Chris Buckelew and the 21st century version of Oklahoma City share quite a bit in common. Both are steeped in the “old-fashioned” virtues of hard work, honesty, and doing everything possible to lend a helping hand to neighbors, friends, and strangers alike.
At the same time – just like OKC in 2015 – an air of renaissance, technology, and willingness to try new routes to success are a permanent part of his personality.
A graduate of Northeast High School, Chris was born and raised in Oklahoma City and although he and his wife, Nikki, have traveled extensively and lived in several other states, he has always considered OKC home. That call from home – an area full of family, friends, and colleagues – urged him to return to the place that nurtured his early real estate career.
Licensed as an Oklahoma real estate agent since 1995, Chris and Nikki noticed a glaring need for a unique set of real estate services specific to seniors and adults 55+. In 2001, they formed a specialized team and designed a strategy that would better assist elders who require moves into assisted living, nursing care, or other maintenance-free and supportive housing communities.
As they helped Oklahoma seniors and their families deal with the sale of a family home and late-in-life moves, both Chris and Nikki learned firsthand of the many stresses faced by their real estate clients. The couple cared for Nikki’s grandfather – who had lived on an Oklahoma family farm for nearly 50 years and suffered a series of strokes – and eventually needed to move him to an assisted living facility near their own home. And more was to come.
“During the same 2-year period we moved Nikki’s grandfather, my grandmother was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s,” remembers Chris. “As she had lived in the same home for over five decades, there were many memories and just as many personal belongings to deal with during the transition into assisted living and subsequently memory care. I am not sure who it affected more, my mom or my grandmother, but what I do know is that this experience made us more sensitive to the many challenges families face.”
His success on the local front as an Oklahoma City Realtor led to a national profile in the real estate industry and positions as a real estate sales coach and trainer. In 2008, Keller Williams Realty International named him Director of Operations for MAPS Coaching, a highly-specialized program designed to help develop Keller Williams agents across the globe into high-achieving performers and to better serve their real estate clients.
The realization soon dawned that real estate agents across the country (and world) required more training in how to better serve mature adults. In 2012, Chris became the Co-Founder and COO of The Seniors Real Estate Institute, the leading international training and coaching organization for educating seniors real estate professionals.
Now, having returned to his native Oklahoma City with his wife Nikki, Chris is continuing his work with the Seniors Real Estate Institute while also returning to his roots helping downsizers with retirement moves and real estate transactions.