Lead. Teach. Serve. These are the simple but impactful principles that Mike Parker has woven into the fabric of his life. More specifically, he is committed to lead differently, teach relentlessly, and serve passionately. It is a trilateral philosophy that actualizes a singular purpose—to be a “Man of the People.”
Mike has been called a rainmaker, a mentor, a servant leader, and a sales phenom, but his most treasured moniker is “giver.” It is a title befitting one who has bestowed so many gifts to so many people. Whether he is putting a client in the home of their dreams, helping someone succeed in their career, or providing spiritual guidance, his sole mission is to enrich the lives of others. In his own eloquent words, Mike shares, “I’m here to help people become the best version of themselves, which in turn, helps me be the best version of myself.”
One platform from which Mike conveys his spirit of generosity is his business. He is president and owner of the Parker Real Estate Group, an agency under HUFF Realty, which is part of the Berkshire Hathaway affiliate HomeServices of America. As a 35-year veteran of the real estate industry and one of the top agents in the U.S., Mike offers clients a full suite of financial amenities backed by experience and integrity and delivered by a true and humble gentleman. He has assisted buyers and sellers with all property types in all price ranges, never failing to educate the client and prioritize their specific needs. To date, he’s helped more than 3,000 people buy or sell their Northern Kentucky properties and, in the process, he’s earned the trust and respect of clients and made a whole lot of friends. “It’s not strictly business for me. I want to uplift others and that might happen while I’m conducting business or when I’m not.” For Mike, whether it’s giving away turkeys through his hometown food pantry or laying wreaths on the graves of soldiers every time he visits Italy, it’s a matter of practicing good deeds and being kind.
And to that end, Mike was kind enough to speak with The Top 100 Magazine and share his unique perspectives on merging business with humanity.
Mike, who or what inspires you to give, share, and be a “servant leader?”
It comes from a few places. My mom taught me to be a Southern Gentleman and all that that implies. Whatever admirable qualities I have can be credited to her. Doug Aulick, my baseball and basketball junior coach, taught me sportsmanship, which I apply in doing business. He was forgiving, and if I made a mistake, he wouldn’t chastise me. He would say, “You’ll get them next time.” Also, when you grow up in a tiny town, you all look out for each other. I’ve got a few colleagues in real estate who continually inspire me—Pat Zaby, who I’ve I always looked up to as a speaker and leader; Howard Brinton, who’s had a huge impact on my life; Gee Dunsten and Amy Stoehr, who have guided me through many business decisions; Tom Ferry, who mentors me using his ECO system; and Tausha Fournier, our phenomenal business coach. You model yourself after people you respect, and, hopefully, the full breadth of your experiences nurtures others.
You place a tremendous emphasis on sharing your experience and teaching real estate agents. Tell us a little about your process.
I always ask my people, “How much money do you need?” Then, in response to the sum they mention, I say, “Okay, you need ‘X’ number of closings. Let’s get you there.” At the onset, this gives me an idea of what type and level of training an individual needs, and we employ a number of methods because everybody learns differently. One of our techniques is to provide vision boards because 85% of the human race learns through visuals. People appreciate the resources made available to them, and in turn, they have job satisfaction and stick around. In 1998, Melondie Sullivan came on board and she’s been with me ever since. She became the operations manager after completing over 2,500 closings. I’ve always had the motto, “Work hard, play hard, treat people fairly.”
What led you to a career in real estate?
My first job was doing construction for Kentucky Utilities. Sometime later, I decided I wanted to serve my country, so I joined the Marine Corp Reserves. After I completed 15 months of active duty, I returned to my job at Kentucky Utilities but as fate would have it, a breaker exploded in front of me and I was badly injured. I spent 57 days in the burn unit, then two years in rehab, but in retrospect, it was one of the best things to happen to me because it led me to reevaluate my career options. I had a friend in real estate and decided to try it out. At first, I did commercial transactions but I soon realized that I preferred the residential side. Initially, I was not at a status I was comfortable with—I was a novice and that is something I’m not used to. As an athlete, I played in 38 states for 19 years and won numerous state, local, and world championships with different teams, so I was conditioned to perform at a certain level. That’s when my competitiveness took over. I set my sights on getting to the top, and that’s what I did. That appetency never faded—I’m still as motivated as ever and my goals keep evolving, so there’s no ceiling and I’m always learning. I’ve been to 32 of the last 33 real estate conventions and I spend 15-20 days each year learning from the top professionals in the country. People in real estate say you have to recreate yourself every five years—I do it every 18 months.
Mike is the only agent in the U.S. to be in the Hall of Fame of both RE/MAX and HUFF Realty. He has received more than 200 awards in real estate, has spoken/trained in 42 states, completed the University of Notre Dame’s certification course, received the Nate Sanders Educator of the Year Award, has served in local, state, and national roles for the National Association of Realtors, is a Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), an Accredited Buyer's Representative (ABR®), a Seniors Real Estate Specialist® (SRES®), and a Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI).
President and Owner
Parker Real Estate Group/HUFF Realty
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