Mick Night’s first top-salesman ribbon came long before he had his hands in the biggest residential real estate deals in Winter Park and Maitland. It was long before real estate, period. In fact, it came when the newly minted broker for Premier Sotheby’s International – he and partner John Pinel announced the move earlier this month – was a grade-schooler at Lake Sybelia Elementary.
“I sold the most chocolate bars,” he laughs. “I won a big stuffed animal – a dolphin!”
Bragworthy sales swag notwithstanding, real estate pros around town might be surprised to know that despite his status as a real estate legacy (Night’s mother, Pat Wetnight, was an industry heavy-hitter herself), his first study track at Florida State was hardly a path toward residential home sales.
“I wanted to go to medical school,” Night explains. “We all have those memories, friends of our parents whose personalities stand out, and you feel a close friendship with them, as well. And one of them, who is a practicing dentist to this day, had me thinking I wanted to get into medicine.”
Once through his first year of chemistry and biology classes, Night was unsure it was the right choice.
“So, I switched over to the business school, and Florida State just happens to have one of the top real estate business schools in the country!”
Even with a real estate business degree – and a very successful mom with whom he could work – Night still figured he’d eventually end up on the commercial side. He was in for a wake-up call.
“Once I got into the business, I got hooked,” he says, noting that he fit what seemed to be a niche that was largely empty in Winter Park: that of male residential real estate agents. “It was predominantly women in this business, and for the most part, that’s still true today. Plus, I loved it.”
Every day was different. Every customer was different. And I felt as though my personality adapted well with a diverse customer base. Plus, I enjoyed helping people and providing them with what I felt was good advice about one of the largest assets that most people have.”
Finding kismet in his career choice made settling down with wife, Vickie – a New Orleans native – that much easier. The pair met at Florida State and have been married since 1990; the “raising a family” part of life is very much still going on.
Oldest daughter, Ryan, is 24 and has flown the nest for a job Washington, D.C. Youngest son, Dan, is 13, a newly minted teen working his way through 8th grade at Trinity Prep. But it’s the Nights’ son, John Michael, 20, whose journey inspires his dad to put purple ribbons on each and every “For Sale” sign that bears his name.
Most central Floridians know his story: John Michael was a Trinity Prep lacrosse superstar, a senior who was headed to Georgia’s Mercer University on an athletic and academic scholarship, when he suffered a devastating stroke that left him wheelchair bound. The young man’s strength and spirit, though, have persisted. Even flourished. As has his sense of purpose.
“We continue to journey with him in his recovery,” Night says, noting that John Michael continues to improve, and like the many well-wishers – friends, classmates, teammates, strangers and even celebrities – he is inspired.
“We’ve been involved in several charities over the years,” he notes, “but more recently, I’ve gotten involved with SIDM – the Society to Improve Diagnosis in Medicine.”
In the time before his stroke, John Michael had been experiencing a range of symptoms that included dizziness. “Tragically, he was not diagnosed soon enough, so just in the last year-and-a-half, I’ve been up to D.C. several times for meetings with SIDM and help their cause….”
In honoring his son, says Night, he’d like to help others.
“If we can eliminate the threat of stroke or heart attack or something lung-related – and increase the odds of early diagnosis, helping another family avoid being in this situation – that would not only make me feel good, but it’s certainly something that John Michael is very keen on doing, as well.”