When I was in my 20’s, embarking on my adventure from Arizona to Tennessee, it was hard saying goodbye but I was also full of hope and excitement. The people I worked with, my friends from church, and, mostly, my family. In our youth, we rarely think, “this may be the last time I see them.” As I have matured in years, the reality of mortality has set in. Now, as I visit with those that I don’t see on a regular basis, I take an extra moment to savor that goodbye hug.
This past week, I said a final goodbye to two special people. Royce Harrell was in my weekly networking group. He was a business coach and a friend. He was one of those people I was drawn to immediately. He knew how to ask questions that dug deep. He could get you to evaluate your situation in a way that put you on your own path of greatness. He was a great teacher. He loved people and they loved him. Mostly, though, he loved God and his family and he would tell you all about both. One thing that struck me at his Memorial was that, though there were different people that spoke about him from different parts of his life – friends, family, church members, and clients – they all basically said the same thing. He was the same person, had the same compassion, the same drive, the same heart, no matter who you were or what relationship you had with him. He left a great legacy. I am so glad I got to know him. I was blessed to call him “friend”.
I got my start in real estate in 2004. When I consulted with a Realtor I had used in the past to ask what companies I should interview, his first answer was – Pilkerton Realtors. I am so glad I took his advice. Jimmy Pilkerton took me under his wing and showed me the real estate ropes. He was a mentor. He allowed me to co-list a house with him and led me through every detail of what to look for, what repairs should be made, how to market it, and how to negotiate a contract from start to finish. Now, 12 years later, I realize how green I was and how patient he was. He also taught me that real estate was a career, not a job. I needed to show up, dress the part, and do the work. He taught me that the most important thing to do is to manage expectations. There are not many people who permeate my thick skull and make such an impact in my life. To this day, when I tell people how I got into the real estate business, Jimmy is the biggest part of that story. I am a success today, mostly because he gave me a great foundation for my business. Our real estate community was impacted greatly and is feeling the loss. I, personally, have not quite processed the fact that I can’t just pick up the phone to ask my mentor his advice. I thank God for Jimmy Pilkerton and for what he gave to me. I’m just not quite ready to say goodbye.
Feature photo courtesy of kaisorn via freedigitalphotos.net
Michelle Froedge is a residential Realtor and Principal Broker in the Greater Nashville and Williamson County areas of Tennessee. “Mom” to four-legged fur babies, Tyler and Livvie, Auntie to Zelamie, she is a vegetarian and sings in her spare time. Michelle has lived in Nashville and Franklin since 1997 and has been selling homes since 2004.