Story by Matthew Auerbach • Photo by Abner Pedraza
Ken Courtney of Re/Max Prestige Realty has spent almost 40 years as a successful Realtor in Palm Beach County. The decades have not diminished his passion for his work, and his capacity to embrace the future remains constant.
“When you love what you’re doing and you’re good at it, you keep doing it for as long as you can,” he explained. “One of the things I love most about my profession is that the nature of the business is always changing. When I first began selling, we didn’t have cell phones and, obviously, no computers. No e-mails, texting, internet, Google, Facebook, Zillow, nothing. Times change, and if you don’t adapt and change with today’s technology, you will be left in the dust. I have no plans to be left in the dust.”
After graduating from Florida Atlantic University in 1970 with a degree in psychology, Courtney moved to West Palm Beach. In the 1970s, he worked as a social worker, counselor and group home parent for mentally and emotionally challenged adults.
He wasn’t looking to change careers until, after a very positive experience buying a home in 1977, he decided to try his hand in real estate. When the Re/Max Realty franchise opened its first office in West Palm Beach in 1980, Courtney was one of the first agents to sign up. That move changed his life dramatically. “I always smile when I think about my first day at the new office, because that Re/Max office is where I met my wife, Nancy,” he said. “Nancy already lived in Wellington with her two young sons, Danny and Drew. I moved to Wellington in 1983, and we married in 1985.”
Two years later, Nancy gave birth to their daughter, Katie.
Courtney first began selling homes in Wellington in 1980 when the community was in its infancy and still developer-controlled. He marvels at the ways in which it has grown over time into a much-envied location for people of varied interests. “After years of controlled and thoughtful growth, Wellington has been honored nationally many times as a premier hometown community, as well as a destination for world-renowned equestrian venues,” Courtney said.
The commitment to treat every sale or purchase as a top priority has served Courtney well.
“The majority of my business comes from referrals and repeat business from loyal customers and friends whom I’ve known and enjoyed working with over the years,” he said. “I am truly grateful for the loyalty people have shown. I learned many years ago that customer loyalty must be earned and can never be taken for granted.”
Courtney has also learned another important lesson over the years: to treat those coming up the way he himself was treated.
“Early on, I had a mentor who took the time to help me learn what it takes to be successful in real estate sales,” he said. “Likewise, I’ve always felt it’s my obligation to pay it forward to the younger agents who I work with and hope I’m able to get across that hard work, honesty and strong ethics are the keys to success and longevity in the business.”
2017 will be Courtney’s 40th year in real estate. Time may have passed and the technological aspects of the business may have progressed, but his love of what he’s doing remains as fresh as ever.
“I enjoy beating the bushes for new customers. Of course, this requires being creative and aggressive, and it is what new agents need to do to get started in the business,” he said. “It’s what I did to get started, and it’s something I still enjoy doing to keep my selling skills strong.”
Re/Max Prestige Realty is located at 12789 W. Forest Hill Blvd. in the Wellington Plaza. To contact Ken Courtney, call (561) 309-4352.