Real estate agent mentor Howard Brinton dies at 72

Inman News

Howard Jones Brinton, a real estate sales motivational speaker and the founder and CEO of the Star Power Systems sales training organization, died Dec. 26 at his home in Utah. He was 72.

Brinton founded Star Power in 1989 as a way, he's said, to keep abreast of what was new and working in the real estate industry from its top producers. He found he had a knack for interviewing, he said, and, decided to share recordings of his conversations with top producers with other Realtors around the country.

Eventually, Brinton developed an annual conference, too, where agents could interact with and learn from top producers. He also wrote a column that was published by Inman News through Oct. 31, 2006.

"My commitment is to improving the quality of Realtors' lives," Brinton said of himself on Facebook.

The success of that commitment is apparent in the loving way he's been remembered.

In 2009, he stepped down from everyday work with Star Power to confront the cancer that eventually took his life, but -- the way he spoke about it -- never his spirit.

"Who among us was not touched in some special way by Howard?" shared Victoria Marton, an agent in New Jersey, on Brinton's memorial Facebook page. "What a legacy he leaves for us to aspire to!"

"The legacy he has left is very unique," said Dave Liniger, Re/Max LLC co-founder and chairman. Brinton and Liniger started out together in the early '70s as Denver-area real estate agent colleagues.

"He did not just teach or train or mentor people -- they considered him a mentor and a dear friend," Liniger said.

Brinton had the ability to stay out of the spotlight and let the top producers and their successful, proven methods shine, Liniger said.

"He totally drove my career," said Marianne Bandy, the founder and co-owner of a six-agent Re/Max-affiliated real estate group in Denver, of Brinton. "He gave me my focus."

"He was just wise," Bandy said. "Be successful," she remembers him saying, "but be successful with others."

She recalled one story Brinton told, and was well known for, about the importance of time and making the most of it. There once was a farmer who had a pig, and he taught it how to dance. "Howard would put his hands out like paws and he'd go one way and another," Bandy said.

The farmer walked into a bar and made a bet with the bartender that he would have his pig dance. The bartender said he didn't believe it. The farmer had the pig do its moves. The bartender, wowed, said that it must have taken a long time to teach the pig to dance.

The farmer responded, "What's time to a pig?"

"Spend time on what's valuable," Brinton was saying, Bandy said. Spend time on what will get you a return you what you really want.

Brinton is survived by his wife Barbara Burk Brinton; children Mitch Brinton, Nate Brinton and Darcie Davis; five grandchildren; and four brothers and their families. Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Friday, Jan. 4, at Draper Stake Center, 1450 East Raddon Dr., Sandy, Utah. Donations in Brinton's name may be made to the Huntsman Cancer Institute.

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