In Memoriam: 1971 Florida Realtors Pres. John R. Wood, 1929-2021

NAPLES, Fla. – John R. Wooden realized how to “light up a place.” 

He applied humor (corny and thoroughly clean jokes) and smarts (a legislation degree and a down-house Arkansan perception of write-up-Melancholy resourcefulness) to develop a small business and lifelong associations. It was this enviable mixture as well as a legitimate want to enable people today be successful that drew people today to him.

Wood started John R. Wooden Qualities in 1958, the oldest active actual estate brokerage in Southwest Florida. He died Aug. 4, 2021, just 6 weeks shy of his 92nd birthday.  

As the 1981 Countrywide Affiliation of Realtors® (NAR) president, Wood led NAR’s persuasive “Unlock the Economy” campaign to market very affordable homeownership as a vital to ending the economic downturn when mortgage loan interest costs peaked previously mentioned 18%. Present-dwelling profits experienced plummeted by 50% considering that 1978. 

He termed the White Dwelling and Congress to endeavor at many high-stage meetings in Washington. “In modern periods, the commitment to a national housing goal has begun to disappear,” Wooden informed the Senate Committee on Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs in Might 1981. “If this anti-housing trend ought to proceed, our children will be not able to afford homeownership, and the appropriate to personal residence will be constrained to the loaded.”

With Wooden at the helm, “we ended up energized,” says Monthly bill Watson, Jr., Watson Realty Corp. founder and chairman of the board. “We were active in Washington. And when NAR experienced legislative days, we labored the ‘waterfront’ striving to get some aid for householders,” Watson states. “We couldn’t have a far better spokesperson. John was a charmer. Everyone appreciated him – that was a substantial benefit.”

Watson, Florida Realtors® president in 1981 and Florida Realtors Spirit of Advocacy award winner in 2021, met Wood in 1968 when they took GRI courses more than three yrs. Wooden was appointed dean of the class. “He’d open up with two or 3 jokes and then get his message throughout … whatsoever it took to get items moving along.”

They remained excellent close friends. “Over the a long time, he requested me a lot of occasions: ‘Is there just about anything I can do for you?’ He realized how to make you come to feel excellent, which built you want to do excellent. He had the capacity with his smile to neutralize adverse conditions,” Watson claims.

As president of Florida Realtors in 1971, Wood rallied help for state Realtor initiatives. A great number of occasions through Real estate agent situations, he’d be cracking jokes to get the crowd’s consideration and then get to the place, no matter if it was to assist legislative attempts or continued education. 

Question just about anybody in the Real estate agent household and they’ll say the exact as they remember what manufactured him tick.

Cathy Whatley, 1996 Florida Realtors president and 2003 NAR president, remembers him when she was a teenager. “My father Jim Buck (Florida Realtors president in 1962) and John ended up pretty very good good friends and great joke tellers. You could be in a room and it was a comedy crew trade-off. They were being engaging and seriously amusing, and they understood how to get matters performed.”

“When I ran for NAR president, John did almost everything to give me counsel, and just about every 12 months he would call me and speak about small business. But he’d also go on about his gardens that he and his wife Wanda tended and his tennis recreation. He was even bigger than existence, gracious and legitimate, and that was in every thing he did. He was hard not to love.”

Wood was a resourceful dude who liked to observe points increase, regardless of whether it was nurturing his natural and organic vegetable back garden and tropical fruit orchard or mentoring youthful, energetic brokers on his serious estate staff. 

He opened the firm in 1958, scraping collectively $200 regular monthly to pay the lease for his storefront workplace by subleasing desk place to other neighborhood business men and women. He generally marketed undeveloped land at the time. Traders were cautious of getting swampland that could not be created, so John made his have unforgettable slogan: “Walk on it just before you get,” which he painted on the facet of the Jeep he utilised to travel prospects around. Wood created his real estate firm’s name on honesty and integrity, to grow to be the biggest brokerage in Southwest Florida with extra than 650 brokers and personnel in 19 workplaces in Lee and Collier counties, racking up $3.8 billion in shut revenue volume from Jan. 1, 2021 to Aug. 31, 2021. 

Along with reaching the maximum-position positions at Florida Realtors and NAR, Wood was active in his local Real estate agent association board, serving two yrs as president, and as chairman of the Florida Actual Estate Commission (FREC). Within just NAR, he was a regional vice president for the Southeast and a member or chairman of much more than a dozen affiliation committees.

He also is fondly remembered as a philanthropist and fundraiser, advocating for lots of local community teams, these kinds of as St. Matthew’s Home, United Way, the Larger Naples Chamber of Commerce, Collier County Junior Deputies and the Boy Scouts.  

“He was a function design to a ton of unique individuals. Not so considerably for how to promote authentic estate, but just for how to lead your everyday living,” his son Phil Wooden, recent president and CEO of John R. Wood Properties, stated in a recent tribute to his father. Phil Wood joined his father in the genuine estate small business in 1977 right after graduating from college or university with a organization degree.  

Jeff Zipper, senior vice president of Communications & Promoting at Florida Realtors, satisfied Wooden when he was new to the state affiliation administration group. “He took me underneath his wing, much too,” Zipper suggests. “Every once in a though, a person breaks by all the things and will allow you to see what a person man or woman can do. John was really a chief. It was generally a greater working day when he was all-around.”

Wood will be fondly remembered and often admired. “He was born to direct,” Whatley suggests. “In his group, in his church and in the Real estate agent loved ones, persons just understood this gentleman was going to make a variation in many lives in a lot of means.”

John R. Wood is predeceased by his spouse Wanda Ross Wood (1930-2017), and survived by his son Phil, granddaughters Corey McCloskey and Nikki Wooden, and two good grandchildren, Hunter and Ryli. Donations in his memory can be made to St. Matthew’s Home or Collier County Junior Deputies.

© 2021 Florida Realtors®

Lorrie R. Pedigo

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