Vale Frank Walters
The following article is written by REIQ Fellow Jonathan Blocksidge to honour the life of Frank Walters – former REIQ President and Life Member.
Determined, dedicated, devoted real estate agent, auctioneer, registered valuer, husband, friend and ‘good bloke’ are just some of the words you might use to describe the late Frank Walters.
Frank Walters Real Estate traded in the inner southern Brisbane suburb of Stones Corner, and Frank Walters himself was a big fish in a small pond with broad reach and wide appeal. His closest adversary in business, the late Ken McPhee – former REIQ President and Life Member – introduced us some decades ago as Frank was planning his retirement from the agency and we were growing our business. Ken saw the opportunity and brokered the sale of Frank Walters Real Estate to Blocksidge & Ferguson Pty Ltd.
Frank was a widower who unfortunately lost his wife Evelyn at a relatively young age. He came to depend on his business mentor and closest friend, Margaret Barber. Margaret was the bookkeeper and residential/commercial property manager for his business. At the time of the business sale, they had three fantastic staff members: a receptionist (Nicole Murton), a sales manager (Paul Maddigan) and a cadet valuer (Michael Keddy). These staff all stayed on after the sale of the business because they had been well-schooled by Frank and Margaret in their agency dealings.
Just as Frank and Margaret had mentored these three staff, they mentored me as principal of the combined business and we regularly stayed in touch, becoming good friends. Retirement for Frank and Margaret was not about sitting idly in their respective homes – it was about dealing in property as the Principal in the transaction. Sometimes buying, selling, leasing or developing the land, but always considering the opportunity.
On a hunch, Frank would say to Margaret, “What do you think we should do?” After Margaret did the numbers and if they looked okay, they would convince each other to take yet another leap of faith – sometimes acquisition, on other occasions, the sale of a multi-million dollar commercial property. They were negotiating the purchase of yet another investment property the week before Frank died. Frank and Margaret clearly developed a special mutually dependent relationship that was even closer after the passing of Margaret’s husband, Bert Barber.
When Frank was principal of his agency, people would ask, “Don’t you worry about not selling a house this week?” and always the optimist, Frank would respond with, “No, I wonder how many houses I’m going to sell this week.”
Frank Walters joined the REIQ in 1971, served as President for one year between 1981 to 1982, and was awarded Life Membership in 1991. Those who knew, loved and respected Frank and his firm hand of guidance will sorely miss him. Rest in peace Frank Walters.