The lessons learned from our mothers are undeniable. Their words of wisdom, thoughtful advice, and enduring spirit often make their way into our daily lives – and, if we’re real estate agents, into our businesses.
In honor of Mother’s Day, four Keller Williams agents share touching tributes that highlight how influential their mothers have been and how each lesson they’ve taught – from compassion to perseverance – has been infused into the DNA of their businesses and leadership styles.
“She inspired us to build a business with care.”
Dan Ihara, CEO, The Ihara Team
This year, my mother will be 90 years old. She has always been the backbone of our family – supporting us emotionally and providing a positive environment of unity. She is strong, confident and caring, which has enabled me to believe in myself and believe that I could achieve anything. Growing up, there were no limiting beliefs; there were only dreams.
Mom continues to serve our family, the community, and is the inspiration behind our businesses’ core values – care and compassion. She is the reason why our business looks the way it does, and why seminars are a key part of our strategy. For over a decade my mother came to our seminars and greeted guests. Everyone thought she was a real estate agent. In fact, she teased us with an intention to get her real estate license. Mom has the most wonderful ‘aloha’ spirit that lights up a room. You will not leave a party that she is in attendance without meeting her and falling in love with her.
She has a caring heart and believes that we must all “do the right thing,” which has inspired us to follow her vision and build a business that looks out for the best interest of others before our own. She started several volunteer organizations and taught me to come from a place of contribution in everything I do. This is the reason why our business has as our mission statement, ‘To Honor God by serving others with the highest level of competency, care, and compassion with uncompromising integrity.’
“I watched her turn our lives around with hard work and dedication.”
Kelly Henderson, Owner, Momentum Real Estate Group
Growing up, I didn’t have a postcard childhood. My parents stumbled into hard times when I was 8. After losing our home, we moved from apartment to apartment as our lives grew more complicated. We finally ended up homeless; living in the remnants of a house that had burned down. I watched my mom turn our lives around with pure hard work and dedication – working multiple jobs and saving every penny to bring our family back to stability.
After graduating college, I started real estate school, where I decided it couldn’t possibly be that difficult to buy a home. I sat down with my mom, walking through how much money she had spent on rent and encouraging her that – with some credit repair – homeownership would be possible. Once again, she worked hard, and purchased her first home at age 52 – down the street from where my husband and I had just bought our first home. To this day, she credits me with providing her the insight to make homeownership a reality, but the funny thing is, she’s the one who taught me all I know when it comes to grit, focus, and making it happen. Now we work together in real estate, changing the lives of others.
“She always saw more in me than anyone else.”
Jason Abrams, VP of Industry, KWRI
My mother always saw more in me than anyone else. As a person who struggled in school due to learning disabilities, I was frequently on the receiving end of subpar performance reviews and snickering. Yet, with my mother, not a single day went by where she wouldn’t tell me how smart, gifted, handsome, and special I was – sometimes 3+ times a day! She left special notes in my lunchbox, like:
- “You can always hire an editor to spell your amazing ideas correctly.”
- “Hang in there.”
- “I know you want to speak, but listening is important too. You can save your words for the world, which one day will beg to hear them.”
- “Do not be in a rush to grow up. Everything will happen for you when it is supposed to because you are perfect and have an inner strength that even you do not understand.”
- “I love you. Make sure to go to all your classes today.”
My mom taught me how to cook, clean, the days of the week, months of year (don’t laugh, I was 12 before I got them all), how to drive, and most importantly, how to laugh. Through two battles with cancer, we laughed the entire time. We laughed yesterday, and the day before, and the day before that. We laughed through tragedy, joy, pain, loneliness, wins, losses, and everything in between. Laughter is a gift that knows no geographic boundaries or economic/social barriers.
Ralph Waldo Emerson said, “The earth laughs in flowers.” I think that’s right and, for me, my mom is Mother Earth. Happy Mother’s Day, mom … I love you too.
“Joining my mom in business was one of the best gifts she could have given me.”
Seychelle Van Poole, Team Director, Van Poole Properties Group
Joining my mom in business was one of the best gifts she could have given me. She taught me that loyalty and hard work make a great dynamic duo, and when working with family, she had my complete best interest in mind. I brought her style of “family business” to our team in wanting to see our partners and team members become happier, healthier, and wealthier as people and professionals.
Becoming part of our Van Poole Properties family is something that mom really set out to create and it’s a legacy of hers that we work to keep alive in our business. When I became a mother six years ago, our relationship deepened and my appreciation for her grew so much. She sacrificed so much for my sister and I, and I’m eternally grateful for the gift that we get to work together so much in business and life. Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!