Real estate agent Rick Taylor went from climbing telephone poles to climbing the ladder in real estate. He explains, “I was a cable TV construction lineman and worked my way into project management. I had climbed telephone poles all over North America and was trying to push my way up the corporate ladder.”
Rick paid for his entire college education from the money he made as a construction lineman. Rick has a Business Degree from Northern Michigan University, the first in his family to attend university.
Life took him by surprise when he unexpectedly lost his job one day. Little did he know that his real estate agent Jim Utsler would illuminate the way to real estate.
Rick explains, “He called me up and said, ‘Rick, how are you?’” When Rick explained he wasn’t doing well and just lost his job, Jim told him, “You should be a real estate agent.” Rick says, “I was dumbfounded. I had never sold anything in my life, let alone real estate.” When Jim encouraged him that he was good with people, Rick gave real estate some serious thought.
“Jim was the kind of person who was such a lovely soul that he truly meant those words,” he says thoughtfully. Rick then met with Paul Frisinger, the Broker of the Charles Reinhart Company, and got his license soon afterward in 2002.
During his first year in real estate, Rick sold 18 homes. He found a profession he loved and is grateful for those who gave him their unwavering support. At the time Rick started real estate, he was the single father of his son Ricky, who was only 2 years old.
“I don’t think that I would have survived in this industry without the help of some very wonderful people,” he says with a heart of gratitude. “I had some really good friends who would watch Ricky so I could show homes.” Rick’s family all lives in Canada, where he is from, so he needed support to gain traction in the real estate industry.
“I became reliant on friends, like Matt and Kim Koenn, so I could build my career. Without the generosity of people like them, I wouldn’t be where I am today.”
When starting real estate, Rick decided he was going to act as a consultant to clients. “I thought of my clients’ needs first; then the money would follow.”
He became an expert in the industry, learning everything that he could to be an asset to his clients. From building use restrictions for condos to understanding the makeup of neighborhoods, Rick was determined to understand different facets of real estate so that he could be a trusted advisor.
Rick always puts his clients first, even giving them advice that they might not expect to hear, including not buying a house. “Clients are always astounded and impressed,” he comments. He reassures them that they will find the right house in due time instead of settling for a substandard home.
Because of his sincerity and professionalism, Rick has built his business on integrity, one satisfied client at a time. With 250 million dollars in sales for his career, he has achieved sweet success. Not to mention being named the #1 Individual REALTOR® for the entire Charles Reinhart Company for 2022, marking the seventh year in a row that he achieved this honor.
Loving Real Estate
Through his career, Rick has learned to overcome obstacles. Every time he hears how “hard” it is to be a real estate agent, he quietly smiles. He says, “I’ll tell you what hard is. Hard is climbing a telephone pole in February when it's only 10 degrees outside, numb toes with 20 mph winds almost 30 feet in the air.” Fortunately, those days are behind him.
Rick jokes, “I click my heels every single time I get a listing. It never gets old. I love it.” He looks forward to giving his clients a special closing gift. Whether to Main Street Ventures in downtown Ann Arbor, Mac’s in Saline or The Common Grill in Chelsea, he loves celebrating the milestones in people’s lives. Buying a home is one of those precious moments.
When Rick isn’t working, he cherishes time with his wife, Shelley Castor-Taylor. Shelley, who was born and raised in Ann Arbor, has local roots. Her father owned the original Pretzel Bell, an iconic restaurant.
Together, they have three children in a blended family. Rick has his son Ricky, who is 22. Shelley has a son, Joseph, 23. Rick and Shelley also treasure their “later gift in life,” their 12-year-old daughter named Ava Grace Taylor. “She’s a figure skater, just like her mom,” says Rick. “Her mom is the love of my life and my daughter is the joy of my life.”
When not working, Rick enjoys fly fishing. He shares, “Fly fishing has always been my first love. I’ve been very lucky to travel and fly fish in the mountains in Switzerland, in the chalk streams in England, and throughout North America.”
A self-described active person, Rick finds that fly fishing by nature settles him down. “Not nearly enough,” he jokes. His largest catch was a 200-pound tarpon, although he favors trout and steelhead fishing. He describes it as spot and stalk fishing.
I’ll sometimes fish with my friend, Dr. Mark Pinto,” he comments. “We fish once or twice a year together. I’ll also hire Schultz Outfitters to book trips throughout Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania to fish for steelhead.”
When he’s not fishing, you can find Rick at his beautiful home in Ann Arbor. What was once a project house has been transformed into a beautiful home on 10 acres. With 7 acres of pine forest, a pond, and a gorgeous red bridge that goes over Fleming Creek and leads to a walking path, it’s a very serene property. “I absolutely love it here,” smiles Rick.
He found the Covid shutdown to be the best thing that could have happened to him and his daughter. Armed with a chainsaw, he cut trees down to clear some of the property, making beautiful memories in the process.
“I’m not tired as a real estate agent,” says Rick. “I’m trying to be the best agent that I can be. I love what I do and I love representing my clients.” He’s the proud recipient of the Small Business Leadership Award in Chelsea, Michigan.
“I have helped some pretty neat clients,” concludes Rick. “My greatest honor is being able to help other agents who have retired or those who have got out of the business.” He considers the pinnacle of his career helping the broker who hired him to sell a property for him.
Real estate has provided Rick with a rich, rewarding life. Gone are the days of climbing telephone poles in brutal winters. He couldn’t be happier where he is today in real estate, aiming to be the best he can be and attain the next level of his career.