In almost a decade as a Realtor, first in Virginia then in his current home state of Florida, Gid Pool certainly saw his share of comedy. Indeed, he easily translated his wacky encounters during his years as a Realtor into his new career as a standup comedian.
In the 1980s, the former Realtor plied his trade in Virginia, eventually got out of the biz and moved to New Jersey then eventually retired with his wife to North Port, Fla. They arrived in the Sunshine State at the height of the real estate boom when he says "small lots were going for $3,000 to 4,000, and the scene was moving so fast that it went to $30,000 to 40,000 and it really didn't take a lot of skill to sell property since everyone was buying up."
Eventually, being a Realtor got to be too much for him. He considers himself someone who is lazy about the real estate business unlike folks who are still currently working in it, "the non-lazy real estate people."
He says he left because "I just didn't want to mess with it anymore and for all the 'glamor' that non-real estate people see in the biz, I don't need that."
And what does he think of the current state of the housing market? He feels that people just want hope, and those that don't feel they can buy a house have no hope in the future.
"We are a mobile society, always moving around there comes a point where you don't want to move anymore," he says. "This is stifling people in terms of being able to move because if they're going to lose
He recalls that when he got into real estate, Jimmy Carter was president and the 15 percent to 16 percent mortgage rates quickly dropped to 9 percent and now they're at 5 percent. "I don't know what are people are waiting for," he says. "You're not gonna see these mortgage rates again and I'm not an economist but if you can put your money in the stock market at 7 percent and get a 5 percent mortgage that's what makes people's rich," he says.
During those years though, it's almost as if he were secretly gathering material for his comedic career. When posed with the question of "what did you encounter that was quirky in your years as a Realtor?" his answer was "what did I encounter that wasn't quirky should be the question."
Some examples: The buyer who insisted he wanted a brickfront house and later was upset with him when they passed a house with only a brick chimney that he hadn't been shown. When Pool defended himself saying "you asked for brick," the client replied "It is, duh!" Then there was the couple who were perennial lookers and couldn't settle on anything; the couple (we're talking adults here) fought over who would sit in the front seat. Needless to say, they never bought anything from him.
Aside from the comedy circuit, Pool is also a motivational speaker, traveling to high schools and organizations like the Rotary to share his experiences and a touch of his comedy too. At the high schools he works with the drama department and teaches students improv comedy while at the same time incorporating motivational aspects.
"The entire time they don't even realize that I'm blending the two and at the end of it all they are put in a theater on a stage and are thrilled that someone who is somebody is spending time with them," Pool told AOL Real Estate.
During his motivational speeches to rooms of Realtors, he invokes his comedy of when he was in the business because they've all been through those situations. He uses jokes like "If you can raise the value of your house by putting on new wheels, you're in Florida" and "If you're insurance company has an unlisted number, you're in Florida."
He recalls one of the first times he had to speak publicly; it was at the Englewood Board of Realtors Awards Dinner in Englewood, Fla., where the tropical theme and the beach umbrellas on every table provided his fodder for the evening.
The comedy career, however, is taking over, and so his speaking engagements have dwindled. Aside from working the comedy circuit, he still finds time to do comedy classes on Celebrity Cruise Lines as part of their Beyond the Podium series. He's been featured on NBC, won the 2009 Branson Comedy Festival and was featured on the National Lampoon Radio Show.
Check out Gid Pool's web site to see where he'll be performing next.
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