Real Estate Spotlight: Bob Garfield

It is a marvelous thing when a career and a passion coincide. Indeed, Miamiborn Realtor®, Bob Garfield, described the symbiotic relationship of his realty work and his talent in playing guitar. “It is mutually beneficial as a result of my passion for both. I am a full time realtor; that includes nights, weekends,” he said, “whatever it takes.” That same dedication is seen with his music. He collects guitars, plays guitar publicly in a band, and privately (on his balcony at home) at every opportunity.

Bob Garfield further describes the connection of his work and his music. For 35 years he was in sales, as a buyer and executive at a large Florida department store and also as a regional sales manager for several home textile manufacturers, traveling widely throughout the country. Then, he made a mid-life change, deciding to stay in one place, and settle down in Delray. “I reinvented myself,” he said describing the transition from textile sales to real estate sales. “It was a natural progression,” he continued, “well-honed sales skills are universal. In both cases, I listen carefully to people’s needs and react accordingly. The transition was a natural.”

Bob also found that his musical background, which included being on stage and memorizing songs, tied in as the perfect mate to his career in sales. Bob’s love of music has carried through three generations. His father influenced his early years by listening to John Phillip Sousa’s marches which provided “early exposure” to music. Later, when Bob’s son took an interest in music, they took a trip to a music store and drove home (in their small
vehicle) “with drums hanging outside the car.” Before long, Bob was jamming in the garage with his son and his son’s friends so they converted the garage, adding air conditioning, into a perfect room for jam sessions. But it didn’t end there. Along came two grandchildren and he bought guitars for this next generation, now both under the age of five. He likes to describe the one-and-a-half year old: “he just started walking but he’s already been “dancing” to music for a long time.”

Music has helped Bob keep level headed and open-minded, which are significant assets in his field as a Realtor®. By discussing music with his son, now in his thirties, Bob has been exposed to current artists which keeps him up to date. Bob especially likes high quality vocals and favors a gamut of music from The Beatles to Jackson Browne and John Coltrane. “My music collection is schizophrenic; it’s so varied,” he quipped. He formed another analogy to
real estate: “it all helps me to not get set in my ways and stay on top of things. I’m quite enthusiastic about my job.”

It is obvious how proud Bob is of his son, a music therapist/musician and his daughter, a therapist. Both of them chose fields that nurture and greatly improve people’s lives. Bob has been married to the same wonderful woman for over 39 years and feels lucky to have found her. She also improves the lives of all with whom she comes into contact, especially through her career as a high school college advisor.

Music and sales. They interact in a graceful and admirable symmetry for Bob Garfield. He feels both fields have taught him to “follow through, listen well and be proactive.” He compared how things can go wrong while performing on stage just as in completing a real estate closing. “You can’t fold,” he said, “you must stay cool. I enjoy calming people, and my past history helps.”

Bob’s sales credo is what makes him stand out above others. His belief is that, “when you are talking, you’re not listening. I say what I need to say and react to the information gathered.”