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Maintaining the Vortex of Real Estate Juicy Goodness

 This was a write up in the VIP Magazine. Shelly Vitanza and I talked for over an hour and she distilled that meandering conversation (my fault) into a nice summary of how we got to where we are today. It is not me that creates the vortex, it is those around me. The aggregate of their awesomeness creates a climate that is hard to resist.

When it comes to business Charlie Foxworth claims he’s a naïve kid. career success hints otherwise. No business novice buys a real estate firm during an economic downturn, and in a decade, adds more than 100 agents and becomes the 28th most productive firm in the nation without having some acumen or at least some innate abilities. In Foxworth’s case both are likely. from his corner office in a building he bought two years ago on Gladys at Major in order to house all 125 RE/MAX ONE agents under one roof, Foxworth reflects on the races he’s run, won and lost, and the significant milestones on his road to real estate success. Curiously enough, Foxworth’s real estate journey began with snow in Minnesota. the Beaumont native had graduated from the University of Texas with a business degree in finance in 1991, worked a few years at Dell computer, another few years for a software company in Houston and was employed in Minnesota with a company that conducted environmental testing when he was incentivized to move home.

“My father had really, really been wanting me to come back to Beaumont, and I insisted that there was no way that I would be coming back to this town. But when I ended up in Minnesota in October 1996, the winter had just begun, and I consider long sleeves a jacket, so I thought ‘oh god’ and then it snowed one night, so I called Dad, who was in commercial real estate and had offered me the salary I was making at my current job, and said, ‘Ok, I’ll come home,’ and that’s really what got me here.” Foxworth joined his dad, Charles D. “Buddy” Foxworth, in the family business — Foxworth Real Estate Company on 11th street. During Buddy’s tenure, the company had evolved from a construction business to Commercial/Industrial real estate to Commercial Real Estate. after two years employ, Foxworth bought his father out. Buddy retired, and in 1998 Foxworth restructured, rebranded and relaunched the family commercial real estate business. for 10 years Foxworth built the commercial real estate business. he got married, and he ran for Beaumont city council. “I had decided if I was going to live here, I was going to try and make this place great.” although Foxworth didn’t win, and was, at the time, overwhelmed with disappointment, in hindsight he now sees the loss gave him an opportunity to make Beaumont great in another way. “that was a low. I remember at 4 in the morning picking up signs all over town. I told my wife, ‘I don’t want anybody anywhere to see a sign with my name on it.’ I wanted it over.” Foxworth says because of that loss he needed a victory in his life, so he found a running partner and started training for marathons, a hobby that would serve him well for stresses to come.

“But we were highly successful; 2008 I receive the award from the Texas Association of REALTORS for the Commercial Transaction of the Year for the State of Texas for doing a big property assemblage when Motiva came into town in 2006. so things we’re really high, and then 2009 and 2010, I spent every dime that I made keeping the company going. the economy stopped. It was time for me to regroup and see what we were going to do.” Foxworth said he ran a lot during this downturn. with a wife and two small children, the stress of financial ruin and losing a family business was intense. he began thinking about diversification, namely residential real estate. he knocked on a few doors, but nothing felt right until opportunity came knocking on his door at the end of 2010.

“One day I’m sitting in my office on 11th street, my door is open, which it always is, and Sally Bundy walks through the door, shuts the door, sits down and says, ‘You need to buy us.’ all I said was, ‘Yes ma’am,’ and that’s how it all started with RE/MAX.”

Bundy, was not only a power REALTOR, one of six REALTORS who founded RE/MAX Beaumont, but very much like Foxworth’s mom, a “momtrepreneur.” Like Bundy, Foxworth’s mom, Martha, was a strong business woman who didn’t mince words. Martha owned and operated the Last straw, a gift boutique on the corner of calder at Lucas. “every night mom would get her box of transactions from the day and her calculator and go through every single ticket of who bought what and balance the cash register. she would remember everyone’s name and what they bought, so if a woman who bought a pen came in she could show her the pad holder and coasters to go with it. she is strong, and I had learned early on in life to tell women like mom ‘yes ma’am.’”

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