Special offer

Offer the gift that is priceless.

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

Offer the gift that is priceless.

When my wife and I were younger, we had an aha experience that changed the course of our lives. In our early mid-thirties, we saw numerous people we knew pass away shortly after retirement. One of my friends lived 12 days after he clocked out for the last time. So, we decided we would do the retirement trips and events in our 30s and 40s that we would have looked forward to in our retirement years. I imagine many thought we were crazy, but it was glorious. We had lots of energy and we were ready to see lots of destinations.  We traveled the world, took our sons along and saw and experienced everything we would have done in our retirement.

Then, we got back to work. I started a real estate brokerage and then a second one and then expanded into multiple states. I already owned an electrical contracting company, and I expanded it into a second state. My hope with Quality Electric is to hand it over to my first son when I’m ready to hang up my tools. He is an incredible electrician with a master’s license. The electrical business has been in my life since 1984 and the clientele has doubled, tripled, and quadrupled over forty years. We don’t need to advertise, and I’ve been turning down an average of thirty commercial projects a month for 8 years. It will be easy for my son to continue as if I was never there.

The real estate side of my world has gotten to the place where it is self-supporting with repeat clients and referrals. It is a nice bonus to have. At my age, you would think I would be looking at the future with the intent to take it easy and settle back, catch my breath, and enjoy sunrises and sunsets. I do enjoy those, but I can’t make that a daily commitment. I’m too busy. That brings up my point, those of us who have had success in business have a gift to give to the new generation. My blogging and interaction online have suffered the past few years while I’ve been raising up the next generation of pros who will carry things forward in both businesses.

Midyear in 2023, a new and unique opportunity fell in my lap. An auction house owner called and asked if we could talk. We met up and he began explaining to me that families that are transitioning or families that are settling estates come to him early in their process to liquate “stuff” that needs to be gone, and often, with that stuff is real estate. He asked if I would help him start a real estate brokerage that would complement his auction business. What an interesting concept. Well, I did, and I offered a three-year commitment to help him get established and raise up a broker from within the ranks. We started early this year and just listed our first house and I have my first new first-time agent collaborating with the company. She is going to be a dynamo and I know this concept will be successful. What I hope you get from this rambling is that you have “a lot to offer.” I used to joke about “don’t retire, refire.” I’m not sure that’s what I’m doing, but I love that I can take a lifetime of experience and pour it into a half dozen individuals who are looking for guidance. For me, that’s the best retirement gift I could receive. Seeing them succeed is priceless.


Michael Elliott
Fathom Realty - Burlington Township, NJ
Burlington, New Jersey Residential Sales

Great ideas, Mike, we have to live while we are still here!!

Apr 09, 2024 01:28 PM
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Pasadena And Southern California 818.516.4393

Hello Mike - interesting.   I look forward to learning more about this new business venture.  Best of success with it as well as your existing business ventures.  

Apr 09, 2024 02:48 PM
Inna Ivchenko
Barcode Properties - Encino, CA
Realtor® • GRI • HAFA • PSC Calabasas CA

Giving back to your community is becoming more meaningful. I always like to volunteer but sharing your own experience and expertise can be so much more fulfilling. 

Good luck with your new ventures! 

Apr 09, 2024 04:46 PM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Hi Mike- I had an uncle who worked for Brown & Root until he retired. His words were similar to years. He said "Kathy, they have is all backwards. We should travel as much as we can while we're still young enough to do it."  

I'd love to read more about your new venture. 

Apr 09, 2024 05:57 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV

Kathy, one of the best decisions we ever made. Our families and friends thought we were crazy.  We loved it and our sons got to see the world young.

Apr 10, 2024 06:30 PM
Patricia Kennedy
RLAH@properties - Washington, DC
Home in the Capital

In my many decades in real estate, I've only been to one retirement party for a Realtor. 

Apr 09, 2024 09:07 PM
Carol Williams

I didn't have a party, but I did retire! Best gig ever. 😊

Apr 10, 2024 11:00 AM
Thomas J. Nelson, REALTOR ® e-Pro CRS RCS-D Vets
Big Block Realty 858.232.8722 - La Jolla, CA
CEO of Vision Drive Realty - Coastal San Diego

My bride Ailina Nelson  was a cruise ship dancer for 10 years and traveled the world. 

She always said the same thing - she saw so many people to old to go a shore and they'd miss Italy, Greece and Portugal because they waited too long to travel.

Apr 09, 2024 11:02 PM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Another excellent post from you! I would love to hear more about the new venture with the real estate and auction house. That sounds like a perfect match-up. And getting the next generation ready to take over is a worthy goal. And traveling while young is a smart move! Excellent!

Apr 10, 2024 05:27 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV

Kat, getting the next gen ready for success has been a gift to me. I love watching them grow and succeed.

Apr 10, 2024 06:29 PM
Carol Williams
Although I'm retired, I love sharing my knowledge and learning from other real estate industry professionals. - Wenatchee, WA
Retired Agent / Broker / Prop. Mgr, Wenatchee, WA

Hi Mike,
I love the "refire" concept. I think that's what I've done.  I don't know if I'm changing lives like you are, but we're all having fun.

Apr 10, 2024 11:02 AM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV

Oh, you'd be surprised at how many lives you touch.

Apr 10, 2024 06:28 PM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

Mike - You have hit on a topic I've given considerable thought to.  Like you, I didn't wait to retire before I traveled.  I'm 80 years old now, and in good shape for my age, but I do know travel isn't as easy as it once was.

Apr 11, 2024 06:15 AM
Myrl Jeffcoat
Sacramento, CA
Greater Sacramento Realtor - Retired

CONGRATULATIONS Mike, on having this blog FEATURED in the Old Farts Club group!  

Apr 11, 2024 06:15 AM
Kathy Streib
Cypress, TX
Home Stager/Redesign

Apr 13, 2024 07:27 PM
Mike Cooper, Broker VA,WV

Thank you, Kathy.

Apr 13, 2024 07:32 PM
Lise Howe
Keller Williams Capital Properties - Washington, DC
Assoc. Broker in DC, MD, VA and attorney in DC

Mike - You make a very interesting point ways to get to people early in the process.  Thanks for starting my mind going - 

Apr 14, 2024 05:23 AM
Dorie Dillard Austin TX
Coldwell Banker Realty ~ 512.750.6899 - Austin, TX
NW Austin ~ Canyon Creek and Spicewood/Balcones

Good morning Mike,

I'm so glad that Kathy Streib featured your post in her Sunday series as I missed it! I too traveled the world when I was younger with my husband and so glad we did! I love your advice "don't retire, refire!" We often forget how much we have to offer that can help others with our knowledge and experience!

Apr 14, 2024 06:27 AM
Ed Silva, 203-206-0754
Mapleridge Realty, CT 203-206-0754 - Waterbury, CT
Central CT Real Estate Broker Serving all equally

You have so many irons in that fire and seem to be going about life the right way. Live while you can and when you can't do much, think so what!

Apr 14, 2024 08:44 AM
Leanne Smith
Dirt Road Real Estate - Golden Valley, AZ
The Grit and Gratitude Agent

As others have said interesting comment and the willingness to help another always I believe comes back 10 fold in ways that we never could imagine.

Apr 14, 2024 09:06 AM
Tammy Lankford,
Lane Realty Eatonton, GA Lake Sinclair, Milledgeville, 706-485-9668 - Eatonton, GA
Broker GA Lake Sinclair/Eatonton/Milledgeville

We have never put off travel to retirement.  We call it adventuring and we love it.  Planning one with the grandkids this summer.  Wish me luck.

Apr 15, 2024 07:30 AM
Michael J. Perry
KW Elite - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster, PA Relo Specialist

Your post could have me responding to a number of different points . 
Once Retired you must have Vision ( things you want to do ) 

There are a number of Auctioneers in our MLS

Apr 17, 2024 06:43 AM