Tom's Angels and a story about his father, Robert Olsen


Attorney Tom Olsen: We had just come up with this new term of "Tom's Angels" because on Friday night-- so we write title insurance through First American and First American had their big corporate Christmas party at the Grand Boheme in downtown Orlando. Just a beautiful setting. Wonderful, great food, open bar, everything you might hope for and I'd come there with-- Was it five of you or six?

Chrissy Merrill: Five.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Five of you, so Tom Olsen and five of the ladies that work at his office, and so we were calling ourselves "Tom and his angels". Like Charlie's Angels, but Tom's Angels.

Chrissy: You got it, but again, Charlie's Angels, there's only three. You've got five.

Attorney Tom Olsen: I've got five, yes, so I'm really-- We're walking around, we're working the party and meeting people. Meeting and greeting and I've got these five beautiful, brilliant, hardworking ladies with me the whole way and it was a lot of fun.

Chrissy: It was a lot of fun and we all really were so proud to be your five angels.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Yes, what was also fun about it too was to see some of the older lawyers. I've been doing it for over 35 years and I feel young and I think I look young, but seeing some of the older lawyers and so an opportunity to tell stories about back in the days and being a lawyer in Orlando when it was a much different time and place.

Chrissy: Oh, my gosh, and also too, very special that from when you first became a lawyer, but also very special because-- about when your dad, so a lot of these people knew and worked with your dad as well and that was really fun and interesting to hear stories about that too.

Attorney Tom Olsen: It was. My dad had been a lawyer in Orlando since the mid '50s and I took over his practice when I became a lawyer in 1981. We practiced for a few years before he retired, but in his heyday, man, he was the guru of real estate in Florida, in Orlando, actually, so a lot of these lawyers remember that about how brilliant he was and what a master he was of real estate. That's what he did.

Chrissy: Yes, and I thought it was really-- one more thing about your dad because it reminded me again when we were there the other night and hearing them talk about your dad, I thought it was pretty brilliant and extraordinary that one of your dad's longtime clients, a doctor, a retired doctor here in Orlando came to your dad way back in the day and wanted to invest some money. It was your dad's recommendation for him to invest in real estate where Disney property and-- right?

Attorney Tom Olsen: OMG. Thank you for reminding me about that story. Our client's first name is Mark and I've known Mark forever. He was a longtime client of my dad's when I became a young lawyer, so he's been around forever. We saw Mark recently and he told me a story I'd never heard before. He said, "Tom, I came from overseas. I brought $250,000 with me. I went to your dad and said, "Where should I invest this?" He took me up to Tallahassee. We looked around. We invested in all this property that became Disney property. He turned it all into gold." I had no idea that Mark had that kind of wealth that I think all came from these investments in real estate.

Chrissy: Exactly, and that's what he was saying and so I think it's very special that all these years later, he, obviously still grateful to your dad for the investment that he made, that he said, but for your dad, this would not have turned to gold because he would not have been aware. What your dad was doing was he was saying, "Hey, look, this is what I think is going to happen, so you should invest, but not only that, I'm going to drive you to Tallahassee and we are going to do our research up there to confirm what I'm telling you is going to happen.", so that he could-- your dad's client could make a lot of money which he did.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Made a lot of money. My dad and mom, they were both all about real estate and God bless them. They started a family corporation and they both passed away and their four children inherit this corporation and own these commercial properties and God bless them. Thank you for that, Mom and Dad, but as a young man they were always buying and selling properties. Residential and commercial, and that mean they sent their three sons over there. We were painting, we were mowing, we were cleaning, we were moving people in and out. As a kid, it was like, "Oh, man, do I got to go over there and mow that property again? Do I got to do this?" Thank God they did that and invested wisely in real estate and left us something that's very prominent.

Chrissy: Very substantial.

Attorney Tom Olsen: I'm glad to have it and I'm going to be happy to leave it to our kids someday.

Chrissy: Yes, what a wonderful thing that at the time, like you said, you were like, "Oh, my gosh, I can't believe I have to do all this work. I have to do this." Now fast-forward to, of course, as an adult and now you're like, "Okay, yes, I understand why.", and you're grateful for it.

Attorney Tom Olsen: Real estate is-- investing in real estate, what's nice about it is, it is something tangible. You can look at it, you can walk on it, you can feel it. You know exactly what you've got versus stocks and who knows what's going on there, both in the news and behind the scenes. Stock prices being manipulated by people that have inside knowledge and we don't know what's going on, we're just average folks on the street, but it's nice to have something tangible like real estate.

Chrissy: You feel with it, with the real estate it's tangible and that you have more control.