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 spotShirk, 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 serviceHelping 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. Since 1995, Shirk has served on 11 association committees as well as on the board of directors for two years. She also served on the board of directors for MLSOK.com, the association’s wholly owned subsidiary, and on committees and the board of the Oklahoma Association of Realtors. She is a volunteer with the Oklahoma chapter of the Council of Residential Specialists of the National Association of Realtors, was chapter president in 2005 and has served on several national CRS committees.
Dogged voluntarismOutside the real estate business, Shirk is active with the Oklahoma City Kennel Club — the Shirks own two Pembroke Welsh corgis, Charlie and Sarah. She is helping organize Habitat for Canines, a joint project of Central Oklahoma Habitat for Humanity and the Oklahoma City Summer Classic Dog Show May 2 to build 75 doghouses in one day for Habitat homeowners in the Hope Crossing addition and elsewhere in the metro area. She previously was active with the Capitol Hill Sertoma Club and the YWCA. "Maggie’s voluntarism, commitment to education and professionalism in the real estate industry, dedication to Oklahoma City and especially her upbeat and positive attitude are all qualities that exemplify the spirit of the term ‘Realtor,’ ” said Dawn Kennedy, who is chief executive of the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors. "The embodiment of that spirit is the true meaning of this award and as an association we are very pleased that Maggie is the recipient.”