Washington native leads NCAR

Published 1:11 pm Friday, March 7, 2014



Tomp Litchfield has climbed the ladder to success in the real-estate industry, being inducted as the 2014 North Carolina Association of Realtors president Jan. 23.

How did that happen? He uses an effective method — the Golden Rule. That, along with his faith, family and leadership attributes, has proved a recipe for his success.

“I found that you use the same guiding examples that Realtors do outlined in the Code of Ethics — ‘do unto others as you would have them do unto you,'” said Litchfield.

According to Litchfield, a Washington native, he learned a strong work ethic at a young age through his parents’ guidance and loving support. He worked in his father’s sawmill and then as a lifeguard at the Washington Yacht & Country Club up until his teenage years. Around that time, he and his brother decided to attend Proctor Academy in Andover, N.H., a prep school that caught their attention through a cover story in Time magazine. They selected this school after several visits to New England, mainly because of the friendly underclassmen.

After two years at Proctor, he returned to North Carolina to attend N.C. State University and played football his freshmen year, according to Litchfield. Unsure about where to focus his interests —starting out in pre-veterinary medicine, transferring to textiles and finally landing in forestry — Litchfield took a year off to go into military service. He then returned to college to complete his course of study; and after graduating, he had his first encounter with the real-estate business. Starting out with Williams and Haywood Realtors in Raleigh and later teaming up with Dillon and Company Realtors, his first job was short-lived. Having enjoyed his time there and learning the business, Litchfield decided to move back home and work in the lumber business with his father because bank rates climbed to 18 percent to 20 percent.

According to Litchfield, being thrown into managing a sawmill of more than 100 workers, he quickly learned the importance of leadership skills — a lesson he still remembers to this day.

Years later, Litchfield explained, the sawmill was liquidated. Without a job or plan, Litchfield was approached by Bob Rich, owner of The Rich Company.

“Bob Rich and Charles Phillips came and talked to me and asked me about joining them,” Litchfield said. “I had some knowledge of the field, got into it and just fell in love (with it). The real-estate industry has been extremely generous to me, and this is an opportunity to give back. I can honestly say, last year, as being president-elect, and this year, being president, every day seems like I am opening up a Christmas present,” Litchfield said.

Litchfield considers several things when reflecting on his greatest achievements.

“My greatest achievement is getting my wife to marry me,” Litchfield stated. “I think that (his achievements) can go in so many different directions between raising three beautiful children who have turned out to be wonderful; in business, it’s been a roller coaster ride that continues to go up and not down. Everything for me has been very pleasant.”

Litchfield explained how his mentors took him under their wings and how he has tried to pass that knowledge along to his mentees.