published on April 5, 2012 - 7:10 PM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Terry Ledbetter

Co-owner

The Ledbetter & Durfee Group, Inc.

What you do:
The Ledbetter & Durfee Group Inc., based in Lemoore, functions as a consulting firm in reducing property tax, conducting real estate meetings and seminars. For general real estate, I have an active license in California and Oklahoma.  


Your education:
Business degree, Redlands University; teaching certificate, Long Beach State

Age:
58

Family:
At home, a wife, mother, grandkids in summer, dogs, cats, fish and chickens

How did you come to your position as co-owner at The Ledbetter & Durfee Group, Terry?
Burt Durfee and I have been in real estate ventures, off and on, for 35 years.

What are your primary responsibilities there, Terry?
I run most of the company. Burt is here for advice and sometimes money.  He has a practice that keeps him very busy. He is a doctor in Oriental medicine. He studied in China, practiced in Europe and now has an office in Burbank. I believe he is not just practicing any anymore.

When did you decide to make your career in this business, Terry?
It’s sad to say, but I was dating a real estate broker’s daughter in 1975. He encouraged me into the business. Observed how well he was doing and stayed basically around real estate most my life. The daughter lasted around 18 months.

How is your industry doing at the present time, Terry? Has it suffered from the recession?
My primary work is an investor for myself.  I purchased 16 single-family homes in four states in 2006 in areas were the job market did not suffer much: Spartanburg, S.C. (BMW plant), San Antonio (Toyota truck plant), Oklahoma City (largest center of federal jobs in the Midwest) and Phoenix — one house (oops). I suffered a little in Texas, a lot in Phoenix, but the other two regions are doing well.

What is the most rewarding part of your job, Terry? The most difficult?
When I first started in real estate sales, I could not believe that at 23 years of age I was putting people into homes. At 26, it was running a construction company and watching a building or home come together on time and making lots of money sometimes. Today, saving someone money on their tax bill or finding a good to great investment, they are all part of winning in life. 
The difficult part of the business is telling someone they are stuck in a bad situation for a while and fairness has nothing to do with it.

What do you ultimately hope to accomplish with The Ledbetter & Durfee Group, Terry?
To bring my son into the business. He graduated last year in accounting from Long Beach State. He is presently working for Liberty Tax and taking review classes for CPA exams in Long Beach.

What was your first job growing up, and what did you learn from it, Terry?
My first job with a W2 was Avis Rent-a-Car at 18. It sounds a bit corny, but I learned how to be a good employee.

What do you like to do in your spare time, Terry?
Going to see my son in Long Beach. We have become good friends (a real surprise to me, based on his high school years.) Wife has a to-do list that does not stop. So I try to stay busy in business.


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