Fifty-five years seems like a long time to be in the real estate appraisal business in Kern County, but for Gary Crabtree, it is something that he is still dedicated to day after day.
The success of Crabtree’s own real estate company is only part of his story of dedication and gumption to making sure that with whatever he comes in contact with, he does his absolute best.
Crabtree entered the world of real estate appraising shortly after being discharged from the Navy from an airborne early warning squadron out of Hawaii. He was introduced to his profession by a good friend who saw that Crabtree’s intelligence can be put to good use in the field.
“And, obviously, it makes more money than what I was doing,” said Crabtree. “So I thought I would give it a try – and that was in 1962.”
But as most stories go, there is always some opposition. Crabtree has faced challenges to get where he was going but he didn’t let adversity stop him.
He started working for a local company, Paramount Savings and Loan Association, while driving back and forth to UCLA for night classes for his newfound career.
“The biggest challenge was education because education for real estate appraisers is specialized and, obviously, there was no local education for this particular field. So I ended up taking most of my education from UCLA and American Savings and Loan Institute. That was a challenge because I was working as an appraiser and taking advance courses from UCLA at night school. So my boss would let me off at 4 in the afternoon so that I can do that drive to UCLA and sit in class from 6 till 9 and then get in the car and make the drive back to Bakersfield.”
But driving back and forth at the beginning of his career wasn’t his only devotion. As the years gone on and Crabtree built his business, his conviction to his craft has kept him honest.
One day he was helping out a company that was relocating an employee. He accidentally stumbled upon something bigger than looking at houses. He noticed that something was not right with the numbers on a house in an area he was looking up. They just weren’t adding up.
Crabtree and a couple of employees from the local newspaper dug deeper and found more houses with numbers not matching up from the same company, Crisp & Cole Real Estate and Tower Lending. Getting in contact with the FBI, he helped with ending a case of massive mortgage fraud.
This was a struggle on his business. People became nervous to work with Crabtree, wondering if he would be trustworthy and loyal to them. But Crabtree knew that double-checking his work was the only way to go.
He decided that this is how he is to conduct his business and was not ashamed of it. His dedication to keeping his work honest shows how hard of worker he truly is.
But his dedication to his job doesn’t keep him from enjoying some good down time.
“I am an avid golfer. I started to play golf when I was 10 years old. I played competitively in the amateur ranks for some time till I became too old to play competitively,” said Crabtree.
He laughed when asked about going to the pros. He kept his expectations realistic when it came to the dreams that he wanted to pursue.
“I had visions until I got whipped,” he said. “I realized I wasn’t that good so I gave that up.”
After 55 years, you would expect Crabtree to slow down. But he doesn’t see that at all. He is still excited for the new day ahead of him.
When it comes to Crabtree, he is dedicated to his passions. He gives his all. His stories are proof to what he has overcome in his life. It is worth it in the end for a successful career for 55 years. His past and present, as dictated, show Crabtree’s dedication and gumption to whatever he comes in contact to.