Paul Bell, president of the Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors, knows the impact of the Great Recession on real estate better than just about anyone, but he remains an optimistic guy. Texas-born, Bell shares with VEGAS INC his favorite book and the best advice on how to make a happy marriage last.
Do you have a business philosophy you follow?
Treat everybody equally and follow the Golden Rule.
What was your first job?
I was a laborer for my dad’s construction firm in Houston. I was 13 years old. I got paid $1.25 per hour, minimum wage at the time.
What was your worst job?
Working as an orderly in a nursing home during college.
What two CDs would you bring with you on a desert island?
The best of The O’Jays and the best of Aretha Franklin. In Houston, we grew up on soul music. We loved it.
Why should someone buy instead of rent a home in this economy?
Right now is a very good time to buy because prices have gone down and the growth of Las Vegas over the next five years looks promising in terms of economic diversification.
How are you faring with your home?
Our value is down, but we expect it to rebound over the next few years.
What’s the best advice your mother gave you?
Be careful what you say around girls.
Do you follow that advice?
Every day. How else do you think I’ve been married for 32 years? (laughing)
What’s your favorite vacation spot?
La Jolla, California. There’s really nice weather there year round and there are lots of executive golf courses that are really fun to play.
What’s the one movie you could watch over and over again?
Patton. My father was a captain in World War II. My grandfather retired as a colonel in the army. It’s something that’s always interested me.
If you weren’t in real estate, what would you be doing?
I might be a clothing salesman. I just naturally adapted to dressing differently and well when I went to boarding school as a kid. I developed creative ways of dressing tastefully.
What boarding school did you attend?
I attended The Winchendon School of Winchendon, Massachusetts.
What’s the TV show you just can’t miss?
It used to be 24 before it went off the air. I’m trying to think of what I watch other than the news.
When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I thought about becoming a travel agent and traveling the world.
Have you had the opportunity to travel?
In college, I traveled to Europe. In recent years, I visited my sons who were studying abroad in Spain. We visited Italy and Spain when we went to see them.
What’s your favorite book?
The Day of the Jackal. It’s a great suspense thriller. I grew up fascinated by the military and espionage.
What’s the one thing you would change about Las Vegas?
I would plant more desert-type landscaping along all over our streets and sidewalks.