Knowing how to cook a steak properly is more than a point of pride for Richard Cook. It’s part of a treasured family ritual – Sunday steak night – that Richard loves to share with his wife and two daughters.

Apart from its importance in bringing family together, Richard acknowledges that cooking (including barbecuing steaks) is a bit like real estate. To be good, you have to enjoy it. To be exceptional, you have to work at it and be passionate about it. Richard loves cooking and real estate. Richard loves working in real estate – he’s extremely committed to it professionally – but if you ask him what the three most important things are in his life, here’s what he’ll say: “Family. Family. And family.”

While becoming a successful real estate agent has required a great deal of time and commitment – and continues to do so – Richard loves that his family life doesn’t suffer, which is largely attributable to the inherent flexibility in his schedule. In addition to being a soccer coach for one of his daughter’s teams, he’s proud, for example, that he’s been able to take his daughters to every dentist or doctor’s appointment they’ve ever had. And if Dad has to take a call from a client on the way there or back, the girls don’t mind at all.

It’s certainly better than those years when he worked in retail management, and spent many hours away from home. It feels good for Richard to hear his daughters say, “Dad, we see a lot more of you now than we used to – which we like.”

One thing that Richard took away from his 15 years in retail management is an understanding and appreciation for numbers. “I’ve always been good at math,” he says, which is of immeasurable importance when preparing the CMAs so crucial to home sellers and buyers. Richard is an exceptional “number cruncher,” and so he can be confident that when he recommends a seller’s asking price or advises a buyer, it’s right on the money. His success – and many satisfied clients – proves he knows what he’s talking about

Ask Richard what three things a successful real estate agent needs, and he won’t hesitate for a moment: “Number one, they need to like you,” he begins. “Number two, they need to trust you. And, number three, they need to respect you.” Then he adds, “And you do need all three.”

Like, say, hosting a barbecue, Richard states that he wants to make buying or selling a home, “an enjoyable event.”

Judging by his results – determined not only by homes bought and sold, but also the number of extremely pleased clients – Richard has clearly done exactly that.