Thanksgiving was founded with the idea of reflecting on our blessings, and the real estate industry had many such blessings to count this year: interest rates have remained low and home sales stayed high, among other things. With the idea of counting blessings, we asked a group of hardworking real estate movers and shakers what they are thankful for in their professional lives this year.

Carolyn Earley-Hilt
Associate Broker, Coldwell Banker
Columbus, Ga.

“I have been blessed so much. I am thankful to be part of the American dream. This is one of the most powerful professions; it’s helping people achieve home ownership, the American dream. Even though we do have some crooks in the business. That’s not something I’m thankful for, but I am thankful for the people we are able to honestly help.”

Travis Wright
CEO, Stewart Realty Solutions
Houston, Texas

“I’m personally and professionally grateful to be part of an organization that is working so hard to streamline the real estate transaction process, and I’m thankful to be part of the team that’s trying to make that a reality.”

Cathy Collins
Realtor, Stanberry & Associates Realtors
Austin, Texas

“I have such wonderful clients. Every one of us probably ends up with one or two people each year when we say, ‘I’ve finished this transaction and I’m glad it’s over,’ and that’s OK, because it’s hard to make everyone 100 percent pleased. But this year I have been so thankful for the referrals I have gotten from past clients, their friends, their families and sometimes themselves. It’s been a rewarding year, I met my sales goals and I’m a happy camper.”

Jeff Anderson
Realtor, RE/MAX Advisors West
Chaska, Minn.

“I’ve been most thankful that Greg Anderson, the broker/owner here, has given me an opportunity to succeed in this, my first year as a full-time Realtor. I was able to sell 15 houses this year with him acting as my mentor and coach. I always have an opportunity to hold his listings open, and I follow up on a lot of leads that come into the office.”

Keith Garner
Strategic architect, NAR Center for Realtor Technology
Chicago, Ill.

“I’m grateful for technology standards like RETS that make it possible for us to write interesting software that can be used all over the country (RETS is a standard for exchanging real estate information and providing easier access and movement of information). I’m working on a project that would make it possible for an agent to have an Excel template set up and just type in the MLS numbers for the property and get average time on the market, all the stuff that goes into a CMA. I’m grateful for the chance to make things easier for agents.”

Erin Toll
Deputy Insurance Commissioner, Colorado

(Toll earlier this year began investigating nine real estate title insurers for alleged kickbacks, setting off a national probe of title insurance companies in several other states.) “I’m thankful for two things: one, those who trusted me when I said the real estate closing issues were important, and two, for the good guys who do it right and play fairly in the market. I’m thankful that the Colorado state government believed in me and gave me the freedom to pursue these cases. As to the good guys, I believe most real estate companies play by the rules, and I’m thankful for them. It has been quite a year for me to accomplish really good stuff for consumers, and it makes me feel good.”


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