When I started selling hotels, I did not know anything about the process. I knew what hotels looked like, but I literally didn’t know anything about what to say to a buyer, how to get a listing, process of due diligence, contracts, franchises, etc. I did not even have a business card for a month; I had no fancy handouts, presentations, or the normal crutches people in sales have. Looking back at it, it was the absolute best thing that could have happened to me. Since I didn’t have the normal conversation starters and presentations, I was forced to look at the person and talk to them. Sounds funny, doesn’t it? Today it is easy to hide behind emails, PowerPoint presentations, and handouts and simply miss the most important thing. That is to meet and speak to people face-to-face.

Bob is an important man in my career. He could be one of the most important men. The first week I started selling hotels, I went to the brokerage office to watch and learn what the other brokers were doing. After about three days of watching, I still hadn’t talked to a single hotel owner. I did something that I did not tell anyone about and certainly did not ask for approval before doing.

I got in my white Chevrolet Caprice and determined by God that that day I was going to find me some folks to talk to. The plan was to go down I-75 and walk in the front door of hotels until I found a hotel owner to talk to.

Bless Bob’s heart because he was the first one I came to.

Pause here. You will never know the full impact of the kindness you show to someone else.

Back to Bob. He was the owner of the Days Inn in McDonough, Georgia. When I walked in the front door and asked to speak to the owner, Bob came out and shook my hand. I am certain that after about one minute he knew this guy (me) did not know anything about hotel real estate. But, what Bob did that day changed my life. Even though he knew I didn’t know anything, he talked to me as though I did. He treated me with a kindness and respect that was God-given for that moment in my life. What Bob didn’t know that day was that he could have crushed my spirit by being rude and arrogant. That day, Bob created in me a boldness for selling hotels that has lasted 25 years.

I will never know what I would have done if Bob had been rude and humiliated me. Since he treated me with the respect, I turned my Chevy toward South Georgia and did not stop until I had walked in the front door of 132 hotels that day. In my first year of selling hotels, I won the rookie of the year award for the whole U.S.

Today, Bob lives three streets over from me, and I will be forever grateful to him for his kindness to me that day. I actually hug him every time I see him. I have made it a point for many years when a salesperson calls me to treat them with kindness and respect and to be gentle because you never know what impact kindness will have on other people. KT

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