Century 21

A friend of mine called and said his brother-in-law was starving in the Real Estate business and would I take him and teach him all I could about the business. He was thinking of giving up real estate and going back to the oil patch in Midland, Texas. His name was Paul Powell. I met him for breakfast at the Holiday Inn in McKinney and I immediately liked Paul and saw a lot of potential in him. Paul and I soon formed a partnership and we enjoyed a business relationship for the next eight years, without a single argument or disagreement. Paul did well and we hired several agents to sell residential properties. Soon, I realized we could not remain in that Log House and sell residential properties. It was fine for Farm and Ranch sales but not for selling nice homes.

There was a well sited Real Estate office on Virginia Street. I had inside information that the office was going to go out of business. I contacted the owner of the building and negotiated a deal where we would lease the office space, but our rent would be on a sliding scale, starting real low and increasing each year. Paul almost hyperventilated when I told him what I had done but he soon agreed it was the right thing to do. We continued to grow, and after about six years, we had eighteen agents working for us and were the top Real Estate office in McKinney.

Paul and I made a little money the first year we were in business and increased our income about 15% a year. We never had a year we did not make a profit. Paul was sales manager and I ran the business end of the business. After the first year we were in business we decided we needed to join a national franchise to bring in more residential customers. I discovered the Century 21 Franchise owner in Sherman was going broke so I went up there and contacted him. I negotiated a deal to buy his franchise and we moved it to McKinney. Century 21 had the best training classes for new agents and we sent all our people to those classes to improve their professionalism and knowledge. In 1992 our daughter Susan and her husband Bruce moved back from Seattle to McKinney and Bruce joined us to help develop a commercial division.