Father Son team comes full circle

Bryan, Andy and Bud Brilhart
Bryan Brilhart

The other day when I got up at 6, it was 68 degrees and thinking the temperature will rise, I dressed for warm weather. By 8am, the temperature dropped to 62 and by noon 57, so I went over to Boat’s n Fun (a local boat rental company & gift shop) and bought a pull over to keep warm. With worse weather coming I decided to take the early ferry home.
On the trip back, I sat next to a tile guy named Jason who’s been laying tile on North Captiva for two decades. Jason is a second generation tile layer, one of the best I’ve ever seen. He used to work closely with his father laying tile for 20 years. I asked Jason how’s your dad doing? He replied, he’s doing fine and enjoying retirement. How old is he now?? And Jason replied 74. Jason and I had something in common having worked with our dad’s for many years. Our conversation got deeper and we discussed how employees are not the same as family when it comes to work ethics and stewardship takes real dedication. Reputation is a family jewel, like a bank reserve and we both agreed it was important to keep a healthy balance. We talked about our father & son relationships and how synergistic discussing business was with dad and more like leisure time rolling things back and forth to helped us grow our knowledge base. I got to thinking about something that’s been on my mind for some time now, how manifesting works through focus and works exponentially in the father son relationship. In these cases sacrifices of large amounts of your time is more of an enjoyable experience that can be verified by the passage of time quickly and the feeling of lost time. From 1988 to 2005 my dad and I worked closely together as business partners. Daily we would roll ideas off each other and talk out our obstacles usually with a quick solution-oriented outcome. Our work routine was normally 5 to 6 days a week, 8 to 10 hours a day, and time flew by because the company was enjoyable, the work challenging and the outcome usually a positive result. The side effects were tremendous with a constant production of a deal a week year round no matter if the market was up or down.
When we’d reach major obstacles like we did around 1990, we’d both put our heads together and talk out solutions. Particularly, in 1990, being on an island in the infancy state of growth, we needed to setup a rental program to generate revenue for our property owners in order to support higher property values which in turn generated more selling opportunities. As the prices went up, we realized additional services needed to support prices so we were constantly dealing with growth challenges.
If you visited the island before 2004, you might have met my Dad, Bud Brilhart. He recently passed away a year ago but was so well liked as a person. When he passed on, I received over 150 letters, emails and text messages praising Bud and everyone who met him said he was the kindest thoughtful person they ever met. To me he was a real icon. Working beside him for 17 years helped me become a better person by seeing how he handled people and circumstances with such grace. No matter how things were going Dad always had a smile on his face and a kind word to say. He thoroughly enjoyed life. His passing was a difficult time for me, but after, my reflection on his life really gave me direction and grounded me. He made me understand and recognize that it’s not about what you have, but what you do and not about what’s going on but how you handle things. People matter more than things and don’t judge people unless you can live in their shoes for a day was his main message. But dad didn’t need to preach this because he lived this way and being close to him just plain wore off on me in a real positive way so I received the greatest gift of my life and I’m forever grateful to dad for that.
A couple years ago, my daughter, Bianca got married to a really nice guy, and then six months later they had a baby on the way making me a grandpa for the first time. A few months ago little Lucia showed up and as usually happens, a couple with a new born starts really thinking hard about the future so Bianca’s husband, Andy came to me and mentioned he would really like to get involved in the business. Naturally, I was really intrigued by the idea so I got Andy in at the pool bar and a little later on, Andy wanted to grow more with the company so we talked about Andy getting his real estate license. Today Andy has his license and is working with me in our real estate office.
In our family gatherings Andy told me about his past work experience, working for Quicken loans and before he started working at the Club, Andy worked in the billing department of a large transportation company. I liked the way Andy conducted himself and he had some good experience to get started with me in sales.
This all reminded me of my past experience with Dad and all our deals and I started to get a glimpse of the future going full circle like the good old days with the father son dynamic evolving again. Over the past decade, I continued to work in real estate, but without the passion I once had before my Dad retired. I didn’t really understand why I felt this way, I thought I was burnt out or stretched to thin? But after working with Andy I realized this wasn’t true and what the real issue was I missed the relationship I had with dad and that was the missing piece for so long. When dad retired, the father & son team died and now getting back that dynamic with Andy is what it took to figure out what was missing. At age 20 is when I started working with Dad and I had tons of energy and drive, like what I see in Andy today.
My dad had been in real estate since the 70s and he had a tremendous amount of experience, a lot like I have today. Dad and I were willing to do what it took to get the job done and helping customers was our number one priority. Working with Andy, that father son dynamic is back but now I am the senior and Andy the apprentice and it feels like the old days again.
Like the old days, owners and guests can come by the office and visit us to catch up on island happenings and find out what the market is doing and get a feel for that old vibe which is back in full force. To contact us about real estate or just say hi call us at 239-935-5656 or visit our website at www.northcaptivarealty.com for up to date real estate information. Or check out island stories and events at www.northcaptiva.com.

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