June Real Producers: Larry White
This content originally appeared in the June 2018 issue of Real Producers Fort Wayne
The Amazing Journey of Larry White
In a matter of minutes after meeting Larry White, one feels energized and ready to storm a castle – even though no one really knows why one would do that. Nevertheless, Larry inspires action and commitment with a large heart of caring. If you could sum up his life, you would certainly say that he is here to serve.
White was unsure of his plans after high school, so he worked with a friend doing odd jobs. In time, he followed many of his friends to a college about an hour away, hoping that his major in Pre-Med might provide some direction and clarity. After a semester, Larry knew that he was still in the wrong place. An uncle, who was a vice-president of a local steel company, invited him to spend the summer at the plant. White began his work and soon loved the fact that he was making more money than his parents. It seemed that he had found his niche.
One day, a man at the plant approached Larry and told him to “get out of there as fast as he could.” Although he could only conjecture as to the true meaning of the man’s challenge, he tucked the idea away in his heart. As time progressed, White suffered through a lay-off, and his return provided some new focus for him. During the hiatus, Larry became a father and a Christian and was planning a future with his wife. Things looked different to him. A second lay-off was announced, and he exited the plant; they kept his timecard.
Knowing he would never return, Larry found himself feeling a lack of direction again, but his wonderful wife assessed the situation by noting that “this is a great opportunity to pursue what God has for you, Larry.” White began to give considerable thought to his “why” and to where his passions were leading him. He remarks, “I knew that I loved God and people, so I was hoping I could involve them in my work.” After sending out 50 resumes, Larry only heard back from one company, a mobile home dealer. It seemed apparent that was his open door.
Larry knew when he arrived for the interview that he was home. For the next one and a half years, he experienced the best job ever with the least amount of money ever. It is funny how that often works. He describes it as a time when his faith journey had to kick into overdrive. A friend from church connected him to a builder, and for nine months Larry called every Friday to see if there were any openings. His persistence paid of, and in January of 2002 Larry began his new job.
White’s first year exceeded expectations! He could not believe that someone would pay him to help people design their dream home. In a short time, he became their numberone salesman – just serving people. For 10 years, Larry helped families with new construction needs. He remembers the economic downturn and describes it as comparable to being laid-of but having to attend work. At one point, he was selling a home a month instead of one per week. Still, White stayed focused on his mission, and he was able to weather the storm.
Larry was encouraged to get his license for real estate. After the classroom instruction, he was given a deadline of one year to take the test. He only waited 364 days. With fear and doubt, Larry entered the testing room and decided to take the exam with his wife’s advice of repeating a phrase before every question – “I answer this question in Jesus’ name.” When the proctor told him that he passed, he ran from the building before they could change their minds. White continued to work for the builder and, at the suggestion of his son’s daycare teacher, used his day off to work in real estate. In time, he began to make more in his “extra career.” He finally resigned and told everyone that he was “transitioning” to a new position.
White worked for a year for some friends who owned a brokerage, but the dissolved partnership left him with some big decisions. In January 2012, Larry forged out on his own and established his own agency called Liberty Group Realty. He explains that he gets the name from a verse in the Bible that speaks about using liberty not for one’s own purposes but in love to serve others. He accepted this as his business mantra, and he has never turned back from the mission.
Larry sold $2 million his first year and nearly doubled that his second. His third year brought $7 million, and he nearly doubled that the next. You get the point. White found his passion and why. He loves people and has found that his growing client list is very multicultural and important to him. He also loves building bridges with his partners and the other REALTORS. A sign on his desk quotes a popular saying, “Teamwork makes the Dream Work.”
White has been married to Aisha, who works as a registered nurse, for 19 years. They have a daughter, Samia (17), and a son, Devin (11). The family is most interested in making a diference in their community. Larry is often asked to speak at youth events, and he is always asked, “How did you make it out of the neighborhood?” It is his favorite question, and he always gives the same answer: a great God, a wonderful mom and by taking the opportunity that I was given. He is constantly in search of the next “Larry” to help him or her find the way. “When you know better, you do better,” he quips.
Larry has one piece of advice for REALTORS: Discover your “why.” If someone mentions money, he tells them to find something else. He makes it a practice to never put his trust in something that has wings. “Trusting God will cause you to grow wings in the flight to go to the unimaginable.” So, you see, Larry White of Liberty Group Realty will continue to serve – one client at a time. It is the only way he knows how to do “why.”
— By Brian Ramsey
Rising Star: Heidi Haiflich
How many years have you been a realtor?
What is your career volume as a realtor?
$9.5 million (total includes new builds and FSBO sales).
What was your total volume last year?
When did you start your career in real estate?
I started the class in January of 2015 and was licensed in March 2015.
What did you do before you became a realtor?
I was in direct sales for 15 years. The last eight years was with a well-known jewelry company. When they decided to eliminate their sales team in December of 2014, I had a big decision to make. What was going to be my next career path? Honestly, real estate didn’t even cross my mind until my mother-in-law, Lynette, suggested it! My husband and I have several rental properties, so it was the next logical step.
What are you passionate about right now in your business?
I am passionate about taking care of my clients. My motto has always been to work as hard for someone as I would want someone to work for me. I am passionate about being personable. From handwriting addresses on the envelope of my 20 monthly mailers to a making surprise dinner shortly before or after closing. I also love to send random goofy things in the mail. It’s the little things that make all the difference. My clients quickly become family!
What has been the most rewarding part of your business?
I could go on and on about this! The most rewarding part is intangible – on the client side, it’s the relationships that are built while searching for their perfect home, closing on that perfect home and seeing their dreams come alive. On the business side, it’s also about relationships. I have met so many wonderful Realtors that I would have never met had it not been for this business, Realtors I now call friends! What a blessing!
What was your biggest challenge as a realtor?
Walking away from it all for nine days to celebrate our 20-year anniversary this past fall. I am thankful for Joyce who completely took over – took my computer and everything! My husband didn’t think I could do it, so of course I had to prove I could do it!
How does real estate fit into your dreams and goals?
My husband and I love to travel, and, yes, so do our boys. It has allowed us to take trips we would not have been able to do with our oldest starting college. We are in the process of creating a wonderful backyard space called “The Getaway.” It will be a cellphone-free zone, full of fun for family and friends! Working hard to play hard.
What’s your favorite part of being a realtor?
Besides relationship-building and helping clients achieve their home dreams, I would have to say it’s the creative part of planning client events and finding the next fun thing to mail out. The last mailing was a spice packet for baked chicken. It was fun to see all the texts, pictures and videos that came in because of it.
Success in real estate is when your client couldn’t be happier with the service you have provided, all while keeping life balanced with family and friends.
Tell us about your family.
I have been married to my best friend, Phil, for 20 years. We have three amazing boys. Logan is our oldest. He’s a freshman at Purdue pursuing CNIT. He enjoys golf in his spare time. Connor is a junior at Blackhawk Christian. He enjoys posting videos on YouTube and playing video games. Our youngest, Gavin, is in fourth grade, also at Blackhawk Christian. He has a huge passion for golf. He has been playing nonstop since he unwrapped his first set of plastic clubs at his second birthday party. We love to travel. We also enjoy going to locally owned restaurants wherever we go. Trip Advisor is our go-to for finding the best local eateries!
Stop and Smell the Rosemary ... it’s a cookbook. I know, it should be something motivational, but I must tell the truth! This most favorite cookbook of mine was a wedding gift. Every once in a while, Phil and I will plan a date night and create one of the recipes. The crab cakes took us something like eight hours to make. Here’s the motivational piece you may have been looking for ... sometimes it takes longer to get to the finish line, but in the end it’s all worth it.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the business?
I enjoy nothing more than watching our youngest out on the golf course. There is just something peaceful and rejuvenating about it. I also love walking the beaches wherever we are and playing board games with the family.
Given your status and expertise, what is some advice you would give the up-and-coming top producer?
Always be yourself – your clients love you for being you!
In closing is there anything else you would like to communicate using the Fort Wayne Real Producer platform?
I want to thank my husband for always believing in me and being my number one. My family for being super supportive. A huge shout out to Chris Sanderson and Joel Scheer for being my biggest cheerleaders when I first started in real estate and continue to be!
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Photos by Tony Frantz
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