Lessons Learned on a Shoe Last

Son of a Shoemaker

I am the son of a third generation Shoemaker.  My great grandfather arrived at Ellis Island having left his wife and children behind because they couldn't afford passage for everyone.  He worked on the streets of New York City repairing shoes out of a box until he could save up enough money for passage for his family. 

They moved to Seattle and established his own shoe repair shop where he taught his son the trade.  My grandfather later did the same with my father, and he with me.  I spent evenings after school and Saturdays in the back of the family store, polishing shoes, grinding soles and heels and cleaning up after everyone.  My older brother now runs my father's store where his 3 kids have all learned the trade and my nephew works full time. 

There is a sign in that shop which has been there as long as I can remember, it says, "The sweetness of low price is forgotten, long after the bitterness of poor quality remains."  No other slogan has stuck with me in this business or any other that I've worked in.  As discount brokerages and limited service companies compete for our business claiming "full service, not full commissions."  I think of that sign and wonder; if I could do 3 times the volume I do, inclusive of all the services I offer, for the same income, would I?  I suppose I could help more people; I do consider my work a public service and not just a job.  But in reality the quality of what I do would suffer greatly.  I am not a volume Realtor.  I handle a few listings at a time, a few buyers at a time and devote lots of energy and effort to each one.  I am constantly learning new aspects of our business trying to improve my knowledge base and the quality of my services.  In the end, my hope and expectation is my clients will feel they got my best and were served well and that the quality will be appreciated.

This picture was taken around 1978.  Seated, my grandfather Chick Sr. is on the left, my brother Chris, then My father, mother and me.


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Dan Tabit       206-310-8629    425-868-SOLD(7653)  DanTabit@Northstone.net

One stop Real Estate & Mortgage Services Serving Sammamish, Issaquah, Redmond, Bellevue, Mercer Island and the greater Seattle area.  

Comment balloon 7 commentsDan Tabit • November 20 2009 08:59PM


Dan, that's a great story and I also believe in:  "The sweetness of low price is forgotten, long after the bitterness of poor quality remains."  


Posted by Nick T Pappas, Madison & Huntsville Alabama Real Estate Resource (Assoc. Broker/Broker ABR, CRS, SFR, e-Pro, @Homes Realty Group, @HomesBirmingham & Providence Property Mgmnt, LLC Huntsville AL) over 9 years ago

Dan, great story and you're absolutely correct with that motto!  

Posted by Tony & Darcy Cannon, The C Team (Aubrey and Associates Realty) over 9 years ago

I love it!  Wonderful story, wonderful heritage, wonderful slogan. And here all this time I thought you were a son of a gun!  WHY WHY WHY WHY WHY do you only post Members Only? ?????????????????????????????????????????????????????

Posted by Janna Scharf, Coeur d'Alene Idaho Real Estate Expert (Keller Williams Realty Coeur d'Alene) over 9 years ago

No substitute ever for quality....you get what you pay for or don't....I am with Janna...share your posts with EVERYONE and you will reap far more benefits on the Rain...!

Posted by Sally K. & David L. Hanson, WI Realtors - Luxury - Divorce (EXP Realty 414-525-0563) over 9 years ago

Hi Dan ~ Wonderful story, wonderful picture. This is a real treat to read. I love how your grandfather's slogan guides your real estate business. It really says it all.


Posted by Elizabeth Bolton, Cambridge MA Realtor (RE/MAX Destiny Real Estate Cambridge, MA) over 9 years ago

Wonderful story and memories are forever. Suprised you didn't stay in the family business with that much history.

Posted by Charles Stallions Real Estate Services, Buyers Agent 800-309-3414 Pace and Gulf Breeze,Fl. (Charles Stallions Real Estate Services Inc) over 9 years ago

Great FEATUREABLE Story!!  Excellent share!

Posted by Diane Rice, SFR, SRES, CNC ( Rice Prprty Mgmnt & Rlty, LLC, South Holland, IL) over 9 years ago

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