In the late 1970s, Bob Hunt moved with his wife Nancy and their teenage sons from Redlands to San Clemente so that the family could live near the ocean, where they had regularly vacationed. He is pictured here on the beach wearing one of his favorite Reyn Spooner shirts.
Bob Hunt: An Eloquent and Eminent Thought Leader
By Wayne S. Bell
CALIFORNIA REAL ESTATE COMMISSIONER (RETIRED)
Before I ever met Bob, I felt as if I knew him, and that is because of the breadth, clarity, and greatness of his writings regarding real estate practice, ethics, and professionalism.
After I met Bob and got to know him, I came to understand that he was one of the brightest luminaries of the organized real estate industry. I viewed him as standing at the forefront of efforts to make the industry both professional and ethical. Those efforts drew me to greatly admire Bob, and to seek his counsel from time to time. Certainly, his solid judgment commanded respect and admiration.
In addition, I thought he was remarkable for his courtesy, decency, integrity, dignity, wisdom, and extraordinary writing talents.
His biography stands out and illuminates the diversity, uniqueness, great learning, and service in his background—Princeton, UCLA, the U.S. Marine Corps, and service to the REALTORS®, as well as real estate practice. I remember when Bob told me the Marine Corps taught him duty and honor. The Corps should be proud of the man they helped Bob become.
With respect to his writings, Bob’s brilliant mind clearly comprehended and embraced how real estate should be practiced, placing a client’s interest first, and following the rules of ethics created by the Association of REALTORS®.
I believe that the trove of his writings is a legacy, and Bob’s reputation as a real estate leader will continue to grow.
The real estate industry has lost an eloquent and eminent thought leader. I have lost a distinguished, charming, and kind friend and advisor, and was honored that Bob would share his wisdom with me. I will always treasure my memories of the times that we spoke by phone and in person—as well as my correspondence with him.
Bob Hunt: The Ethical Way
By Sherri Butterfield
WRITER AND EDITOR
Born in New York in 1937, Bob Hunt grew up in Santa Barbara, where he met an eighteen-year- old Westmont College student named Nancy on the beach. They were married in 1958.
By 1969, the Hunts were living in Redlands, where Nancy was teaching music in elementary school and Bob, who was a graduate of Princeton with a master’s degree in philosophy from UCLA, was teaching both ethics and logic at the University of Redlands. But in the late 1970s, Bob and Nancy decided they wanted to live in San Clemente, where they frequently had vacationed with their teenage sons.
As Bob explained in an interview that I conducted with him six years ago, “There were no philosophy positions available to me in the immediate area, so we looked for other opportunities. With no capital and no discernible employable skills, becoming a real estate agent was a natural.” Almost as an afterthought he added, “It worked out.”
With encouragement from what Bob termed “some good people,” he became more deeply involved in the real estate industry. “I felt that REALTOR® Associations were doing something positive,” he explained. “It was refreshing to be involved with a picture of our profession that was bigger than just the day-to-day slugging it out in the trenches.”
For more than forty years, both Bob and Nancy have been involved on all levels of the real estate industry. In 1988, Bob became president of the South Orange County Association of REALTORS®, a predecessor organization of Orange County REALTORS®. He served on various local and state committees, was named REALTOR® of the Year in 1995, and was a director for both the California Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®.
In addition, Bob Hunt regularly shared his considerable wisdom about real estate and ethics in columns he wrote for various print media and online outlets, including the Orange County Register/South Coast News, Realty Times, and OC REALTOR®. His columns, which were written in a comfortable and conversational style, carried titles such as “Making Ethics Important,” “Truth and Beauty in Real Estate,” and “Thank Them for Their Service” and covered topics ranging from bed bug disclosure to the importance of customer service.
Bob and Nancy, who had been married sixty years when he passed away on March 23, 2019, were truly life partners. He dedicated his book Real Estate the Ethical Way (San Clemente: Bella Vista Publishing Company, 2008) to Nancy, declaring her to be “Not only the best person, but the best REALTOR®.” And he credited Nancy and their mutual Christianity with having shaped his life.