May 19, 2017

Barber Park Event Center, Boise, ID

Thank you all so much for being here tonight!  I have not had the pleasure of seeing some of you in a really long time and it’s so nice to be able to get hugs and catch up.  As real estate agents, we are invited in to be part of the one of the biggest life decisions and probably the biggest financial decision many of you make.  It is such a privilege to be trusted with that role and to walk alongside you through that process.   Each of you holds a very special place in our lives because of that!  For a few weeks, or months, or sometimes even years, we get to be deeply connected in your life.  It’s actually hard when we close on a house because often we go from getting to talk to you multiple times a day to only a few times a year.  My friend Karli recently said, “I think it’s time for us to buy another house so we can hang out more.”  It’s so true!  It’s such a joy to have that special time to “hang out” and build on our friendship with you as we help you buy or sell your homes.  We look forward to more of it!

As a way of thanking God for what He has done and thanking each of you who have supported and encouraged us in this business, I wanted to share a bit of my story and TripleCord’s history so you can see how you have been a part of that.  I grew up with my brother in Pocatello, ID under the care of two amazing parents, Steve and Marie Fairchild. They have been unwavering in their love, encouragement, and support of me, for which I am incredibly grateful.  And they have taught me much of what I know about working hard, being organized, and being a good friend.   

In elementary school I went to Camp Perkins, a Christian camp in the Sawtooths—a place you should definitely check out if you haven’t been there before.  It was there that I met Jesus.  I will talk about Him a bit tonight because He literally changed my life, and because He’s who made it possible for us to be here celebrating together.  My talking about Him probably won’t come as a surprise to many of you who read my newsletter or Christmas card.  I hope this doesn’t offend any of you, but rather that you are thankful for my trust in Him, as He truly is the source for all the good in me and all the good Mark, Becka, Karin, Ken, Kara, or I can offer as your agents.  Because I was so enamored with Jesus, I wanted to share Him with others.  So, I decided to go into youth ministry and planned to go to college for that at Concordia University in Seward, NE. God had other plans though.  The summer just before I left for school, I worked at Camp Perkins and fell in love with another pretty amazing guy there—Luke Miller.  I still went to school in Nebraska for a year, but Luke and I decided we couldn’t do 4 years apart.  So, I came back to Boise and we were married.  BSU didn’t have a degree in youth ministry.  So, I was trying to figure out what to do, when the Lord provided some direction through an unlikely source—a random woman who had a coupon out for perms that I cashed in on.  If you didn’t know, yes it’s true, my hair is not naturally curly =-).  At some point during that perm, that woman—who I would have loved to have invited to this party had I any idea who she was or where she is—encouraged me to go to business school.  It turns out business school was an amazing fit for me, and I graduated from BSU’s entrepreneurial business management program in 2004. 

During college and after graduation, I was able to work for my father in-law, Dick Miller.  My in-laws Dick and Linda, are the best in-laws a girl could ask for. They love, support, and encourage me like I was their own.  Plus, they have a history of moving a lot, which has been good for my business as well =-)  Dick owned AMI, a homeowners association management company in Boise.  Under his leadership, I learned so much about customer service, business management, and how to care for people and employees well.    

Luke was teaching secondary math at the time and was also in the Marine Reserves.  In 2005 he received orders for a deployment to Iraq.  It was a long year apart, but it was during that time that my friend Kasey Boles (who I also met at Camp Perkins) contacted me about becoming a real estate agent and working with her, her husband, and her dad, Jon Gosche, at Jon Gosche Real Estate.  Since Luke was gone, we had no kids, and I am not a woman of many hobbies, I didn’t have much else to do…so I decided to go for it.  I kept working at AMI during the day and going to real estate school at night.  I got my license in October of 2005. 

Shortly after that, in November, I met my first clients, Hans & Kathy Nyquist.  They were moving from out of the area. So, I picked them up at their hotel to take them out to show houses.  I was nervous, and one of the first things they learned about me is that I am really focused, BUT I cannot focus on two things at once.  I was talking to them as I backed up out of my parking space at the hotel and nearly rammed another car—and I would have had Hans not been paying attention and yelled, “Whoa, Whoa, Whoa” in time for me to slam on the brake.  I’m thankful they stayed in the car with me after that =-).  When I started showing house, I didn’t have a GPS, so I would print out directions to all the homes the night before.  Since, as I mentioned, I can’t focus on two things at once, it was practically impossible for me to follow written direction and engage in a good conversation at the same time.  I chose to focus in on the good conversation—which was the better choice—but ended up driving about 15 minutes past our turn before realizing it and having to turn around.  Needless to say, I think we were late to a few appointments that day.  But, Hans and Kathy found a wonderful home, made an offer, and closed on January 23, 2006.  I even had the privilege of attending their wedding in their backyard a few months later.  The next 6 years working under Jon Gosche were very formative for me.  Jon was a wonderful broker and my friends and co-agents John and Kasey Boles were great mentors.  Over those 6 years at Jon Gosche Real Estate, I became a Graduate of the Realtor Institute, got my broker’s license, had my first two babies Hadley Opal born January, 23, 2008 and Taylor Grace born March 17, 2010 and had the privilege of helping in the purchase and sale of nearly 100 homes. 

In 2011, Luke felt led to leave his teaching career to pursue his dream job of being a fireman. He took a brief time off of teaching and became a real estate agent to help bring in some income while he pursued his dream.  He was a great agent, and I really enjoyed working with him.  I would have actually loved to have continued to do that together and become one of those fun married real estate teams.  But I’m also happy to see him now in a job he’s passionate about and where God uses his gifts in great ways.  

Luke pursued firefighting positions in Boise, Nampa, and Twin Falls.  Near the end of 2011 it looked like the Lord would open a door with the Twin Falls Fire Department.  In preparation for a possible move, I started looking into brokerages I could work for in that area.  I hadn’t really considered opening my own brokerage, but with the potential of moving, Luke encouraged me that it may be a perfect time to do it.  I was nervous about it, but if you know Luke well, you know that one of his God given gifts is to be an encourager.  And he used that gift well in encouraging me forward and giving his support in the process.   He was good at reminding me that I did get my degree in entrepreneurial business management, after all. And that I had been given the skills I needed to run a business well. So, one month after welcoming our 3rd child, Hutch Benedict into the world, with the support of my family and the grace of my God, we opened TripleCord Real Estate on January 25, 2012. 

TripleCord was not an original name.  I had first heard it several years before as it was the name of a photography company my friend worked for in California.  I have loved the meaning of the name from the first time I heard it through today.  It comes from Ecclesiastes 4:12 in the Bible, which reads, “Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not easily broken.” This verse depicts the strength that comes from committed relationships. In my years in real estate and in life, I have found that strong relationships are foundational to our story as humans.  For our company, the three strands of the cord referenced are US (your agents), YOU (our clients), and GOD (our Strength and Provider). We, as agents of TripleCord, can honestly say that without that third strand—without our relationship with God and His truth, love, goodness, and grace working in us—we would be of less value to you.  Left to ourselves, our services would surely look different, and our natural tendencies of pride and greed would be our motivation.  It is only because of God’s great act of love in sacrificing Himself to pay the penalty for OUR sin that we know what it truly means to love.  And it is only by Jesus capturing our hearts and guiding us with His Spirit that we are able to love and serve you well.  So, all praise be to Him for that!

Now, although we anticipated we would end up in Twin Falls, the Lord had other plans and provided Luke with a job on the Boise Fire Department.  Since we had just had Hutch and a baby was literally latched to me most of the time (as you mom’s with young babies know), Luke kept his real estate license to help with showing houses and taking care of clients when I couldn’t make it out. When I started TripleCord, my desire was just to be a one person brokerage—well, maybe two if I could talk Luke in to sticking in it with me.  But, the Lord had written the story differently. Shortly after we opened shop, Mark Gould, who was a friend from church, approached me and said he was interested in getting his real estate license.  He asked if he could join us as a part-time agent.  Mark is one of the most friendly, funny, and down to earth people I have met.  He excels in building meaningful relationships with the people he works with and works hard on their behalf in the process.  He has been such an asset to our company!  We are trying to encourage his wife, Anne, to join us as well =-)  I’m pretty confident the two of them make an awesome team if that’s where the Lord leads.  No pressure, Anne.

In February 2013, Luke was loving working with the fire department and decided to let his real estate license lapse.  I was sad to lose him.  But, later that year, the Lord provided someone else to step in and help with our growing business. Becka Marston, who I had met through our involvement with Boise Young Life, got her license and engaged in conversations about joining TripleCord.  In the beginning, we weren’t her first choice.  But, I’m thankful the Lord changed her mind and encouraged her in our direction because I can’t imagine how our business would be without her. She is kind, hard working, concerned for her clients, and a great communicator. The other thing I love about her is her passion for real estate.  This winter during the slow season, she was having a hard time with no real estate business. But what I loved was that it wasn’t so much about not having deals closing or making money, but more about the fact that she just really missed being able to use her gifts to do the thing she loves—helping people buy and sell houses. Since spring hit, she has been off and running and I recently asked if she was feeling overwhelmed or stressed with all she has on her plate.  Her answer, “No.  I love doing this!” 

Over the next 2 ½  years, it was Mark, Becka, and me.  Although life seemed to get extra especially busy when Luke and I welcomed our 4th child, Ellie Marie in March of 2014, I was content to keep our brokerage as it was. But in the summer of 2015, through circumstances that could have only been planned by our sovereign God, I met Karin Schick. Though I didn’t think I needed an assistant at the time, she helped me see that I did.  And, I brought her on as TripleCord’s Director of Operations in August 2015.  Karin has been a big help to the growth of our company and also a great encourager to me.  She helped me record the processes I use to help clients with buying and selling homes and setup systems that could be easily followed by new agents in our company.  She also encouraged me in my writing and in putting together a monthly e-newsletter, which would not get out to you without her.  On top of all that, she is one of the main reasons this party came together tonight.  I’ve wanted to do one for several years, but I’m NOT a party planner—I just like to show up and hang out.  She said she could help make it happen, and she didn’t fail to live up to her promise!  Karin got her real estate license last year and has already had the privilege of helping friends with buying and selling their homes.  She will be transitioning into running her real estate business full-time next year, but will still be helping me with a few things I definitely need her for, like that e-newsletter and future parties =-)

Next on the scene was Ken.  Ken came to Idaho from California where he had previously been a college basketball coach.  He was directed to TripleCord by mutual friends, Jay & Heather Hughes. And I’m so grateful God put the thought into their heads to encourage Ken both into real estate and to talk to me.  I wasn’t sure he was going to choose TripleCord for sure at first.  He’s a hard sell and a good negotiator—two of the many qualities that make him a great agent—but I’m thankful he ended up coming on with us.  As you all know, it is extremely helpful to have a good advisor and coach on your side when you are buying or selling a home.  His experience with coaching has made him excel in this area.  And, his past experience in sales has given him great regard for exceptional customer care.  His presence has been a special gift to our company!

A few months after Ken signed on with us, Becka encouraged Kara to join us as well.  Kara had been an agent at a large brokerage in the area for 3 years and was looking for something smaller, with a broker who could be more hands on and connected.  She has been a sweet provision and a beautiful addition to our tight knit real estate family. Kara is an incredibly hard worker, who pays particular attention to detail and excels in communication.  She is also humble and witty, with a heart the overflows with kindness.  Her care and concern for her clients is truly amazing to witness and a great representation of what all of us at TripleCord believe---that YOU are important and that a strong, committed relationship built on trust and regard for YOUR best interests over our own is how God has called us to care and serve you well.   

As we move forward, my role in the company is changing.  I have had to step back from the role of real estate agent—being the one to walk alongside our clients—and have moved into the role of broker, which involves training, managing, mentoring, and walking alongside my agents so THEY can best walk alongside the clients who have been entrusted to us.  As anyone who has had to place kids, clients, or work projects into the hands of others would know, it can be difficult to let go and to trust others to care for your people, your things, and your passions.  You worry about whether or not they will do as good of a job as you.  Or if those people or things you turn over will flourish in their care. But the Lord has shown me over and over how He has given me such great agents, who often outdo me in their hard work and love and care for our clients. It has been a joy to take part in training them, and then to watch them go out and excel in their work.   In every case where someone has been referred to me and I have placed that person in the hands of my agents, the client has come back and given such great reviews about the agent who helped them.  Several of you here have actually never worked with me and have worked with Mark, Becka, Karin, Ken or Kara directly.  I know all of you can attest to this as well, these guys are awesome at what they do!  I’ve worked with a lot of agents over my years and these 5 people excel in their service toward their clients and their care for their clients’ needs over their own.  I am exceptionally blessed to have them as part of this company!

Thank you all, so much, for supporting us with your business and for trusting us with the referral of your coworkers, friends, and family members.  We hope you will continue to do so!  It is a privilege to use the gifts God has given us in a vocation we love to serve people we love as well!