By Chad Taylor
This week has been a tough one for the Taylor-Made Team. On Monday I received a call from Porter Knowles, a longtime client and friend of mine. He called to tell me that his angelic wife, Mary, had passed away (crossed the rainbow bridge as Mary called it) over the weekend. I literally read the transcribed voicemail on my phone and fell to my knees at my office. The news shook me to my core.
So what does this have to do with real estate? Everything. You see in my business I get the honor and privilege to work with families all over the city. It took me a few years to realize it, but when we help a young family buy their first home, or help a senior parent sell the home where they raised their kids, we then become a chapter in their life and if we do it right, a permanent connection is made with that family. That is what makes our business so special and why after sixteen years in the crazy world of real estate, I still love it.
Prior to my career in real estate, I worked as a service manager at Houston’s on the Plaza. I know, I miss that restaurant too. It was then when I first met Porter and Mary Knowles. It was the late 90’s and I was looking for a home to rent. A rental service somehow put me in touch with Porter and Mary and told me that they had really great homes in great areas, and the bonus was that they managed their own rentals and were simply good people. Unfortunately, I was always a day late and a dollar short because the Knowles’ properties would rent on day one and the demand at that time was very high for rentals.
Although I never ended up renting a home from the Knowles, I stayed in touch with them. When I decided it was time for me to purchase my own home, I reached out to Porter and Mary because I understood that they knew a lot about real estate. They then referred me to a trusted lender to handle my financing. That lender then introduced me to the agent who represented my wife and I in our first home purchase. That same agent would eventually introduce me to Keller Williams Realty when I decided to start a career in real estate. I am so proud to be a KW agent and could not imagine being with any other company. I have Mary to thank for starting that chain of dominoes.
The Knowles and I continued to stay in touch as my career took off. About once a month, Mary and I would have a long conversation about real estate or sometimes just life. She had an uncanny way of immediately putting me at ease. Those of you who know me know that my natural state is not “at ease.” Quite the opposite. It is really hard for me to chill out. But Mary could cause me to pause, at least for the length of our call.
One day, Mary called me and said that she needed to find a home for her mom that was all on one level. Her mom needed assistance from a walker/wheel chair at the time and so a handicapped accessible home would be ideal. As soon as Mary told me what she needed, I knew the perfect home for them. I had just previewed it a week or two prior when it was for sale by owner. The current owner of the home had modified the master bath to make it wheelchair accessible and the doors were wide enough as well. I showed it to Porter and Mary that week, and they purchased it. Mary often told me that those last few years of her mom’s life were very happy because of that home. Mary’s mom was able to wheel out of her bedroom onto a patio to sit and admire her beautiful surroundings. The thought of her on that patio always warmed my heart.
I could go on and on about my relationship with Porter and Mary. Not only have they trusted me to help their kids purchase a home, and sell/purchase numerous rental properties, they have continued to be our friends. Mary always asked about my boys without fail. She always appreciated how important my family is to me, and she would say so. She understood how important family is and how they should be a priority over business.
I knew that Mary’s health was not getting any better, yet every time we spoke she was so positive. And she would always thank me for my time because “I know that you are so busy.” Trust me, I would give any amount of money for a thirty minute Mary phone call right now. She is a part of my family and that has everything to do with real estate. Real estate is not simply land or property, it is a baby brought home for the first time. Real estate is a group of siblings sitting in the home that they grew up in reminiscing about their childhood. Appropriately, it is decorating your home for Halloween and waiting anxiously for the trick or treater’s to arrive.
Home is where the heart is and this week, my heart is broken. We miss you Mary and love you very much.
This weekly sponsored column is written by Chad Taylor of the Taylor-Made Team and Keller Williams Realty Key Partners, LLC. The Taylor-Made Team consistently performs in the top 3 percent of Realtors in the Heartland MLS. Please submit follow-up questions in the comments section or via email. You can find out more about the Taylor-Made Team on its website. And always feel free to call at 913-825-7540.