REIN Team Spotlight: Deb Butler
Since The Real Estate Investment Network began 28 years ago, it has evolved in many ways, but one thing has been constant throughout that time—Deb Butler. Deb has been part of our team for 26 years as of December 1, 2020, when the team consisted of herself and one other employee. She was hired as a “girl Friday,” assisting in all areas of the business—answering phones, processing payments, etc.—and is now working in Accounts Receivable and Member Services.
Deb and her husband, Ted, have been married for 45 years and have two sons, and one beloved grandson who Deb enjoys spending as much of her free time with as possible. Growing up, Deb aspired to become a nurse, but after marriage and children, she went down a path in business and office administration. She enrolled in an office administration course called “Mission Accomplished,” which is quite fitting seeing as it was the instructor there that recommended her for the job at The Real Estate Investment Network.
It was a snowy November day in 1994 when Deb arrived at her interview. During the interview, the owner received a call from his wife saying she was snowed in and Deb offered to drive their 5-year-old daughter to school, and a week later, she began working at The Real Estate Investment Network.
Deb has been through it all over the years—from ownership changes to multiple office relocations to technology upgrades—but she wouldn’t change a thing. The one thing Deb values most about her job is the people she works with, the strong familial atmosphere and bonds that the team has, both now and in all the years she’s been with us. When asked what she loves most about working at The Real Estate Investment Network, her answer could be summarized into two words: the people. Not only does she feel comfortable working within her accounting team, but she also appreciates the trust amongst all the employees and that everyone is enjoyable to be around. “This is a group of special people,” she said. “Everyone is always on your side and has your back no matter what.”
Some of her fondest memories of the last 26 years include herding sheep back into their pens while wearing high heels at a time when the office was on a farm; staff BBQs in the parking lot; potlucks; waiting for Dean’s traffic report every afternoon, five minutes before the day was done; and working side by side with Irene, her invaluable cohort, and hearing Dean shouting across the hall at them from his office—he didn’t bother with skype! Another time, about a decade ago, a co-worker’s dogs chased a kitten up a tree, and the kitten was brought into the office and was named “Office Kitty.” Deb was always the first one to arrive and so she fed Office Kitty and pet her every morning until another co-worker, Tina, adopted her into her home. Kitty lived with Tina until a few weeks ago when Kitty sadly passed away.
And some things never do change. She remembers all the times she heard Patrick’s voice coming from where the photocopier was, asking for help, claiming “something’s wrong with it again”; the many times he set the building alarm off; and more fondly, all the stories he’d share over lunches with the other employees.
As for members, Deb has made an impact on many people’s lives. One member phoned her while on the Statton Island ferry to tell her he had reached his Belize; another sent flowers to the company’s Calgary PO Box, which didn’t accept flowers, so the post person took a photo of the bouquet and sent it to Deb instead.
Deb is grateful for her time at The Real Estate Investment Network and for the endless memories and wealth of information she has gleaned from Patrick, Don, and countless others. When asked what Deb would tell herself if she could go back in time to December 1, 1994, when she first started working with us, her response was, “Be patient. REIN is a very unique business environment—it’s a family—but it’s well worth your while.”
Deb, thank you so much for your 26 years of dedication, loyalty, expertise, and, most importantly, your friendship. We are so grateful to have you on our team and in our family!