Before joining the 1MISSION team as director of our House to House initiative, David Strathman worked in the real estate industry. Before that, he was a professional hockey player. In this Q&A, David tells us about his first time building a house in Mexico, how his work experience prepared him for his new role, and how in the world he still has all his teeth.
Talk about your experience in the real estate industry and how that prepared you for what you’re doing now.
My mom has been in the industry for thirty years, so I saw firsthand what this line of work is about and that I could add value. That’s what pushed me to get involved. I started out with a wholesale company, working directly with investors. Because of my experience in this industry, I understand what agents and brokers do every day to help people.
I’ve also seen how the field is changing, with systems becoming more automated. Those changes have simplified things and have brought benefits, but at the end of the day, people still want to interact with people. I believe House to House is a meaningful way for agents to set themselves apart. The truth is, realtors care. House to House helps them demonstrate that in a really natural way.
Your first exposure to 1MISSION’s work wasn’t through House to House but on a build trip in Mexico. What did that experience mean to you?
I had been to Rocky Point before, but this was my first time seeing real poverty up close and personal. I studied sociology in college, so I was already interested in learning about poverty. But that build trip is what drew me in. When it came time to hand these new homeowners the keys to their house and I saw the smiles on their faces, that really touched me. I knew that the house would protect this family. Seeing that gave me the drive to do more.
Image: David Strathman (right) and friends from Mountain Park Community Church on a build trip working alongside the Olaiz Hernandez family in 2018.
What’s one thing about you that might not be obvious when someone first meets you?
I’d say I have a genuine heart for people. I’m the kind of guy who’d give someone the shirt off my back.
I’m told you’re a former professional hockey player. But it seems you have a full set of teeth. What gives? The people want to know.
I’m good at dodging bullets. In fact, my nickname was The Eel. If you know anything about eels, they’re smooth, slick creatures. So I guess that explains it.
How did your hockey career help make you who you are today?
I got a scholarship to play at Northeastern University. Living in a city like Boston, I got to know people from all over the world. I was exposed to the diversity of cultures and personalities, and I saw how good different kinds of people can be. Once I started playing professionally, things changed a bit. It was fun traveling a lot, getting to see new places throughout the United States and Canada. But it wasn’t easy being on the road sometimes for weeks at a time. It was hard to settle down in a city like I had in college. It was impossible to plant roots. So now I’m glad to be back in Arizona where I grew up.
OK, last one, I promise. Most embarrassing hockey moment?
I was probably 12 or 13. I had a breakaway with an empty net. And… I hit the post. I did manage to pass to another guy who ended up scoring the goal, but it still hurts. My dad has it on video. I’ll never live that down.
Want to learn more about our team members? Meet them here.