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Dogged volunteering defines Oklahoma City Realtor of Year

BY RICHARD MIZE Published: April 4, 2009
Maggie Shirk is a successful Realtor, but she isn’t the highest-volume sales agent in town.

She’s been at it for 14 years — but others around here have been selling homes longer.

The other day, she didn’t have any listings of her own, but said she was busy enough showing potential buyers houses being handled by other Realtors.

So, she said, it floored her to learn she’d been named as Realtor of the Year for 2008 by the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors.

"Totally shocked me,” said Shirk, who is a sales agent with EXIT Bob Linn Real Estate in Oklahoma City. "I had no idea.”

Put on the spot
Shirk, 68, found out the way every organization hopes its award recipients will learn about such honors: on the spot, during a ceremony, the kind where a handful of people who do know can let the cat out of the bag too early with one incautious whisper.

In this case, it was at the annual association membership luncheon in December. Nobody whispered. Not even John Shirk, her husband, who knew.

"Marolyn Pryor, last year’s president,” she recalled, "was standing there talking about the Realtor of the Year and what this person had done and had accomplished, and I was looking around trying to figure out who it was and all of a sudden she said ‘Maggie Shirk.’ ”

The next second was a long one. She wondered if she’d heard right.

"Everybody started looking at me and applauding, and so I figured she really did say, ‘Maggie Shirk,’ ” she said, laughing.

Giving service
Helping people buy and sell homes is just part of being a Realtor, and it’s just part of what goes into being considered for the honor.