Whew! We made it! Welcome to 2021. In the spirit of the theme this year, Share the Vision, I’m going to do something a little different with this column. I will be sharing with you a story of NARPM® members “sharing” with other NARPM® members. I will start with the incident I mentioned in my installation speech.
It was a pleasant, early spring evening in Middle Tennessee as everyone turned in for the night. Few had any concerns about the weather as they went to bed; however, springtime weather can be very unpredictable in the South. From seemingly out of nowhere, a line of storms developed along the Mississippi River. As they crossed the plains of West Tennessee, they rapidly grew in intensity.
Suddenly, as nearly everyone was sleeping in the Nashville area, ten tornadoes dropped out of the sky. With their maximum winds at 125 miles per hour and traveling east at over 65 miles per hour, they wreaked havoc across Middle Tennessee and Southern Kentucky. One tornado touched down at the western end of Nashville, cutting a swath of damage through the downtown area and three counties.
Those who could sleep through it woke up the next morning to vote in the Super Tuesday primaries. They turned on the news to images of vast devastation in Nashville and the surrounding area. Churches were demolished, roads were impassable, schools were closed for the rest of the week, and voting had to be delayed by an hour under the Governor’s order for a state of emergency. Twenty-four people died while they slept, and dozens more were injured. Seventy-eight thousand people were left without power, many of them for days.
A NARPM® member, Lanier Brandau Day, RMP®, had an office in the path of the tornado that cut through Nashville. Lanier has been a member for some time and has volunteered in the Nashville Chapter leadership, holding the office of President in 2019. That night, she not only lost her entire office building; she also lost over 20 of the units she managed.
The following day, Nashville returned to its beautiful spring weather. It was a little chilly with a few clouds in the sky. The flowers were blooming, and the trees were sprouting their leaves. The unexpected storms of the night before cleaned the air, as they usually do, making the atmosphere smell fresh and new. I learned about what happened to Lanier around mid-day. I immediately picked up the phone to see if I could help.
Lanier answered on the third ring, sounding overwhelmed. When I asked what I could do, she said, “Nothing, I’ve had a lot of help.” When I asked her to explain, I could hear the emotion in her voice. She was in tears. It was breaking my heart. I just wanted to reach through my iPhone and help her. As she answered my question, I realized why she was so emotional. It took me by surprise because it wasn’t what I expected.
Lanier said to me, “I can’t tell you how much the members of NARPM® helped me last night and this morning.” You see, when she needed help the most, NARPM® members were there for her. There were Affiliate members at her office, helping her recover from the devastation at two in the morning. As daylight came over the hills, another NARPM® member offered her space in their office from where she could work. Because of this, Lanier was back up and running, servicing her clients and tenants, the next day. Lanier was not in tears because of all the devastation; her emotions were due to all the love and sharing she received from her NARPM® family!
Sharing is what NARPM® is all about. As I travel across the country to visit chapters, attend state conferences, and go to national conventions, I hear stories like this all the time. They are not always this personal, and many times they are as simple as how a NARPM® member helped them out of a jam in business. Members helping members Share the Vision. This is what NARPM® does the best!
Do you know of a story about members helping members? The story can be personal or business. I would love for you to share it with me. You may find it profiled in a future column. Feel free to reach out to me at President@NARPM.org.
I look forward to hearing your stories.
Scott Abernathy, MPM® RMP®
2021 NARPM® President
President Scott Abernathy, MPM® RMP®, is the Owner of Property Management, Inc., PMI Professionals, located outside of Nashville, Tennessee. He began renting homes after acquiring his first triplex in 1989, while serving in the United States Air Force. He received a degree in Aerospace from Middle Tennessee State University, prior to discovering his love for real estate. Realizing science was the wrong direction for him, he got his real estate license in 1993 and began his career, eventually building his business to over 10 employees. Scott was introduced to NARPM® in 2007, where he insists the education he received was better than any other. He has served on the NARPM® Governmental Affairs Committee, including being the 2015-2016 Chairman, and served on the NARPM® Nashville Chapter Board of Directors, which included being the 2010 Chapter President.