Q&A with Dave Retter

Dave Retter, Broker/owner, Retter and Company Sotheby’s International Realty; SVN Retter & Co.

Number of employees you oversee? 85

Brief background about your company:

I started in 1979 in the business and opened our company in October 1992.  In 2016, after 26 years with another franchise, we changed our franchise affiliation to Sotheby’s International Realty. We are a full service residential sales and leasing, commercial sales and leasing, and property management real estate office.

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

Must lead by example and not just words.

What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?

Think about if it’s really what you want to do. Leadership is not position or title, it is action and example.

Who are your role models or mentors and why?

John Maxwell, Ken Hohenberg, Rufus Friday, Craig Eerkes, Bill Lampson. They all have core values of integrity above all else and help others succeed in order to have company success. They place others above themselves.

How do you keep your team motivated?

Lead by example every day in every way and every week we talk about what being a leader really means.

How did you decide to pursue the career that you are working in today?

I became too old at 25 to be a racquetball player and was convinced by a friend I might be good at helping people buy and sell homes.

How do you measure success in your workplace?

I have surrounded myself with quality individuals who have all the values leaders should possess, including humility. “Our success is measured in direct porportion to the number of people we serve on a daily basis and the value they place on our services.” This 1983 quote is from Ron Garland, a real estate teacher.

What do you consider your leadership style to be?

Hands-on leadership, providing tools, guidance and enpowerment.

What’s the one thing about the Tri-City real estate market you wish people knew?

Regardless of what’s happening in the real estate market, relationships with quality Realtors can make a big difference for everyone.

What is the biggest challenge facing the Tri-City real estate market today?

Low inventory and some of the
misinformation available on the internet about real estate markets nationally and locally.

You recently were selected as Tri-Citian of the Year. What is it about this community that inspires your philanthropy?

My mentors from the Tri-Cities are incredible leaders who give back unselfishly. They are always making the Tri-Cities a better place to live.  Mom taught us kids to give to give, not to get. I see so many Tri-Citians living that example. 

How do you balance work and family life?

I don’t very well. My family knows how important it is for me do my best with everyone that we work with on a daily basis.  (There is a story about the cobbler’s son…)

What do you like to do when you are not at work?

I work so I can take a little time to be with wife Diane, my family and my friends at my Snake River house steelhead fishing or hanging out at Hills Resort at Priest Lake for a couple of weeks in July.

What’s your best time management strategy?

I love to help people in the greatest relationship business there is available. I try to not put off tomorrow what you can do today.

Favorite book?

John C. Maxwell’s “Sometimes You Win, Sometimes you Learn.”

Best tip to relieve stress?

Put a ball on the tee and hit it. I have a picture and poem from a 26-year-old girl in my office who worked for us for six months but passed away from an illness. It’s a good reminder because it’s like I have a friend sitting next to me reminding me that life is short and to treat people kindly and properly and not get caught up in the small stuff because it’s all small stuff. Stress is self-induced, and I don’t believe in it.

Do you have a personal mantra, phrase or quote you like to use? 

“The harder we work, the luckier we get,” and from the 1973 movie “Papillon”: “Hey you bastards, I’m still here.”

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