How has forty years passed in an instant? How have four small children grown into middle age adults, and how have nine beautiful grandchildren grown into amazing individuals, each with their own set of talents and personalities?
We have this revolving picture frame in our den where we have all of our pictures both present and past- a great gift by the way to give your parents or grandparents. The frame slides pictures past every fifteen seconds, and if I had the time, could sit and look at for hours, recalling the fabulous times we have had.
I started my career when my oldest was thirteen and youngest three years old. What a challenge it was back then without all of the tools we have today such as cell phones, computers, social media and more! I remember the first fax coming across the machine in my first office at McGuire and Company Realtors in 1982.
At McGuire & Company, I was the youngest agent there and the most “sassy”, I would say, with my positive attitude and innovative (for the time) marketing ideas. The agents accepted me, somewhat slowly at first and didn’t even laugh when I told them I would be number one in a short time. As I think back, I don’t think I would have liked me much either.
Stubborn and determined, and having four children at home I needed to help support, I set out a business plan and forged ahead. Using the old MLS books, since we did not have a digital MLS system at the time, I would pick out homes to show then use the old KeyMap book to mark the way to homes I showed all over Houston.
I also developed a marketing plan which included walking the streets of my neighborhood and one other neighborhood, handing out a little cookbook I put together with family recipes. I called it “Cooking with Interest and Appreciation” – clever huh? That cookbook got me one of my first big sales when one gal on the tennis team I was on told her husband she needed to get her cookbook to look up the number of the agent she wanted to use to buy and sell their homes.
My business soon became a family business with the children and Bob helping me pass out the cookbooks once a year, and flags for July 4th. We would wake the children early on those mornings and try to get the spirit going by shouting out the different teams we had split into. “Go Team Red, Team Blue and Team White” building the competitive spirit to get out there and get their deliveries done first.
One year, at Christmas, my sweet little Mom hand-knitted 100+ tiny Christmas Stockings for me to hand out. We borrowed a truck, packed the kids in the back and drove through the neighborhood singing carols and handing out these miniature stockings. My poor mother must have had calluses on her hands for months!
By the end of my second year in business, I was number one for my office and soon after number one for the company in Houston. By then, the older agents in the office were asking me what it was like to “farm” (go knocking on doors and sending mail outs to get business) and if I thought they should try it. I must say, I got much satisfaction out of being the one they now asked for help instead of being the young, over-confident, new kid on the block.
From those early days, the story unfolds when McGuirt was acquired by Merrill Lynch and Merrill Lynch decided to get out of their short time in real estate and sold to Prudential. And, when Prudential came in, I decided to go to a small boutique company for three years before opening my own highly successful independent brokerage in 1991, later selling to Coldwell Banker, and staying with them for seventeen years as their top producer.
My eldest daughter, Shannon Ferester Petty, came onboard with us upon her graduation from University of Texas in 1990, and helped me start my first company, Ferester & Company, later getting married and moving to San Antonio to raise her family.
By 2015, I decided to lay out my career path for the last phase of my career. We, then, opened Beth Ferester & Company Realtors with a team of five eventually growing to 20 including my eldest granddaughter, Grace Ferester Petty, who was starting her college career at A&M. Grace hung in there and came to live with us every summer of her college career, working with clients and helping us run the company, along with the Charity Coffeehouse we opened next door, called Lovebeans.
Growing over the past few years and gathering the best agents in the business, we were approached in the fall of 2021 by The Corcoran Group out of New York, to launch their franchise in Texas. Hesitantly at first, we listened and then realized what a great asset it would be for the transition of the company uniting with an international highly respected brand. Corcoran had the systems and training for new agents to grow the company and enhance each agent’s career.
Grace graduated this May Summa Cum Laude from A&M, and is a permanent fixture at the Corcoran Ferester office. Now, the time comes to layout my plan to spend the next several years, “passing the torch” on to Grace and younger agents like her, who have grown up with all of the newest tools to help them succeed in this crazy business of real estate. Grace will forge her own path and in her own way. I will continue my business with my long-time clientele and enjoy my time mentoring Grace and other up and coming agents.
I have been blessed with the greatest family, friends, and clients who have supported my business ideas (many times not as enthusiastically as I did) and have allowed me to achieve the pinnacle of success in my chosen career – a career I love. Now having one of my own family joining the business, is the proudest moment of my career. I am so excited and blessed to have Grace here with her grandfather and I to carry on the traditions of our company.