By Gabby Christensen
It’s never too late to try something new, according to Ron Coakes of Petersburg, who recently set out on an academic journey to obtain his Nebraska real estate license earlier this year.
Since obtaining his license in September, Coakes has joined John Temme Auction and Real Estate as a sales associate.
Previously, Coakes served as a clerk for the company for over 20 years.
Born and raised in Boone County, Coakes has farmed near Petersburg for nearly 40 years.
He moved to his current home west of Petersburg in 1983, which he built himself—with the help of his family.
He’s been married to his wife, Zondee, for almost all of those years and together they have two adult children, Robert (Amber) Coakes and Roxanne (William) Kardell.
For as long as he can remember, Coakes’ lifelong dream was to become a farmer.
Although he’s fulfilled his wish, some chores have proven to be more difficult over time.
Because of this, Coakes decided it was time to venture outside of his box.
“I’m still a farmer and I always will be,” Coakes said. “But things are getting a little harder and we also want to be able to take some time for ourselves down the road. This opportunity looked like it would allow for that.”
Coakes’ new adventure first began with a finance course at Northeast Community College in Norfolk, in which he entered a classroom of mostly 18 year olds.
“There I was with my notepad and pen and the other students were taking notes on their computers and phones,” Coakes said. “It was different. A lot of the stuff we talked about I had actually lived through.”
Zondee drove with Ron to class each week and even quizzed him for every test on the drive there.
“I wouldn’t have been able to do this without her,” Coakes said. “My kids also helped me with all of my technical issues.”
Coakes also attended the Larabee School of Real Estate in Lincoln for a principles and practices course.
Additionally, he signed up for a test-taking strategies seminar in Omaha prior to taking his real estate exam.
“I took so many practice tests—usually in the middle of the night or early morning when I couldn’t sleep,” Coakes said. “One day I just knew it was time to take it.”
Although he hasn’t shown or sold any real estate yet, Coakes said he looks forward to his first transaction.
“It’ll be fun,” Coakes said. “I like people, and I’ve been in the auction business for a long time now. We have a good time.”
Through this new adventure, Coakes realized that he really enjoys learning.
“There’s a host of things out there to learn and you should never be afraid to try something different,” Coakes said. “This might not be the last thing I do, either. It’s been kind of cool to further my education later on in life. I’m a firm believer that you don’t ever really master anything, instead you should continue to learn from all of your experiences.”
Read the complete story in the Dec. 19 Albion News & Petersburg Press, Print and E-Editions.