Dar became my best friend when I moved to St. Paul, MN in 1964, and the friendship continued through high school and college to this day. We were fraternity brothers at Delta Tau Delta at the University of Minnesota and best men at each other’s weddings. I knew Dar would be successful at an early age because he was smart with money, smooth at business and was a master at building relationships. He was the first to teach me the business and selling skills that I use today.
During the summers of 1970-1972, to earn money for college when jobs were scarce, we started Knox-Reedy Painting Company. We hired unemployed college students to help us paint residential homes and worked by the job, instead of the hour. We learned the incentive of doing a job promptly and properly.
In November 1972 I joined Dar in a real estate licensing class, got my license then sold for a small company. In 1973 he invited me to join him in a new startup company called Burnet Gagner Realty. It was one of my best moves ever.
During those early years I watched Dar open the St. Paul side of the company and take it from just the two of us up to 20-plus offices and a dominant market share. He showed me how to open new offices, recruit agents and develop a profitable business. It was he who taught me the “price is right” game where you point out a recent sale to a prospective buyer then have them guess the sale price. It’s always higher than they expect so after a few rounds, buyers begin to get realistic about what they’ll have to pay for a home.
Dar has been a constant source of advice and counsel as I grow my business. Thank you, Dar. By bringing me to Burnet Gagner Realty, I met my next mentor, Ralph Burnet.