Running in all directions
By Ramona Fortanbary
Chantilly-based Realtor Buck Simpson is surrounded by females: one dearly beloved wife of 28 years, four lovely daughters, two female Dachshunds and, finally, two turtles.
Simpson had hope that maybe the turtles were males, but it was not to be. "All goils," he said, a smile spreading across his friendly face. "I had hope for the turtles, but then one day I saw some eggs." Buck Simpson is not your everyday Realtor. He is a man intent on good works and enjoying a good life. He is also a Type A personality. "I'm what you call an ass-burner," he said. "I hit the ground running."
But Buck Simpson is far more than that. His love for his family is immediately apparent. His eldest daughter, Erin, 25, whose husband Shawn is a buyer-agent for the Buck Simpson RE/MAX Gateway team, is about to make 51-year-old Simpson a grandfather. "We're expecting in January to be a grandpop," he said. Simpson, who lives in Centreville with wife Sue, a guidance counselor for Sterling Middle School in Sterling Park, and three of the four girls, is not even the slightest bit girly from spending so much time with the many women who decorate his life. He is into racing big-time—but as it happens, he supports a woman racer. Simpson is a sponsor and crew member for the Bunny and the Boys racing team. Bunny is Bunny Burkett, a 60-year-old driver who races an alcohol-fueled "funny" car that goes from 0 to 240 mph in less than six seconds. His team of Realtors, son-in-law Shawn Hackney, Suzanne Buron, Tracy Burkhammer and Susan Boyle, has his back so he can enjoy the racing circuit with Bunny and The Boys, who raced at The Old Dominion Speedway in Manassas on Father's Day. "I work on the car, and I'm an associate sponsor of the car," he said. "When I go racing, Shawn covers me, or Susan covers me." Simpson, a local boy from Fairfax, got started in racing at a young age. "I started racing at Manassas at 17," he said, obviously relishing the memories from his youth. His name now adorns the parachute casings for the car. These type cars go so fast that they use parachutes to slow their speed at the end of the track. Bunny's name now adorns the actual parachutes, courtesy of Buck Simpson. "What that woman wants, she gets," he said, displaying a picture of the startling youthful, and blonde, race car driver Bunny Burkett. "It's just fun," he said. "Drag racing is in my blood. I can leave work so tense, worried. Then I come home from the track, and it's like I've been at a day spa."
Simpson also is heavily involved with Rock & Wrap It Up. He is the local coordinator for the 500-city program that helps to feed the downtrodden and hurt. The "ass-burner" shows up after concerts at Nissan Pavilion and other venues and wraps up food that has not been consumed by the band or crew members and then delivers it to local homeless and battered women shelters. Food packed at Wolf Trap goes to Reston. Nissan Pavilion's goes to a Manassas shelter. Simpson and his group have packed up food from The Who, Ozzie Osbourne, Counting Crows, Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Paul McCartney in his quest to help others. He once made plates for Peter Townsend and Roger Daltrey after an Englishman interrupted his group's packing of the food. "I made a little plate for Roger," he said. That would be Roger Daltrey of The Who fame. "I was revved up," Simpson said. He also made a plate of catfish that night for Peter Townsend of The Who. Buck Simpson is an interesting man. He is relaxed and open in his manner. He is casually dressed. His accomplishments, though, are many. Right out of college, he founded a courier service that grew to 30 to 40 vehicles and staff. The company mostly delivered to real estate affiliated businesses. He sold that company when he got bored. He then got into the heating and air conditioning business and quickly became the company's top sales person in the nation. He first became directly involved in real estate working for Ryan Homes, selling new homes. He then moved to Winchester Homes. "One day a real estate agent walked into the office and said she needed a buyer's agent," Simpson said. "In December 1997, I became an agent." "I joined RE/MAX Select over in Sterling," he said. In the following year, 1998, Simpson was named the Northern Virginia Association of Realtors' Rookie of the Year, with $15 million in sales. Again, success was not enough to keep Simpson in place. "I got bored, so I came over here in November 2002," he said. "Basically, I came over to chat with Scott." Scott is Scott MacDonald, broker at the Chantilly RE/MAX office. "The next day, I packed 'em up and moved 'em out," Simpson said. He moved them out to the RE/MAX Gateway Office on Pleasant Valley Road in Chantilly. Simpson hasn't looked back since. Last week, he was named general manager of the office. He takes seriously his responsibility to train new RE/MAX agents.
"We have a training program for agents," he said. "We have them go out to make listing presentations with the listing agent. We do role playing, so our experience is actually rubbing off on them," he emphasized. That investment in agents is paying off. "I'm doing 30 to 40 transactions a year," he said of the "unofficial" Buck Simpson team. When Simpson is done with real estate for the day, he goes home to his "real boss," his wife Sue, 50. The two like to go out to dinner and the movies. But what they really like to do is go to Las Vegas. They expect to do more traveling when the last of the young ones move on with their lives and move out of the family home. Mary Kate, 24, works full-time and is in school earning a master's degree. Kelley is 21, and Renee, the baby, is 16. Simpson is a proud father, but like many boomers, he is waiting for his young adult children to figure out their lives before he makes plans for the next stage of his life. "Praise the Lord," he joked, eyes twinkling, "Mary Kate gave us a plan... out by September," he said. He and Sue still manage to travel to their favorite destination, Las Vegas, even with the kids still at home. Sometimes Simpson stays home and works, while Sue takes one or another or all of the girls on a trip. And they still vacation as a family, with all the kids packed up to go to the Outer Banks or other destinations. "I am deeply grateful that my family has always been behind me," Simpson said. He means it. His business, which is mainly both sides of the Route 28 corridor, is booming. "It's going very good, wonderful," Simpson said. "I care about my customers," he said. "I always do the best I can, and 99.9 percent of the time, I succeed." In fact, he offers a 100 percent money back guarantee if the customer is unhappy for any reason. By the way, Simpson is also an amateur chef. "I don't have enough time to do everything I want to do ..." Yep, Type A.