A new type of realtor

Deborah Minck is the new president of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors. The director of sales and marketing for Tioga Realty is putting a focus on members and making the public aware of how much community service they provide.

MICHAEL C. WEIMAR/The Gainesville Sun
Published: Monday, January 16, 2006 at 6:01 a.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, January 15, 2006 at 10:59 p.m.



President Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors
LAST BOOK SHE'S READ: (she always reads two at a time) "Less Is More Leadership: 8 Secrets to How to Lead & Still Have a Life" by by H. Dale Burke and "Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul" by John and Stasi Eldredge BEST PARTNER FOR TENNIS/SOFTBALL/WHATEVER: Her husband, Mark BEST ADVICE SHE'S RECEIVED: The goal at the end of my life is to hear "Good and well done, faithful daughter."
Do the right thing, and the right thing will happen to you.
CD IN HER CAR'S PLAYER: A children's worship CD.
Florida and North Central Florida have been experiencing unprecedented growth in the housing sector, and Minck sees very little evidence that will be different this year.

Deborah Minck, new president of the Gainesville Alachua County Association of Realtors, loves change, says she's "born for it."
So this year GACAR's membership can look forward to some new ways of doing things: a newsletter with a fresh new design; a revamped Web site; more free technology, leadership, professional development and legal seminars; more interesting luncheons; and a heightened public awareness of who and what Realtors are.
"One of the key things I will stress this year is the people. We have a dynamic organization and a great group of leaders within it. I am looking for public awareness of the type of members we have.
"Realtors have a heart of gold, and many do an enormous amount of community service. Most people don't realize this, because Realtors don't toot their own horn. But you become a Realtor because you have a heart for people and a heart to serve."
Installed at a banquet Friday night, Minck, 33, is heading a group that has doubled in size since her first involvement, and a real estate environment that shows no signs of slowing down.
Becoming president of GACAR is a several-years investment of time, as candidates move up the ranks of committees and officers to reach the top. "When I committed to this, we only had 600 members; now I think we have 1,200. Growth is good, but you have to put order to it, and expand so it's most beneficial to members. I love change. It'll all be for the good."
Florida and North Central Florida have been experiencing unprecedented growth in the housing sector, and Minck sees very little evidence that will be different this year. "From all the national statistics, there is nothing in the short term that indicates there will be a downturn. Interest rates are still low, home ownership is on the rise and will continue to be so. As for a 'bubble' ready to burst, I haven't seen it.
"If anything, we will match previous statistics. Last year we said, 'Oh, we'll never beat this,' but we have exceeded it. We have wonderful builders, and new people are moving into Gainesville, not just across town. The market is strong."
While the 2005 hurricane season certainly took its toll on construction materials since "the building industry is going to have to rebuild the entire Gulf Coast," Minck said the price increase on local supplies "seemed to be across the board, but I still think it's viable to build and/or purchase a home. We have not seen a downturn. I thought we would, but we haven't."
She also hopes to polish the reputation Realtors may have during this prosperous period. "It's a good time to be a Realtor, if you want to serve. People mistakenly look at Realtors and think it's all about commission and money, but anyone who is successful in this business has given their life to serve and help people - often at uncommon hours of day or night.
"If someone gets into it just to get rich, they're gone. It's a short-lived career. If they come in to help people buy and sell real estate, assisting with every intricacy, they'll last."
Minck's own introduction to being a broker for Tioga Realty - marketing developments such as Town of Tioga, Dylan's Grove, Villages of West End and Cottages of Millhopper - came quite by serendipity.
The Orlando native was in nursing school at the University of Florida, heading for a career in an emergency room ("I love trauma") when her grandmother fell ill and she went to take care of her. If a nursing student misses two weeks of classes, they must drop out and start again the following year, she said.
When she got back, she met and married Mark Minck, a third-generation Gainesvillian, and the couple set out to start a family right away. They considered her choice of career, and decided it was not conducive to being a family with normal hours. "I commend nurses for what they do; they are saints," Deborah said.
Her son Isaac wasn't born until 10 years later, but in the meantime, Minck found her true niche.
Through an acquaintance she was approached by the developers of Town of Tioga who were looking for someone to work part-time marketing the family-centered neighborhood on Newberry Road. Minck - who didn't have the slightest clue about the business - dove right in, taking every course and seminar she could. She earned her real estate license and then became a broker. She now manages eight associates and several more employees. "I found I had a passion for it. And everyone is on the team. We have had zero turnover. We have created a family here. Why come to work if you can't enjoy who you are with?"
She credits her husband, Mark, for her successful rise in her career. He is a mortgage lender for Wachovia Mortgage Corporation and currently rents office space in the Tioga Realty suite. "We don't have to compartmentalize our life, everything is intertwined, so it makes for a great marriage. He's been my greatest source of counsel for management and sales, since he had spent 10 years with a national sales team with Altel Communications. He's really mentored me, and no one challenges me like he does. He's been my secret weapon. I don't think I would be here if it weren't for him."
Minck's full worklife is made even busier by her many outside affiliations: Rotary Club of Gainesville, the Gainesville Chamber of Commerce, the Builders Association of North Central Florida and as founder and leader of a young singles business ministry at her church, The Rock of Gainesville, guiding them in matters of ethics and professional development. "I have a passion to see people succeed. Sometimes they don't know the practical basics of business. There's no school to learn day-to-day life decisions."
The long-awaited arrival of her son three years ago shifted Minck's focus. "I am really a big family homebody. There's nothing more special than an evening with my husband and son. We've had to say no to a lot of social engagements. Once you have a child, your priorities change. We fight for special time together."
She and Mark also continue having special date nights, which usually involve a "five hour dinner and lots of talking. I can talk to him about things I wouldn't with anyone else. We may be married and parents, but we still need our relationship.
"Our favorite date is to go somewhere and have a five-hour dinner. Our fantasy is to travel the world and visit restaurants."
The coming year will be a busy one for Deborah Minck, but a friend sees her taking it in stride.
Ann Collett, vice president for the Council of Economic Outreach and public policy, who has known Minck for five years, said "I think she will do a great job as president of GACAR. Among the things that come to mind when I think of her is her character and integrity, and to be a leader, those are the moist important qualities."
Collett's real immersion was when she helped with Mark's campaign for county commission last year. "We experienced a lot of pressure and diversity, but had a good time doing it. A political campaign takes a lot of energy, and I could see first hand her energly level, which she applies to her skills in real estate."
Marina Blomberg can be reached at (352) 374-5025 or business@gvillesun.com.

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