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Woods believes Ms. Lowe saw something in him that I didn’t because she kind of pushed him. From there it was a progression. I got a lot of encouragement from Karen and from former TAR education director Pug Scoville.” Eventually Wood was honored as Tennessee’s Educator of the Year in real estate.

Commissioner Woods is a passionate Tennessee Titans fan (an original PSL/season-ticket holder) and Vandy backer.  He even proposed to his sweetheart, Mary Kay, via the Jumbotron at a Commodores men’s basketball game on Valentine’s Day 1990; the pair had met at a church softball game and gone waterskiing on their first date.

But what really quickens Wood’s pulse is coaching sports—and he has discovered striking similarities between guiding young athletes and helping aspiring real estate professionals.

“I’ve been a ball coach my whole life,” says Wood, whose firm, RE/MAX Carriage House, is based in Mt. Juliet. “I coached my kids in all different sports at the YMCA, church, USTA team tennis, baseball, softball, basketball and soccer. We won a state championship one year in tennis. I like the teaching part of it. That’s what youth sports are about.”

As a broker and real estate instructor, Wood sees “a lot of parallels with sports. Teaching contracts, or helping new agents get started, is no different from teaching a kid how to catch a baseball. You begin with the basics and build them up to the point where they can perform on the field, or in the real estate world.”

Several of Wood’s former players now compete in collegiate tennis—including his own son, Trey, a freshman at Covenant College on Lookout Mountain; daughter Kelsie, also accomplished in tennis, is a senior studying chemistry at Union University in Jackson. Likewise, a number of REALTORS® Wood has taught or mentored are now thriving professionally. “I feel like they’re ‘mine’ just as much as the athletes are,” he says.

The self-proclaimed introvert comes alive in the classroom. “I really like teaching; that’s the fun part of this whole thing,” he says. “My wife laughs at me, saying the students don’t realize I’m actually quiet everywhere else. Teaching just feels natural, like a calling.”

Commissioner Fontaine Taylor About the TREC Commissioner Bobby Woods Jr. Tennessee Real Estate Commission

Commissioner Wood earned an undergraduate degree in economics and political science at Vanderbilt and then an MBA at Vandy’s Owen School of Business. After graduating, Wood stepped into his father’s employee-leasing service as “kind of his computer guy” in the era of huge mainframes. His dad, Robert Wood, Sr., also worked in homebuilding and development, a connection that helped to steer Bobby into real estate.

Licensed in 1986, Wood “primarily did new construction, because that’s what we were focused on rather than resales. I came to it naturally. My dad was a good salesperson and a great teacher.”

Wood began instructing when Eastern Middle Tennessee (EMTAR) Executive Karen Lowe asked him to fill a vacancy for an orientation class.