JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Beverly Garvin, a Realtor® with Watson Realty Corp. Hidden Hills office in Jacksonville, believes in the power of her peers in bringing change to the real estate industry.
“You have to be involved. You can’t expect change if you’re not involved in helping to make the change,” says Garvin, who was inducted into the Realtors® Political Action Committee (RPAC) Hall of Fame in recognition of her contributions and support.
Garvin started in real estate in December 1969 and joined Watson in January 1970. To enhance her knowledge and expertise, she has completed advanced education and professional development courses through the National Association of Realtors (NAR), earning the Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI), Certified Real Estate Brokerage Manager (CRB) and the Performance Management Network (PMN) designations.
“I wanted a job where I could set my own hours, have unlimited potential and was flexible enough that I could tend to my small children,” she says.
From the beginning, Garvin realized the power of getting involved. She’s slowing her pace some now but remembers fondly her year as president of the Northeast Florida Association of Realtors (NEFAR), followed by her term as the state president for the Women’s Council of Realtors.
“Both gave me opportunities to grow, work and unite people. We reached heights that we never reached before,” she says.
One of the projects she was passionate about was building a house, sponsored by her local association, for an underprivileged family. “We built a house in a week’s time through Habijax,” Garvin recalls. “We furnished the house for a lovely mom and it was completely paid for.”
She’s learned a lot of lessons in her years with Watson and in volunteer leadership. The one that sticks out the most is this: Don’t judge a book by its cover.
“Working with people, you see so many personalities and it’s so easy to judge or strike out at people who aren’t on the same pages as you,” Garvin says. “Learning to effectively work with different personalities has been my biggest challenge, yet also the most rewarding part of volunteer leadership and brokerage office management.”
As the manager of the brokerage’s Hidden Hills office, which she’s been managing since the 1970s, she’s learned to quickly adapt to change.
She adds, “My agents have changed over the years, but at the same time, we also have some who have been here a long time. We have such a wonderful atmosphere. We’re a family and supportive of each other. The agents are competitive, but they realize that by supporting each other, they’ll all do better. I have always believed in the motto: Together Everyone Achieves More (TEAM).”
It’s that view that she takes into her volunteer work as well, especially when it comes to RPAC.
“RPAC is there to help shape the future of our industry,” says Garvin. “I’m proud to be a part of the Hall of Fame, and even prouder to have been a supporter all these years.”
The Hall of Fame recognizes dedicated members whose RPAC investments total an aggregate of at least $25,000. Members are inducted at NAR Realtor meetings in Washington, D.C., and are recognized with a lapel pin and an inscription of their name on a commemorative plaque on the rooftop of NAR’s building in D.C.
“Supporting people who know the value of homeownership rights is vital. RPAC has given us the opportunity to be involved and give back to the community,” says Garvin, who’s worked on several local political campaigns for people running for city council. “To see the candidates we helped get elected grow and move on to do great things is rewarding.”
Garvin also supported NEFAR’s and Florida Realtors’ efforts advocating to remove a sales tax on that state lawmakers had approved on advertising and professional services (repealed in 1987).
She recalls, “That was such a fiasco, as it impacted anyone who provided a service to the community. Getting that defeated was a huge success.”
Garvin has been active in local, state, and national Realtor associations throughout her career, and currently serves as the chairperson of the NEFAR’s Charitable Trust. She also serves on her local association’s Professional Standards, Legislative and Candidate Screening committees.