William F. Richert, S.E.C.

William F. Richert (Bill) was born December 8, 1950, son of Catherine and Harvey Miller Richert of Weatherford, Oklahoma. His brother, Harvey II, is two years older. His mother, Catherine, was from Willow, Oklahoma, which had a population of about 200. Growing up, she and her 5 siblings picked cotton in the fields while being raised in this small town. She later attended Oklahoma University to obtain her degree in education. While there, she met her husband, Harvey, who was studying Accounting. They married in 1940.

Soon after their marriage, Harvey enlisted and served in World War II. As the end of the war neared, Harvey was seriously injured by machine gun fire during the battle for the Remaugan Bridge. (This was the last bridge that was still intact spanning the Rhine River into Germany.) As a result, he spent close to 2 months in a field hospital, then another 18 months in a second hospital before being released. After his return, Harvey and Catherine settled in his hometown of Weatherford, Oklahoma, which is approximately 75 miles west of Oklahoma City. This area is known for its numerous farms and an abundance of tumbleweed, and because it is situated on the famed Route 66, it was always aflutter with truckers and tourists. Harvey was one of the first CPAs to set up practice in Western Oklahoma, and Catherine became a teacher serving this small town of 3,500 people.

After Miller and Bill were born, Catherine left her teaching job to take on the full-time task of raising their two boys. While growing up, the boys were lucky enough to have about 18 other boys their age in the neighborhood. There was a constant stream of baseball or basketball games, and they enjoyed the benefits of growing up in a rural area. During his high school years, Bill was very athletic. He played defensive line on the football team and was the first baseman on the baseball team. He also was on the track team, participating in both the 440 and 880 relays.

Bill graduated from Weatherton High School in 1969 and was accepted into Oklahoma University (OU). He continued on to obtain his BBA in Finance in 1973. As part of the Finance curriculum, he took two semesters of Real Estate classes. He then completed a summer internship at the state capital, which gave him a different perspective and more exposure to the real world. During his junior year, he found that his previous class work met the requirement to sit for the Real Estate licensing exam in Oklahoma. He registered for $15, then took and passed the test at the minimum age of 21.

During his senior year, Bill worked part-time for a residential Real Estate agency in Norman, Oklahoma, near campus. He quickly realized that he did not enjoy the residential side of the business and discussed commercial opportunities with his broker. They wanted to become more involved in the commercial end but found it hard to make the transition.

During his time at OU, Bill met and dated his future wife, Betsy, who was studying education. After graduating, Betsy took a teaching job in Tulsa, and Bill found himself frequently traveling to visit her. During one of his trips, he met one of her good family friends who owned a large regional chain of markets. Soon after, that gentleman introduced him to the owner of the largest Commercial Real Estate office in Tulsa. Bill was offered and accepted a sales position with that firm and moved to Tulsa. Bill and Betsy were then married on June 1, 1974.

This commercial firm had a great training program and strongly encouraged him to obtain his CCIM Designation. He worked his way through the core curriculum and then obtained his designation in 1979 and is Designee number 1066 of the Institute. Subsequently he became one of the charter members of the Oklahoma CCIM chapter. In the early ’80s, he also earned the Real Estate Securities and Syndication Institute (RESSI) Designation from the National Association of Realtors.

In November 1995, he attended his first S.E.C. meeting in Irvine, California. He had been invited to this meeting by Mac McClure, an S.E.C. member from Dallas, Texas. He and Mac had served on a few CCIM national committees together. During his time as a guest and before becoming a member of the society in 2000, he completed his largest and most memorable exchange transaction. He was representing Ticor Title in the disposition of a large tract in Oklahoma, which the company had recently foreclosed on. He presented the property at the S.E.C. Family meeting in Durango and got a taker. It took almost 3 years to complete, but the $4.5-million-dollar transaction closed. He says that the most significant benefit he has received from the Society over the past 15 years is the ability to leverage his national contacts to benefit his clients, who are involved in transactions across the country.

Bill’s current practice encompasses a fair mix of Exchanges, Industrial, Land, Retail, and Subdivision. His main business philosophy is based on the concept of Counseling. He feels that in this new age of data and information, Counseling is becoming more important. As Bill said, “Although people have the raw data and maybe the property information, they still need to be counseled as to what their real objectives are.” Counseling is one of his stronger attributes, possibly because he is very patient and a good listener. Two facets he says everyone should focus on are persistence and follow through. Bill receives great satisfaction from assisting people with resolving their issues and reaching their end goal. He stated, “This is what keeps me engaged and why I enjoy the business.” Bill’s determination and commitment has not gone unnoticed by his peers. Bill was recognized as Tulsa Realtor of the Year in 2007.

As a proud husband, father, and grandfather, he counts his family as the most significant thing in his life. Bill and Betsy have 3 children, two daughters and a son. Betsy is currently a librarian at the public school. Their daughter Jamie is 36 years old, married, and lives in Tulsa with two sons, Brogan and Drayton. Their daughter Megan is 33 years old, married, and has one son, Corbin. Their son John is 28 years old and is currently a landman in the oil and gas industry.

Outside of work and family, Bill enjoys hiking, skiing, and white water rafting. He and Betsy recently hiked Black Mountain while at the January S.E.C. meeting in Carefree, Arizona. He also enjoys relaxing at home and smoking ribs and meats in his backyard. He is currently in the middle of a two-year term as chairman of the board of The Harvard Avenue Christian Church, where he is a parishioner. He and the minister are orchestrating an 18-month $10-million-dollar renovation of the church. He is a past president of the Society; past president of the Tulsa Board of Realtors; currently serving on the Oklahoma Association of Realtors; past president of the Oklahoma CCIM Chapter; and, with his wife Betsy, served as cochair of the PTAs at their children’s schools, where he coached softball, baseball, and soccer.

Bill feels that he has accomplished many of his life goals and is ready to enjoy the next chapter of his life surrounded by his loving family and grandchildren. His current business goals include getting back into ownership and creating some value-added opportunities. To this end, he is currently working on a very large land deal.

One of Bill’s favorite quotes is by Theodore Roosevelt:
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by the dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

If Bill could impart one business suggestion to future S.E.C.s—or to Realtors, for that matter—it would be “Don’t be afraid to fail.” In other words, make the decision to implement your project, open a business, or take a chance. Nothing grates on an entrepreneur (and if you’re in real estate, you’re an entrepreneur) more than looking back at an opportunity lost. Not all of our ideas are successful, but you don’t know which ones will be until you explore them. Thomas Edison said he failed 10,000 times before he found the answer to the light bulb.

Bill Richert is a seasoned Real Estate professional and is highly trained at this skill. As is evident in this biography, Bill has not only excelled in his career but continues to freely and generously give of himself to his family, community, clients, and industry peers. For these reasons, all who have the good fortune to cross paths or transact with this kind gentleman are indeed very fortunate.

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