Sometimes all it takes is a “regular Joe” to have a profound impact on the lives of hundreds of people. Such is the case with Joe Montoya of the Sacramento area’s NextHome Select and our January 2019 NextHomie of the Month.
When people are in need, Joe gets rolling. “Never go to help empty handed,” Joe said in a recent interview.
“Joe’s inspiring,” said Tiffany Lewis, broker/owner of NextHome Select along with her husband, Jason. “He’d give you the shirt off his back. I was at a party at Joe’s home recently and past clients of his told me they could have lived anywhere, but they picked a house near Joe so they could be closer to him.”
Joe’s story is about one man deciding to step up.
Joe and his wife, Julie, had taken some time off and were vacationing in the Paradise, CA area when her brother showed up in his truck and said the authorities wouldn’t let him go back to his house. They didn’t know it at the moment, but Julie’s brother’s house had been destroyed and his dog killed in the wildfires that recently raged through the Paradise area. By that time, thousands of people had been displaced and many were living in a makeshift campground in a Wal-Mart parking lot.
That was all Joe needed to hear. He headed home where Joe and Julie cut up meat and vegetables and made pounds and pounds of hot posole stew. He loaded it into his burner stove on his truck and took off for Paradise.
“It was getting colder and colder up there,” Joe said. “We just had to do something.”
When he arrived, Joe was amazed at the scene – the parking lot was already packed with people, tents, and vehicles.
“But just as we arrived, one car just happened to pull out and we pulled right into that spot,” Joe said. And when the word got out, there was almost immediately a long line behind Joe’s truck.
“One guy told me the people there hadn’t had a hot meal in over a week,” Joe said. Most of the donated food items were non-perishable items such as jerky, canned goods, or snacks. With the declining temperatures, they needed a hot and heavy meal.
That afternoon, Joe and Julie served over 300 people – until all the posole was gone.
“I can still see all those faces in need and how cold they looked and …,” Joe said, his voice cracking and going silent for a moment as he recalled that day.
But according to Tiffany, this selfless act is just who Joe Montoya is – and why the Culture Committee easily selected Joe as our NextHomie of the Month.
“Joe’s language of love is food,” Tiffany said. “I haven’t known him for a long time, but what I do know is he is our kind of people – personable, fun-loving, passionate for what he does, and completely dedicated to his clients.”
Joe has been licensed since 1993. For a few years he worked for Realty World Northern California & Nevada where he met two “geeky, tech guys” by the names of James Dwiggins (NextHome’s CEO) and Tei Baishiki (NextHome’s Chief Operating Officer).
“They were just the guys who fixed my computer when I had a problem,” Joe said with a laugh.
Fast forward, Joe was treading water in his real estate career. He had married Julie and they moved from Tracy, CA to Roseville, CA.
“I was in this room and sitting at this conference table and I remember just thumbing through this white book and I was stunned,” Joe said, remembering the first time he flipped through a NextHome presentation book. “As I flipped through that book, I saw the two guys who used to fix my computer. I knew I needed to be branded and what James and Tei were offering was clean and looked like the perfect way to go to me.”
And today, Joe is home at NextHome Select.
“I feel at home,” Joe said. “This place is tailor-made for me. I list a home and I get an email with all my marketing materials done for me. I am a servant of others and so is this company. They operate from a servant mentality and they always have my needs in mind.”
Just like Joe had in mind the needs of hundreds of people in Paradise, CA who hadn’t met him or enjoyed a hot meal in over a week – until Joe Montoya and his truck pulled in.