Editorial: The Birth of a Seminar

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the April 1977 issue of the Real Estate News Observer.

How does a Seminar/Workshop begin? Perhaps you think somebody just sits down and decides to write two or three days of material on a subject they are familiar with…and then ask other people to pay money to hear them read what they have written. Not so! That just wouldn’t work. Why? Well, because the “other people” would probably think they could do a better job, and so why pay someone else for what he could do himself?

No, the beginnings of a Seminar are usually something quite different. In evaluating the really successful seminars today, the Allen’s, the Berven’s, the Starr’s, the Considine’s, the Hamel’s…one thing stands out: the seminar is filling a need. The “other people” are feeling and experiencing a need, and are reaching out to find the solution to the need.

Now, sometimes that need has to be pointed out, has to be brought to the attention of the practitioner because perhaps that need is hidden from view … or ignored because of its intensity. (Individuals cannot always face a threat.)

Let’s consider, for example, the “new” “Broker Asset Building” Seminar/Workshop, with B. Hunter Quistgard. The story is that the late Clifford Paul Weaver, a successful real estate practitioner from San Jose, California, always admired and respected the town’s leading real estate “Professional;” we’ll call that “professional” Mr. V.I. Powerful, for the purpose of this true story.

Mr. Powerful lived in a lovely home on the outskirts of town with a lovely wife and lovely children; he was a man of considerable estate which he had made himself, obviously in successful real estate dealings along the way; he had built his reputation by building estates for others – his clients and associates; he owned a lovely car and was a “community leader.”

Well, Mr. Powerful passed away very suddenly one day. The entire town mourned his passing – the passing of this great and noble man. But of course wasn’t it wonderful that he certainly had left his wife and family so comfortably set – no worries for the rest of their lives, no doubt. Not so!

In a few short months, the family home had to be sold; the children had to leave school and go to work; and the wife was thrown to the mercy of relatives! This “great and powerful man” was not really so great and powerful. He died penniless.

How could this be? Cliff Weaver and Hunter Quistgard were utterly shocked by this turn of events. They decided it just would not happen to them. They decided to find the ways to utilize the opportunities that should have been known and practiced by Mr. V. I. Powerful … who lived for years in his preferred business of real estate – making fortunes for others – but ignoring his own estate. Taking that commission and “running;” asking nothing but the brief short-lived “commission,” or “fee,” for his efforts … and giving the client the benefit of his expertise.

Cliff and Hunter found the ways to solve this problem and put them to use in their own lives. They simply did for themselves what they were doing for their clients and in addition, took advantage of the opportunities that were available to them as professionals in a field they knew from the bottom up …… they did build their own estates.

And in doing so, they talked to their associates and friends who could see the need, and who had felt it. People began asking them for advice, and making suggestions; soon they had more information than they could possibly use themselves. Other friends of friends began to ask them – personally and in letters, to tell them what they had learned … and a seminar was born!

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