Since that night, I have paddled over 1,000 miles in Hawaii, California, Oregon, Costa Rica, Nicaragua and Mexico.  I have ridden over 30 boards, buying over 10.  I have taken 10 months off work, mostly to paddle, and thanks to my friends have formed sponsorship agreements with at least 5 companies.

I see those numbers, though, as I see cold calls in my industry, real estate sales.  I see them as part of ratios.  Make 100 calls, sell a house.  Paddle 1,000 miles, about ten great friends.  100/1.  That means every 100 miles I paddle I get another great friend or hero.  I like this ratio.

I couldn’t name all the standup related people who have teamed with me on projects ranging from relationship counseling to art creation, but this group of people is truly exemplary, and you are welcome to join.

My heroes in this sport are Remick, Beau Whitehead and Dave Kalama.

Remick for his ability to make life enjoyable all the time; great patience, big smile, wise instruction.

Beau for the fact he is the poster child for Pacific Northwest Water athletes; I literally have a picture of him on my vision board as an example of strength and tenacity.

Kalama is a hero to me, because when I watch him compete, or prepare to compete, I feel like he exudes a connectedness to the earth the vast majority of the globes population will never get a glimpse of.

Make 100 calls, sell a house.  Paddle 100 miles, get a great friend.  I am glad I cold called Heather Merry.

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