OKCMAR Lifetime Achievement Award winner Morrie Shepherd has been in the real estate industry for three decades. In 1987, a customer at his job led him to the start of his new career. “I sold supplies at an electrical wholesale company. One of the contractors I worked with, who became a good friend, closed his shop in Tecumseh and moved to the city to get into real estate.”
Talking over coffee one day, Shepherd told the Green Realty & Investments owner about his interest in working part time in real estate. He recalled, “Mike Green told me: Morrie, you cannot do real estate part time and do it justice.” Shepherd soon began taking classes at Marie Burroughs Real Estate School nights and weekends and became a sales associate in March of that year.
Green encouraged his new associate to take CE classes at OCCC if he survived the rough winter months of real estate. Shepherd said, “Those CE classes were extremely valuable and they still are! I wish that every agent would know not to wait until the last minute to get their CE.”
Shepherd earned his broker license in April of 1990 and started Metro First Realty on August 1, 2005. He admits that for many of those years, he did not invest in RPAC because he did not fully understand what it did or how that money helped locally and in Washington DC. “My maternal grandfather was a bootlegger from Sallisaw who was not a fan of politicians. I didn’t realize how much of an impact he had on my life.” Influence from respected colleagues such as Jean Thornton drove him to begin considering RPAC. He then started by investing $25 per year, eventually increasing to $99, and moving up to President’s Circle.
“About seven years ago, my wife Sharon and I attended a RPAC fundraising event – and did it ever grab her. She turned to me and said ‘This is our livelihood and if we don’t start giving more, we will be out of business before long.’
That’s when it dawned on me what RPAC does.”
Shepherd added, “Believe me when we say that some politicians don’t realize and/or understand the dream of home ownership in America.” Together, NAR and RPAC fight everyday to keep the perks of home ownership and the American dream alive and well.
Shepherd has quite a few stories of the importance of endurance as a REALTOR®. One favorite is of clients from early in his career who later became REALTORS®. Shepherd had been working with the couple to find a home. A few days after showing them houses, he had called to follow up. They told him that they were under contract with a For Sale By Owner. “Sure it wasn’t the exact outcome I wanted for obvious reasons, but I was happy they had found the house they wanted.”
About five months after that call, the couple informed Shepherd that they had decided to go into real estate. He said, “Again I was excited for them and referred them to Mr. Green!” The couple did well in real estate. One incident, though, became the final straw in their decision to move on to a different career. Shepherd said, “They told me that the clients they had been working with went under contract with a For Sale by Owner.”