99 Year Old Coldwell Banker Agent Featured on the Today Show
At 99 years old, Stewart Wade is currently a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in Hawaii.
At 99 years old, Stewart Wade has quite the life experience under his belt. Currently a real estate agent for Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in Hawaii, he’s previously served in the military, worked at the American Rubber Company and Purina and even started his own orchard nursery and florist. Still, Stewart has no plans for retirement because he says he’s having “too much fun!”
Each morning, Stewart begins his day with a morning swim in the Pacific, followed by real estate appointments and meetings for several local organizations. Heavily active within the community, Stewart has achieved over 35 awards and affiliations throughout his career.
We spoke with Stewart on how he got started in real estate, how the industry has changed and what motivates him to keep working at 99.
How did you begin your career in real estate?
I was working for Ralston Purina selling animal feed when they wanted to relocate me to St. Louis, Missouri. I graciously declined and started my real estate career in 1968. My brother and his wife were already very successful in real estate and encouraged me to apply for a license. I eventually joined them at Wade Ltd., which was acquired by Coldwell Banker Pacific Properties in 1999.
How has the real estate industry changed from when you first started?
Dramatically. When we wrote a home offer, it was one piece of paper with carbon copy underneath it. Now, a contract ranges from 18-25 pages. I had one of the first Apple computers when I started selling homes. Now I have an iPhone and use it all the time for real estate.
What were the most sought after amenities when you first started selling homes?
When I first started, people were looking for a place for their families, so checking schools and the community was important. Now people want an open layout in a home so the living room, kitchen and dining room are all in one room. I have rationalized that’s because people used to have help who worked in the kitchen and brought food, so there was a need for separate quarters.
How do you get your business?
Most of the time, I’ve received referrals from satisfied clients from the past. I keep in touch with 200 or so clients at a time.
What’s been your most memorable / challenging sale?
My most challenging sale was an older couple here in Hawaii who was in danger of losing their home. The gentleman had just been diagnosed with Parkinson’s. I begged the bank to give me the opportunity to sell the home so that we could help the couple recoup something. We were able to sell the property in-house. I will never forget about that specific sale.
What motivates you to keep working at age 99?
People call me and they want help, so I do it! That keeps me going.
Why haven’t you retired?
I have too much fun selling real estate. And I have good health. I think one of the best ways to keep your health is to keep active.
Do you do anything else to stay active?
Sell real estate. Call on people. I belong to a country club and am on the board of the YMCA and Boy Scouts. I am also very active in Rotary International.
If you weren’t a real estate agent what would you be?
I suppose I would like to be in the nursery business. I opened Orchard Nursery and Florist in 1945 which flourished and made me very happy.
What advice do you have for those looking to start a career in real estate?
Attitude is the most important thing in life and business. Don’t focus on the negative. There is a positive experience from everything. Also, help people and make them happy. That’s been my philosophy.
Do you use Twitter or Facebook?
No, I have enough business without it. =)
Header image courtesy of HDW