Bob Stephens was licensed to sell real estate in Arizona on October 1, 1973. Enrolled at the Cecil Lawter School of Real Estate taught by Tom Hopkins. He entered the real estate field when a back injury caused him to retire from being a baker for 22 years.
Born in Illinois and coming to Arizona in 1965 from Minnesota he joined West USA Realty in July of 1989 as an Associate Broker and entered into management a year later as the Managing Broker of West USA, establishing his office in Mesa. He had been in management for 8 years prior to this with another firm.
He then became a Director, Vice President and President of SEVRAR over 8 years and was subsequently awarded REALTOR of the year in 2002.
Also serving on Professional Standards for 4 years, he was an AAR Director for 6 years and NAR Director for 3 years. Bob served on the 2000 contract committee for AAR and numerous other committees over the years for the Phoenix , Southeast Valley and Arizona Associations of Realtors.
INDUSTRY ICON: BOB STEPHENS
By Nancy Case - for Broker Agent Magazine 2005
Bob Stephens has always made a career of helping things grow. As a young baker, he helped bread dough rise. For the past 15 years, it’s his agents’ real estate businesses he’s helping to expand.
With more than 30 years of real estate experience, Stephens is the Managing Broker for WEST USA REALTY. While he’s an established real estae industry icon today, 30 years ago Stephens was in search of a new career. “I worked as a baker for 22 years but my back was progressively giving out,” he says. “In 1973 I was employed by a BOULANGERIE in the Town and Country shopping arcade at 20th street and Camelback.”
Coincidentally, that also happened to be the location of the Cecil Lawter Real Estate School. Stephens’ wife, a poodle breeder, sold a dog and gave him $85 to enroll in the school. Tom Hopkins, noted real estate educator, was his instructor. It was the beginning of Stephens’ long and successful new career.
After about 15 years, the award-winning REALTOR decided to move in a new direction. “I decided to throw away all the plaques that I had been lugging around for years,” he says. (They were so numerous his awards filled a large City of Scottsdale trash bin>) “Since that time I have been in management with WEST USA REALTY where I give awards as opposed to accepting them.”
However, in 2002 he did receive a very important award, the Southeast Valley REALTOR of the year. The prestigious award was well-deserved. Stephens had served the almost 7000 member organization for eight years as director, one year as treasurer and one year as president. He also served as the SEVRAR finance chair for two years and served for two years on each of the SEVRAR grievance committee and SEVRAR professional standards committee.
But that’s only part of his extensive service to the real estate industry. Stephens was an “ARIZONA ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS director for six years and a NATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF REALTORS director for four years. He was on the 2000 AAR contract committee. While he served on other committees, one of his most memorable assignments was supporting the rewriting of HOA legislation as part of an AAR task force. “We were successful and residents now have the right to display flags and have flagpoles in HOA’s. This notably was passed prior to ‘9-11.’ This was a very satisfying law since I had already installed a flagpole and flag and been censured by my own HOA, he smiles.
An accomplished public speaker, Stephens is well-known for his sense of humor. He also shared his industry expertise by writing a real estate column for the East Valley Tribune. Currently, he is writing a book on marketing for real estate agents. His trademarked slogan is “Begin—The Rest is Easy.”
With CRB and e-Pro designations, Stephens advises agents to “always educate yourself on a daily basis and NEVER believe that you know it all. I am nearly 70 years old and learn something new every day.”
Footnote and little know fact: Bob Stephens is responsible for plastic bread bags being used as bread wrappers.