DAVID LALLY: Welcome to “The Brian Buffini Show,” where we explore the mindsets, motivation, and methodologies of success. My name is David Lally, I’m the producer of the show and I know we may be in challenging times, but that’s just why we’ve been working on shows to keep us upbeat and focused on the good stuff. Let’s listen in.

BRIAN BUFFINI: The top of the morning to you, and welcome to “The Brian Buffini Show.”  I have a great guest on our program today, a real mover and shaker. His name is Ken Trepeta. Ken is the President and Executive Director of RESPRO®. When I was selling real estate, I didn’t even know or hadn’t even heard of RESPRO, but I sure do know today and our goal today is bringing Ken in here so that you’ll have a much better understanding of exactly who and what RESPRO is.

Ken’s been with the National Association of REALTORS®, he was there as the liaison to large firms, as a director from 2007 to 2015, and prior to that, was a vice president with JPMorgan Chase. Prior to that, God bless him, he was a lawyer for a Congressman, so he’s been there, done that. Grew up in New York, living in Maryland, and it’s our great honor to have you on the show today. Ken, thanks for joining us.

KEN TREPETA: Thank you so much, Brian. I’m really glad to be here.

BUFFINI: Let’s dive in at the beginning here. The invisible hand is what I call RESPRO. You guys are everywhere, you do everything, but most agents actually don’t really know that much about RESPRO, so give us the Reader’s Digest version a little bit today of exactly who and what RESPRO is and does.

TREPETA: Basically, we’re the source for one-stop shopping in real estate, to give consumers that option. The best way to describe RESPRO is to start naming some of our members. Basically, our members are all the big players in the settlement services industry, Realogy, RE/MAX, Fidelity, Douglas Elliman Real Estate, we have Howard Hanna Real Estate.

We have about 150 companies that basically represent within a half million real estate agents with their brands, hundreds of thousands of people in the title and mortgage industry, and other folks doing settlement service transactions. We did a survey a couple of years ago, of our members, and asked them how many transactions they did each year, and the number in the US, the number came back over seven million while there was only five million real estate transactions that year.

I always say our members seem to have a hand in everyone’s transaction, whether it’s title, mortgage, or multiple touches. That’s really who RESPRO is, and we’ve been around for 27 years, still going strong trying to improve, trying to be the guide for doing one-stop shopping right in the real estate industry.

BUFFINI: Explain the one-stop shopping experience. If I’m a consumer of real estate or if I’m a real estate agent, how does the one-stop shopping work?

TREPETA: From a real estate agent’s perspective, I’ve always described it this way, it’s the idea that you want to at least be able to because consumers want this option to get all of their services or most of their services through one entity that is affiliated, usually, with their real estate agent but not always. A lot of times, it’s the mortgage person, so that you don’t have to go around and shop around for things, you don’t have to spend eight hours learning about title insurance.

Basically, all the elements of the transaction, and we’ve done consumer surveys for 20 years, consumers want this choice. They don’t always use it, but they want this option because they feel it saves them time, it saves them the hassle. Sometimes, it saves them money, but that’s not even necessarily their priority. It just makes the most complicated transaction easier for folks. That’s what our members try to offer, and they try to offer to their real estate agents, and of course, their customers.

BUFFINI: What’s your role in regards to RESPRO? What are you trying to do as you advocate? How does it work for you?

TREPETA: We do a couple of things. First of all, we are really strong on compliance. Basically, these affiliated business arrangements or the ability to offer one-stop shopping comes out of the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. We advocate to keep those options open, but we also have annual seminars and compliance seminars in order to make sure folks follow the rules because the big thing about RESPRO is there’s two things: one, it governs the transaction, at least at the federal level, and the other part of it is that it makes illegal kickbacks and payments for referrals and things like that.

We’re heavy on the compliance, and we’re heavy on doing these affiliated businesses right and also making sure that consumers are protected. That’s RESPRO‘s main role, and we do this at the state level as well.

BUFFINI: For sure. It’s the old, “You need is on that wall. You want us on that wall” type deal, right? Then we know that the RESPRO laws and a lot of things change from time to time, insurance commissioners come in and out, and things tighten up all the time, and the rules of the game change all the time, isn’t that true?

TREPETA: Right, exactly.

BUFFINI: One of the things that’s fantastic right now is that people, again, it’s not on the nightly news, you won’t see it on CNN, but people are doing real estate deals. People are getting deals done, and you guys have your finger on the pulse. What are some of the feedback you’re hearing from some of your members and clients that are sharing how they’re getting deals done and actually closing transactions in the middle of this pandemic?

TREPETA: It, really, is amazing, and I’m going to share something here that is not in my bio. My mother is a mortgage banker. My stepfather was a builder contractor. Both of them were realtors, and my sister is a realtor currently. My mother is doing deals. She’s 71 years old. She’s still doing deals from her living room in Long Island, New York, one of the hardest-hit areas. My sister just got a listing the other day. She’s setting up virtual tours and things like that. There are impediments to getting deals done, but even in the hardest-hit areas, people are coming through. One of my members told me weeks ago, and apparently, this is extremely common now, in order to sign documents, yes, they’re using things online, remote online notarizations, stuff like that, but literally, the notary came to the house, put the documents on the doorstep, the person took the documents into their living room, the notary watched them sign them through the glass in the living room, and that’s how the transaction was completed. People are being very creative and keeping things going.

BUFFINI: I just closed a commercial transaction on one of my buildings. We have in-house counsel at Buffini & Company, and we have named Peg Selover, who’s our notary. Peg had to notarize the settlement documents for me. We met in the parking lot of our headquarters. It looked like a drug deal. She drove up and parked on one side of the parking lot, I parked on the other. She came out, she put the papers on top of the hood of the car. I get out of the car, sign the papers.

Our bottom line is people are resourceful, people are entrepreneurial, and people are getting the deal done. There are some inefficient ways we’re using that are going to be replaced more and more by more efficient ways, but I think one of the things that’s encouraging is the American spirit. It can’t be held down and it’s always reflected in real estate. We’re having a lot of clients doing business, getting deals done, and there’s things you have to do.

There’s a way to clean the house now for showing, there’s people who are writing offers subject to a physical inspection of the property once they have the property on a contract. I love the fact. It just fires me up. I got to get your mom’s name. I got to write her a note, I’ll go, “A 71-year-old little gal in Long Island in a hotspot for the virus, and she’s still out there getting it done as a realtor.” That gets me going, I got to be honest. It makes me want to do push-ups in the corner.

TREPETA: Right. It really is amazing. Like you said, they’re overcoming hurdles, but they’re getting things done. Part of it is, too, real estate transactions can be done more quickly than ever, but they still take some time. There’s a lot of foundation you can lay even in an area that is essentially shut down in terms of getting people interested in properties, even if you can’t show them in person.

You can close deals without doing things in person, but if somebody still wants to see a place, you can do 90% of the deal and then have them take their look and close it after that. There’s a lot that people can do, there’s a lot of things that people are doing. It is encouraging. I told my members, we had a call with all my members, we have a weekly call to check-in, the pending home sales came out last week, and they were the worst since 2011. Actually, that’s good news. They’re not the worst ever because 2011 wasn’t a great year, but it wasn’t the worst year, so if we’re on track for something like that, then I think we’re in a good position.

BUFFINI: Yes, we just interviewed Dr. Yun here this week and he was projecting only a 10% to 15% dropoff on the whole year. We see some draconian things. Zillow came out yesterday and said there’s going to be a 60% dropoff in sales. There’s another young, hot, economist out there making the waves, and he saying 50%, and when I challenged him on his data, he was getting his data from Northern Italy and San Francisco City.

It’s like doing a projection on the whole country on Manhattan, or what I’ve been telling people is we’re all in the same storm, but not everybody is in the same boat. I’m here in San Diego. We have 3.3 million people in the county, and we’ve had 150 deaths. Orange County, California has 3.2 million people, they’ve had 60 deaths. Things are different in different parts of the country. Things are changing and so on and so forth. A question I have for you is on technology. What kind of technologies are you hearing that people are using to make things go a little smoother and quicker?

TREPETA: Look, I’m old-fashion myself. I always felt like things like virtual tours were cute, from my perspective, but you really wanted to see things in person and things like that, but I think the virtual tour is definitely taking off. I told you before, my sister is setting up one on her new listing. That’s really taking off. The remote notarizations, it’s funny because it’s always been, in some jurisdictions, relatively easy to do a deal.

I worked at the mortgage bank in New York in the ’90s with my mom, and one of those jobs I had was dealing with the closing, and the New York closing, routinely, would have three or four lawyers in the room, all the parties, someone from the bank. I always said it was almost like a wedding in that you had all these people there to witness this going on.

When I bought my house in Maryland, it was my realtor, the seller’s realtor, and the closing agent, and the seller’s realtor had their power of attorney. That was in 2007. It’s always been, in many jurisdictions, possible to minimize how many people are at the closing table to do these things. I think we’re seeing that accelerate, to a degree. People are really assessing “Who really needs to be here for this? What really needs to be done that way?”

BUFFINI: In California, we’re an escrow state, and more than half the market is, and there is no closing meeting, there is no attorney. Everything just happens. It’s like in California, it’s actually anticlimactic. The realtor gets to call and say, “Hey, congratulations you’re recorded,” but there’s no sense of pomp and circumstance. This has been coming for a while.

We have seen some deals ourselves where we’re looking at — Obviously, people are using e-signatures a lot. About 83% of realtors are using e-signatures. The virtual tours is right now about 58%. Again, a virtual tour is great. I tell my kids, “You don’t want to find your partner for life and make a decision online, the same for a house.” It’s okay to check things out, but at the end of the day when it gets down to serious business, people are going to want to see a house. It’s different. It’s not like a restaurant. It’s not a high-traffic area. There’s things that we’re able to do. There’s hospital-grade cleanings that people are doing now as realtors. They’re finding connections. They leave a little table outside. “Here’s a cover for your shoes, here’s some gloves, and here’s the mask.” Then they leave everything open, and everything’s wide open, all the doors are open, all the cabinets are open. We actually put together a little resource on how to stage your house in the current environment.

There’s lots of ways to getting it done.

Again, we know that different states are opening up in different ways right now. Like I said, I think real estate was last into this, I think we’re going to be first out of this, and we’ll see that happening. One of the things you’re looking at, you’ve been looking at the real estate business for a long time, like myself. I was interviewed yesterday and I said, “This is the fourth major one I’ve seen in 35 years.”

I’ve been through a few of these before, different times in different places. From your perspective, you’ve been at this a long time. We have a bunch of real estate agents listening today. We also have thousands of consumers who tune in to this program. What advice would you be giving people as far as the bigger picture, long-term view of housing and the value of housing?

TREPETA: There’s a couple of messages that I really want to get out there. Housing, people need places to live, of course, and I’ll get into that in a second. I think if I were talking to realtors, what I say to my members when they talk to their clients and customers is, and this is going to sound out of left field, “but be real careful with stuff like forbearances.” The government’s telling us that you don’t have to pay your mortgage, and it’s true if you have Fannie & Freddie FHA mortgages.

It won’t ding your credit, but it may make it more difficult to get another mortgage later. What I’m telling people is, if you have a client or customer that is in a situation where they can’t pay their mortgage, truly need to use forbearance, then do it, but don’t do it to gain the system or to try to save money for something else because it may have repercussions later.

I’m just saying to folks, be real careful about forbearances and only use it when absolutely necessary. That’s my big advice point. I’m saying I’ve actually gotten feedback from members where somebody used a forbearance basically to just save up some money, and they were in the process of buying a second home, and it’s affected that deal, and it’s not clear whether the second home deal is going to go through now. They didn’t need to do it, but they were doing it to save money, or they were going to buy something for the new home or whatever. Just be real careful with that, folks. Use it if you need it, but don’t use it if you don’t need it.

BUFFINI: Ronald Reagan, the famous 10 words. “I’m from the government, and I’m here to help.” I think they’ve done the best they can, and you’re on Capitol Hill a lot, and they’ve tried to do the best they can. They shut the economy down, so they tried to help with the CARES Act and did a lot of things. As we know, you’re shooting with a shotgun and not a rifle. We’ve seen abuses of the same, the Lakers and Harvard going for CARES Act and the local restaurant maybe being able to get the money. Sometimes people think, “Oh, man, this is the first time really for American consciousness.” Growing up in Ireland, I talk to home all the time. I was talking to Ireland this morning, my family’s still back there. Their expectation is the government’s going to help them, their expectations is the government’s going to take care of them, their expectation is the government’s going to do whatever here, here, here and here, and the expectation is the taxes will be 78%.

The dynamic here is Americans are almost waking up to the fact that “Hey, there’s stuff the government offers.” There’s nothing free. These trillions of dollars, it’s not free. The dollar is strong right now, but eventually, you pump $6 trillion into the system, that money’s coming from somewhere, and things have to be affected. Eventually, we may have to deal with some inflation or other issues or the devaluations and things like that. I just think like you’re saying, forbearance is there, it is an option.

We had Dr. Ben Carson on here, the Secretary of HUD on our podcast. Again, it’s great that they’re doing it, but there’s consequences. There’s consequences for people right now. Some of the politicians arranged a “Don’t pay your rent” coalition. There’s consequences that up because when you don’t pay your rent, the owner of the building doesn’t have an unlimited supply, and they have to pay a mortgage. Something’s going to happen somewhere.

Eventually, there are things to this period of time, I think, people who are genuine in need get the help like you said, but if you’re trying to jab the system, just so you know, the system is going to jab you, it’s going to come back to bite you.

TREPETA: Right. That’s my concern too is that people– like I said, there’s potential consequences for this. I know you talked to Lawrence Yun from NAR, and I go way back. I have tremendous respect for Lawrence. He probably talked about a V-shaped recovery and things like that, and I think that’s true. If we weather this storm, demand will just get shifted. We didn’t have a spring buying season like we normally have.

We were set for an awesome one, I think, and it’s been put off. If the economy comes roaring back, people will feel that confidence, and we’ll just move on from there, so we got to weather this storm. As you said, it’s different in different parts of the country. Some places are not that impacted, but a lot of places are. We weather this storm, we come back strong.

The reason for my advice is don’t do anything trying to take advantage of the growing economy and then you find out that you can’t get a mortgage because you did this forbearance thing, and you got to pay it all back and then wait 12 months or whatever it is. You don’t want to put yourself in that situation unless it’s absolutely necessary to survive now because I do think we’re going to come back.

BUFFINI: You said you had a couple of other things that you’re trying to get the message out. What would be an additional one in addition to the forbearance one?

TREPETA: Credit is tightening a little bit now. I just want to make sure that that doesn’t stay that way. Another concern I have, and I don’t know what we can do about this other than, work together, work with our associations and stuff, is this idea that we have a lot of people that are unemployed because the government essentially threw them out of their jobs. This is not an organic thing. In the future, those folks are going to get their jobs back, most of them, hopefully. They’ll be wanting to buy a house and all of a sudden, you’re going to have some rules that say, “You were unemployed for two months, and maybe you don’t get a mortgage then.” I think we need to be real mindful of that and work together to make sure that that’s properly taken account of so that people aren’t hurt for, essentially, taking one for the team. Mostly, people didn’t want to lose their jobs, they were forced out by government action. That government action shouldn’t penalize them later. That’s a concern I have, but I don’t know what we do about it now. We just have to be mindful of it, going forward.

BUFFINI: You bet. I had Michael DeVito on who’s the head of Wells Fargo Home mortgage. He had some great things to share, but I was really challenging him. I said, “It’d be nice if you guys could look at this more holistically, going forward, which is, rather than just linear, logical, what’s on your CV? What’s on your resume? You had two months of payments.”

I’m hoping at some point in time, we look back on this and go, “This was a goofy deal that came down. We had to do what we had to do, and everybody strapped it on,” and hopefully, the underwriters and so on and so forth can look at it differently. We already saw JPMorgan. They shifted 700 credit score minimum and 20% down. We know, obviously, there has to be balance sheet protection and things like that.

I think what’s going to happen is, again, you’ll see the smaller players jump in and take care of business, like with the CARES Act, a lot of the big banks were somewhat hamstrung, and we saw 6000 community banks and credit unions get in the game. PayPal was doing CARES Act loans for small businesses. I think, like with every challenge, there’s opportunities here, there’s ways to innovate here, and people are going to figure it out. People are going to figure it out, and they’re going to find a way. We ended up doing business with a small local bank out of Orange County instead of our big, major Fortune 100 company. I think that’s going to be a case.

TREPETA: I’ve had those experiences as well, believe it or not, some nonprofits that I’m involved with, wound up. They didn’t get it from Wells Fargo, they got it from some local littles bank that I had never heard of before. It was a great thing, though. It worked out.

BUFFINI: That’s what happened for us. I actually had a young man. His name is Kevin Fisk. He’s 28 years of age. He’s a few years out of college. He’s a devotee of the podcast, so he listens to me all the time. I had mentioned who I banked with, and he thought, “This guy’s going to have trouble. He’s got 250 employees. This guy’s going to have trouble.” He reached out.

He got a referral into our organization, hustled it up, called our CFO, built a relationship, said, “Hey, I’m going to give you the white-glove treatment. I’ll call you three times a day. I’ll do this. I’ll do that.” This young man hustle through this process was extraordinary in how he executed it. We were in pretty good shape already, but he made what was a little rough patch even smoother. That young fella, I’ve been advocating for him and I’ve been endorsing him, and that’s what people need to know. That young man, I’ve endorsed him. I did a Facebook Live last Friday to 180,000 people, where I told his story. Now, I’m on with you and hundreds of thousands of people will hear his name again, Kevin Fisk, Sunwest Bank in Anaheim. Here’s the deal, you can’t pay for that. That’s what’s the big encouragement I’d have, and I’d have for all your members is people won’t forget what you did for them right now. They won’t forget if you reached out, they won’t forget if you were there for them, they won’t forget if you were of value, and they won’t forget if you weren’t there.

They won’t forget if you just put up the big, steel corporate wall, they won’t forget that either, so it’s time to still be– You talking about you’re an old-fashion guy, old-fashion customer service and caring for people is still at a premium. I think when the bounce-back comes, which it will, those are the people who are going to win the biggest, in my opinion.

TREPETA: Oh, I think you’re absolutely right. I think that frankly, what you just said there is essentially the golden rule for this industry. It’s always been about doing a good job for people. In these trying times, people will remember it even more, but I think that is still the golden rule for this industry. People remember you 10 years down the line when they go to sell their home or do something else or when their children are looking for a mortgage or when their children are looking for a home. They’ll remember what you did for them then. I think that that is absolutely true.

BUFFINI: Yes, it’s great stuff. Let me ask you this, you’re still involved. Obviously, Congress seems to have taken a siesta here for a period of time, but they are going to come back to work at some point in time. What do you think Congress can do to help buyers and sellers resolve some of the issues brought on by this pandemic?

TREPETA: I think the one thing they could do is pass that national remote online notary law, and they are making a big push on that. People need certainty that this is an acceptable way of doing business. That’s the clearest way to send that signal. I’ve seen headwinds in various places where that’s not being accepted or they’re questioning the state orders, and it’s making transactions a little more difficult.

They could make things easier that way. They could be mindful of the credit tightening. One thing that’s of concern is these services, particularly the non-bank services, are taken on the chin because when people are not paying their mortgages, they still have to pay the investors. They could create a facility there to tide over the non-bank services. That would help, I think it would help keep competition going in the mortgage industry, help the situations we talked about earlier, where these smaller lenders and smaller services can provide better service often, but they can’t if they don’t have any money.

That’s another thing they could do. People talk about tax cuts and things like that. There’s all kinds of things that can be done fiscally, but I feel like they’ve thrown a lot of money at this already, and people are not ready to spend money right now. They’re throwing the money at it, but it’s not being spent because nothing’s open.

BUFFINI: For me, I talk with Lawrence and talking about recovery, looking at the data and also looking at the 22,000 members we represent, it looks to me like this is going to come back in chunks. It might have a V-shape to it, but it’s going to be chunked, in that regard. I have friends that own restaurants, they’re working off a 10% margin. They go, “Okay, I had 150 seats, and now they want me to go down to 40.” Waiters, waitresses, busboys, dishwashers, food prep, some of them are like, “It’s not worth my while to open this thing back up, I can’t make money at 25% occupancy.” There’s going to be some things that are challenging like that and then there are other businesses that are ready to go back now.

Our businesses are operating full tilt, mostly, working from home, we have 230-plus people working from home. I think it’s going to come back in chunks, it’s going to create some kind of momentum that way. I do believe there’s a ton of pent-up demand, and I think once people get used to it, the people are ready to spend some money and invest and do some things and get out of their houses [laughs] and get going. From your perspective, as you look at it, how are you preparing your members for the bounce-back? How do you actually think it’s going to play itself out?

TREPETA: Frankly, I think this industry will be in the forefront because I think we’re going to still have low interest rates, that’s going to be part of the equation. I’m hopeful that credit restrictions that we’re seeing, like the one you described earlier, they’ll go back more to normal and people will be itching to get on with their lives. I feel for the restaurant folks and the airlines and a lot of these businesses, even hotels, and conferences.

Our conference was supposed to be in Phoenix next month, and we’re going virtual, and we told them we’ll try to be back there next spring, but we just can’t put 150, 200 people together in a room. That’s a problem, going forward, but I think as far as people getting back to work and other jobs, retail, as long as people keep their distance and use the safety precautions, that will come back and I think real estate.

All those things you talked about earlier, wearing the booties, maybe you wear a mask, maybe you start with a virtual tour and you only go see houses after the virtual tour you’re really interested in. That kind of thing that’s like a real estate social distancing, I think, is the way to go about this and restore some confidence for folks and get the ball rolling. I think you’re right, people are ready to do these things, ready to live life again, and part of living life again is getting a new home or upgrading and that kind of a thing. I think that’s going to be part of it.

BUFFINI: You bet. This has been great stuff. One of the things we try to do on this show is when we have somebody and we’ve had them all from sports stars, I had Apollo Ohno two days ago, an eight-time winning Olympic medalist, when I meet successful people, I like to ask them what makes them tick. I have five rapid-fire question that I’ve asked every guest in the last 220 episodes. You didn’t know this was coming like they didn’t.

They’re fun questions, it’s going to give us a little insight because you’re a very successful man. You do a fantastic service to the real estate industry and real estate consumers as a result of it. We’re going to ask you a few questions that are these rapid-fire fun questions. We ask everybody to get a little inside you. You’re always talking about everybody else, but I want to talk about you for a few minutes and what makes you tick. Here’s the first question. What’s the single best piece of advice you’ve ever received, Ken?

TREPETA: Always try your best and work hard, and you’ll succeed. I started working with my stepfather when I was 11 years old on construction jobs. He taught me this work ethic and about working hard, so that is always– You don’t have to be right all the time, but always try your best and work hard.

BUFFINI: That’s great. I was trained by my father and grandfather who were house painters, and that sounds like construction work to me. Like I said, there’s a lot of blessings to the blue-collar mindset, isn’t there?

TREPETA: Absolutely.

BUFFINI: What one talent or gift do you wish you possess that you currently don’t, Ken?

TREPETA: I wish I had perfect pitch, musically. I love music, I play guitar, I dabble with all kinds of other instruments, but I do not have perfect pitch. It would make things so much easier.

BUFFINI: Yes, it’s interesting, I would say 90% of the answers I’ve had, whether it be Lou Holtz, or Emmitt Smith, or Magic Johnson, or whoever else, they all say, “I wish I could play,” or “I wish I could sing.” Everybody wants to perform on stage, apparently, all those air guitar systems people have been doing for years, at least you can play the guitar, so that’s good. What book has been most instrumental for you? What book has had a huge impact on your life?

TREPETA: There’s no other book but the Bible, in that regard. The wisdom in the Bible, that’s it. I could think of lots of books I loved and were great, but that’s the one that

I go back to.

BUFFINI: Let me ask you this then. When I get the answer “That’s the Bible,” I want to know, what character in the Bible do you most identify with then?

TREPETA: I don’t really know if I identify with anyone, in particular, maybe John the Baptist because I always feel like somebody’s gunning into my head at some point.

BUFFINI: That’s great. While you’re up banging the drum and eating the locust and eating the honey and firing off at Congress to try to get them to do the right thing at RESPRO. That’s good.

TREPETA: Right, exactly. I’m a bit of a loudmouth, so I’m going to get in trouble someday. I actually have. I’ve got some great stories, but I live to see today.

BUFFINI: Let me ask you this. If you’re scrolling through the TV channels and there’s a movie on, it’s a movie you’ve watched over and over again, and every time it’s on, you stop and take at least a peek at it. What’s the one movie you’ve watched over and over again?

TREPETA: It’s called “A Bridge Too Far.”

BUFFINI: I love it.

TREPETA: A lot of great actors in it, great story, real heroism. It was one that I always say “we,” in World War II is the battle we didn’t win, and it was a surprising story for me. I saw it as a kid and didn’t understand that. Actually, why didn’t we win? you learn a big lesson there but tremendous courage, tremendous teamwork, a great story, and a great movie.

BUFFINI: Nice. We’re big war movie buffs in our home, and “A Bridge Too Far” is on every Veterans Day in this home, so there you go. That’s great. Last but not least, Ken, what’s one thing still on your bucket list out there you’re hoping to get done?

TREPETA: I want to go fly-fishing in Montana. I’ve dabbled in fly-fishing before. Obviously, I grew up in the northeast and everything. I had a chance a few years back, and circumstances got in the way of it, but I’m hoping to get to do that at some point.

BUFFINI: Don’t be shocked when an email comes in from this particular podcast because we have a lot of people all over the place. I guarantee you we have people in the real estate space up in Montana who want to set up a tour for you to get you going and to take John the Baptist fly-fishing in Montana sounds pretty cool to me.

TREPETA: I would definitely enjoy that.

BUFFINI: That’s great. Ken, listen, we appreciate all you do. We appreciate what you do behind the scenes. One of the things about this pandemic is a lot of the folks behind the scenes are, all of a sudden, being seen, whether it be the guy that drives the truck and the person that runs the grocery stores, to the doctors and the nurses and whatever else. For a lot of people in the real estate business and a lot of consumers in real estate, they’ve benefited from the work of RESPRO without really being that consciously aware.

We appreciate your leadership of that great organization and everything your members are doing to make the homeownership process better, more efficient, and available to more people. Once we get past this pandemic, my hope and prayer is more and more people get a chance to own homes. The average homeowner has over 44 times the net worth of the average renter.

Being a homeowner and owning a home, there’s just nothing like it. Here we are in the middle of a pandemic, and the one thing that the government mandated is, people need to go home. People, all of a sudden, realized how important a home actually is. We appreciate you and all your organization does to make homeownership such an important part of our life. Thanks for being our guest today.

TREPETA: Thanks, Brian.

BUFFINI: That was neat. Always great to bring somebody who’s an influence in the marketplace to you guys. Ken Trepeta, he’s a mover, he’s a shaker, he’s a character. He’s John the Baptist who wants to go fly-fishing and sing in perfect pitch. How great is that? I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. I hope you learned something, and I hope you understand that there’s an awful lot goes on behind the scenes to make this all work, with regards to this wonderful world of real estate.

Continue to keep serving your customers, continue to be a blessing in the marketplace. For all of you who are out there who are not in the real estate business, I hope you appreciate everything it takes to make that home come alive for you and give you the gift of homeownership. If ever you’re in need of a great real estate professional, you reach out to me at “The Brian Buffini Show,” and you need a great real estate professional, I’ll find one for you.

We have the best of the best. We have the Navy SEALs have real estate, who also have great hearts to care and serve. Thanks for joining me today. I’ll leave you with a little Irish blessing today, as I always do. May the roads rise up to meet you, and may the wind always be at your back. May the rain fall soft upon your fields and the sunshine warm upon your face. Until we meet again, may God hold you in the hollow of his hand. We’ll see you next time.