heroBy Andy Herrington

I have seen the Realtor name being dragged through the mud numerous times in recent years in the media. But I recently attended an event where the exact opposite experience took place and a roomful of Realtors came out feeling a lot better about themselves. It was a life-altering event when I had the honour to hear a presentation by Michael “Pinball” Clemons.

Pinball is a great speaker who talks about teamwork and leadership. He is a former CFL star and coach and one of the most energetic people you will ever meet. He is passionate, well spoken and inspiring. He is more than a sports figure; he is an amazing human being who tries, and I believe succeeds, in making the people around him better than they were before. This is where my story begins.

At real estate conferences you hear from speakers who have inspiring stores to tell that make you excited and motivate you to be better. However, Pinball was the first one I have seen that showed me and everyone in the room how we are better than we give ourselves credit for. I am going to attempt to do justice to one of the amazing points Pinball made, and I hope you will walk a little taller and be more proud of your profession after reading it.

Pinball started his talk defining himself, not how the public has defined him for years as “a football hero”, but as a family man. His wife and three kids mean the world to him. He spoke about how they are the reason he left the CFL as a coach and that he would do anything for his family. He talked about how all humanity has one similar bond – we are all born into a family. He simplified it into one easy phrase; the family is the foundation of humanity.

Pinball spoke about how, of all the people he knows, famous or not, at the end of the day the people that matter most are his family. “If the family is the foundation of humanity, then the home is the foundation of family; therefore, the home is the foundation of the foundation of humanity.” He paused there to let that sink in. “The foundation of the foundation of humanity,”

He then asked if the home is the foundation of the foundation, who are we as Realtors? He asked, if he is a hero for playing football, then who are we as Realtors?

He drove home the point that Realtors have taken people’s mindset away from “the home” to “the house” as a negotiating tool. We have often forgotten that we are helping people get the place where their kids will take their first steps, walk down the stairs to go to prom or host their wedding rehearsal dinner. We tend to forget just how important the service we provide is to our clients. We forget that we are not the monsters that are painted in the media, or in the angry words of a client whose home didn’t sell. We do a noble duty in society, we help families find the homes they live, grow and love in.

I saw how this message affected everyone in that room. There were eyes filling with tears, there were heads nodding and faces with amazed looks. I witnessed a room full of top-producing Realtors remember why they are in the business, why they love what they do for a living. I saw almost 150 people grow a little taller all at once. It took this outsider, this hero to remind all of us that as Pinball said, “If I am a hero for carrying a football, then you as Realtors are more than a hero!”

Andy-Herrington-webI will not soon forget that day or the message, nor will anyone else who was in that room. I will remember that to my clients, I am more than a hero, even when they don’t recognize it or celebrate it.

I will remember that I am helping to build the foundation of the foundation of humanity!

Andy Herrington is a real estate salesperson who was a member of some amazing top producing teams prior to becoming a real estate coach and inspirational speaker. His main message is for all Realtors to have “belief in the message” and to create a higher standard of professionalism for our amazing profession. www.andyherrington.com.


  1. What Mike, has always believed, is don’t let others define you. This was what he learned as a child at home and then at church and then on the football field and then in the corporate world and finally in the volunteer community.

    Mike didn’t let his neighbours, his schools, his community, his height, his teams, the league he played in, the owners of the team he coached or managed, the wins, the losses, the press or the associations he was a participant in, define HIM.

    Less than 3% of the Canadian population has their home for sale at any given time. To let a profession or yourself be defined by the natural perceptions resulting in serving that 3% is not something Mike would do. Mike sees you as the servants to the other 97% of CANADIANS.

    You define your profession and your business. You must decide whether you will be defined by the actions of those serving the 3% or by your actions serving the 97%.

    It’s Your Business.

  2. Brian makes a valid point. One of the challenges I found with clients (during my previous career in sales ) was that they didn’t realize how involved I would become in their family. It is not just about the new memories being made but also the ones you must sadly leave behind. Real Estate transactions can be quite emotional for the Buyer or Seller and that can mean we become a shoulder to lean on. It is interesting that Pinball’s message is quite relevant considering the field he came from *smile*

  3. I love Pinball’s message. Our passion for real estate is always there but sometimes someone else has to put it into perspective for you. Lovely read.

  4. I really like this piece.

    Finally, an inspirational speaker who talks about the deep seated importance of what Realtors should be striving for…helping their ‘family’ members with their needs and choices re where and how they will spend their lives going forward.

    Did you notice that not once was it mentioned how much money could be made or where one could elevate one’s self on the office/area performace tree re numbers of deals copped?

    Why did it take an ex footballer to finally bring this point home to Andy, do you think?

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