It's about relationships.
One of the things I like BEST in my current chosen career as a Mortgage Banker (my fourth, after teaching, homebuilding, and national sales manager for a high tech international manufacturing company,) is having unscripted/no agenda interaction with REALTORs, especially in the relaxed atmosphere of a good restaurant. REALTORs have stories that they want to tell, and I always find value in listening. It makes me a better lender.
Sometimes a story reinforces a value in my life that needs shoring up. That's what happened at this Active Rain Meetup.
But I'm getting ahead of myself...
Tony & Suzanne Marriott hosted their very first Active Rain Meetup on Tuesday, August 29th at Greekfest on 20th and Camelback in Phoenix. The previous Thursday, at a Tucson AR Meetup attended by the Marriotts, I had committed to attend this one.
5:30 AM: Life gets in the way of commitments. Lying in bed, I mentally ticked off reasons I shouldn't take five hours out of this particular day to attend the Phoenix meetup. One in particular demands attention: I learned last evening that a co-worker and friend from my early days in lending is being moved from critical care to hospice, and I need to see and talk with him. No one would fault me if I cancel.
5:35 AM: My mantra kicks in. "I do what I say I'll do..." Alrighty then. Up and at 'em.
8:00 AM: Phone call from a business partner who wants me to meet his prospect for lunch. "Can we schedule for tomorrow?"
10:45 AM: Ontime arrival at Greekfest, and Tony & Suzanne are already there, waiting for the restaurant to open at 11:00. I'm glad I made the trip!
Reinforcing the value of relationships
It's easy to be with people you know; it's more of an effort to talk with those you don't. I was meeting several Valley REALTORs for the first time. I was meeting ShortSaleJeff Jones for the first time. Same for Brian England, Richard Bazinet, Steffy Hristova, Dave Dion and David Baker. On the other hand, I've known Anna Banana, (I've never heard anyone call her by her last name) since I started in the Rain in 2007. She hugged me, and when I mentioned that during introductions, Jan Green, sitting on my right, asked "Are you telling us that you need hugs?" That made me smile.
And that's when it hit me. The one thing that is most valuable in our lives is relationship. Tony & Suzanne's AR Meetup reinforced existing relationships, and cultivated brand new ones. This value is deeper than business, and I thought of my friend back in Tucson.
4:30 PM I visited my friend Leo at the Critical Care home. He's not able to eat much, but a vanilla milkshake brings a smile to his face. I brought one.