Being an ex-football player working in real estate

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Being a former football player is an icebreaker – it’s a commonality I have with people.  If they are over 35, they might remember me playing, especially if they are Cowboys fans. 

The thing a lot of people don’t realize is how long I have been in the real estate field – 40 years, which is much longer than I played football. I started working for Henry S. Miller here in Dallas in the off-season when I was still a back-up quarterback.  In those days, they did not pay football players near what they do now.  We already had 3 little girls (3, 4 and 8 years old), and I needed to work to earn money.  I have often thought that was a blessing.  Lots of the athletes today don’t have to work – and if I had been single I might not have had to.  But you can’t play golf everyday.  You’ve got to be doing something – and investing and building in something. 

When I started at Henry S. Miller, they gave me a key and a phone.   I would make calls and try to get something done, but being the backup quarterback of the Cowboys does not give you credibility in real estate.  So, I learned how to work with the right people in the company and use my strength, which was calling, and their strengths, understanding the complexity of the deal.  The longer you are involved in it, the more credibility you have.  If I had not started when I did, it would have been a lot harder for me once I was retired.  It would have been starting from scratch.

Next week I’ll discuss more about how Jones Lang LaSalle is doing now, 2 years post merger.

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