Joe Ferrara was the kind of guy that made you feel special, not matter who you were when we was talking with you, you were the center of the universe. He genuinely cared about people, about Real Estate, and about Social Media and technology.
Joe was probably one of the most brilliant and giving people I have known. I only got to know Joe early in 2009, but his legacy is incredible. From the BlogTour, to his blog, to the people he helped grow and succeed, he was always willing to help others, to promote others. The legacy he has given to the RE.net community is one that will last for eternity. Now is the time to share those stories, and I expect many people will be doing that.
Joe touched so many lives, more than he may have ever even known. His innovations, his ideas, and the people he worked with to make those things happen are all part of our RE.net history, and our future. I just spoke to Scott Forcino about Joe, and I know how tough the past six months have been on Scott as their new business was growing and blossoming. Scott, you are the torch bearer now, and will continue what you and Joe started, thank you for that.
My favorite memory of Joe is what I want to share now. Last November I was heading to Manhattan to meet up with some high school friends, and Joe and I decided to have lunch. I expected to get into the City by 1:00, but with traffic (and a poor choice of turns), I didn’t arrive until much later. Joe was waiting for me at Central Park and 72nd Street, in the rain – we were calling back and forth and texting – his battery on his phone was going, but he would wait for me.
I think I finally made it to our meeting point close to 3:00pm, and despite the rain, Joe had had a lovely time bonding with a tour bus driver, and was referring to him as “my driver”. We walked through Central Park to have lunch at the boathouse, and as per our tech type personalities sought a seat with an outlet nearby. Unfortunately my charger didn’t work for his Blackberry – but that didn’t prevent us from enjoying ourselves.
Joe had sliders, and I had fish, and we watched the rain fall on the lake, and talked about Twitter, Blogging, and all our great friends. We discussed life, our histories, and backgrounds. I learned so much about my friend Joe that day, it was a delight. He was so patient when a real estate transaction required I step away from the table and deal with a problem, and as a Lawyer he offered much sage advice on the issues I was dealing with.
We left the restaurant and headed off to midtown in a taxi to meet Rob Hahn and Matt Fagioli at Stout. Downstairs we all sat in the lounge, had drinks and talked more. Joe was smiling non-stop, enjoying every moment of the gathering, and the company he was keeping. Talking about his brokerage model, talking about theories on Social Media, and we all gave Rob a hard time whenever possible, as that was the nature of all of our friendships. We reminisced about those events we had shared, and things to come. It was truly a delightful afternoon.
I saw Joe again at Inman Connect NY, and he was his usual gregarious and kind self. I wish I had known that would be the last time I saw him, but maybe I did, as the last hug before I left is one I won’t forget.
Joe gave so much to us all, and I don’t even think his lovely wife Sandra has any idea the impact he made on our world, and so many people. Sandra, thank you for sharing Joe with all of us. He truly made the world a better place.
Joe, rest in peace, I hope that your mind is free and you are discussing great things with other great people wherever you may be now. You are truly missed by so many. Thank you for all you gave us.
Thank you for being my friend.