When the Oklahoma Association of Realtors selected Bill Poertner to honor with its Lifetime Achievement Award, it was a tip of the hat to a man whose career is like a tour of the history of the real estate business in Oklahoma.
The award carries with it Life Member status for Poertner.
“It's like the Hall of Fame for athletes,” Poertner joked, “only I don't have to be retired or deceased” to be inducted.
After 34 years as an Oklahoma City metro area Realtor and 30 years as a licensed broker, Poertner remains as active as ever, since 2010 as an associate with Metro First Realty in Edmond.
Active for 29 years on committees with both the Oklahoma City Metro Association of Realtors and the Oklahoma Association of Realtors, Poertner said that serving the community of Realtors is “the way I was taught.”
He has served twice as president of the state chapter of Certified Residential Specialists, and has been active on the state association's board of directors and numerous state committees.
“All my mentors were focused on giving back to their colleagues,” Poertner said. “That was just the culture.”
Poertner began his career in suburban Denver after graduating from the University of Colorado.
Sharing Oklahoma roots, he and his wife, Lea Anne, returned to their home state in the late 1970s.
It was an easy call, Poertner said. Watching Oklahoma's rising real estate market from Colorado, where “affordability was being squeezed” made him eager to jump the state line.
Plus, Poertner's heart was in Oklahoma.
“We knew it's where we wanted to raise our family,” he said. “There's just something special about Oklahoma.”
Time after time, his business dealings over the years have been “like in the movie ‘Oklahoma!' ” he said. “Here, your word and your integrity mean everything.”
Poertner got his start in Oklahoma as an agent with Abide Realty, one of a handful of locally owned and operated firms that handled most of the state's residential real estate business.
As Abide transformed through mergers and acquisitions, Poertner settled with Coldwell Banker Advantage as relocation director, and launched that company's real estate school.
Poertner next landed at Keller Williams as productivity coach.
Poertner describes his present home, Metro First Realty, as a company modeled on “agent freedom” where “agents already have successful business plans from previous experience.”
Poertner said his experience has taught him that in realty, no man is an island.
Terry Pufahl, Poertner's longtime associate and mentor, emphasized Poertner's dedication to clients and colleagues alike.
“Bill is one of those people who does everything he does for the benefit of his customers and the Realtor community,” said Pufahl, a broker-associate with Keller Williams Platinum in Oklahoma City.
Whether it's helping homebuyers with “the most important investment they'll ever make” or receiving an award of recognition for his decades of service, “it takes other Realtors to make what I do possible,” Poertner said.
“I bleed Realtor blue,” he added while discussing his recent accolades in a house at 6916 Cypress Hollow, a 2007 custom home by builder Jim Knight listed for sale by Metro First Realty.
At just under 3,800 square feet, the four-bedroom home with three full baths and three half-baths rests on a lot more than 1 ½ acres in size.
Listed at $685,000, it features a chef's kitchen and hardwood or tile flooring throughout.
To be eligible for the Lifetime Achievement Award, a Realtor must have been a member of the state organization for at least 30 years, been nominated by a local board and have demonstrated unusual meritorious service.