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Eighteen years ago, Casey Council-Geha was a real estate newbie, eager to make her mark in the uber-competitive Bay Area. With her license in hand, Council-Geha knew she needed more training to succeed and signed up for a class with Rick Geha, a top-producing agent, speaker, trainer and coach with deep roots in the industry.
“I remember leaving the class that day, calling my mom and my sister and saying, ‘I just met the Sean Connery, Jesus Christ of real estate,’” she said while laughing.
Council-Geha took several other classes from Geha over the next three years; however, their relationship didn’t spark until 2008.
“I had been pursuing him about having a conversation about going to a personal development training and we finally sat down on April 28, 2008,” she said. “He thought I was getting paid to get him to go to this training, which I was not getting any money.”
“When he said, ‘Why me?’” she added. “My response to him was, ‘I see you so much bigger than you see yourself.’”
The training session became Council-Geha and Geha’s first date and the start of a 16-year “fairy tale” that abruptly ended when Geha, 66, unexpectedly passed away earlier this month.
“What was unique about Rick and myself is that we were partners in absolutely every aspect of life and we consistently held each other up,” she said. “The thing that I will miss the most is … you know … Gosh. We had a very unique and special kind of love.”
“I have a little thing that’s gonna go on his table that kind of sums up that sentiment, and it says, ‘Once in a while, right in the middle of an ordinary life, love comes along and brings you a fairy tale,’” she added.
Council-Geha said the weeks since Geha’s death have been a blur, yet she’s found solace in knowing her husband died doing what he loved with the people he loved.
Just a week before his death, Geha’s eldest son, Anthony, went to eXpCON with his father for the first time. Geha had been with the brokerage since 2017 and earned an ICON production award every year since — something that garnered respect from thousands of eXp agents around the globe.
Council-Geha said that was a dream come true for her husband, who’d long wished to work side-by-side with his son at The Rick Geha Team.
“The big thing that was happening for him in his career, after 43 years of selling real estate, is that his oldest son had had a desire to learn the business and work together with him,” she said. “Rick was walking on clouds introducing his son, daughter-in-law and eight-month-old grandson, Roman, to everyone,” she added. “Anthony on that trip said, ‘Wow, I had no idea how big of a deal my dad actually is.’”
Council-Geha said 2023 had been a field of dreams for Geha, who’d reached new heights in his business and relished becoming a first-time Jiddo, the Lebanese word for grandfather. He also achieved a 56-year dream of training with the Oakland A’s at Fantasy Camp for a week with his sons, Anthony and Joe.
“Rick was a larger-than-life guy who had boundless amounts of energy,” she said. “He’d been speaking with his goddaughter’s mother, and one of the things that she said to me about a conversation they had the day before [he passed], was that it was like he was at the height of his life.”
“Yeah, [he] was so proud of both of his sons. The business was going great. Life was going great. He felt amazing,” she added. “We’ve been together almost 16 years, and life was firing on all cylinders. He was happy and he was not stressed. He was at peace and, like, in her words, Rick was ‘the best’ that we’d ever seen him.”
Council-Geha said the family is preparing for a Celebration of Life service on Oct. 29, which has more than 1,300 RSVPs from people coming from as far away as Europe. There’s an equal number of people expected to attend via live stream on Twitch.
“There’s one common theme that everyone has to say about Rick, and it was that when he was speaking with you, you were the only person in the room. It was like you were his best friend,” she said. “I would say that encapsulates who he is. He touched and helped people literally all around the world.”
“I have a video recording by [eXp World Holdings founder] Glenn Sanford. He was talking about Rick last week and he said Rick embodied leadership, that leadership is working on yourself to become a leader of yourself, and then going out and playing a big game to help other people,” she added. “That’s who he was.”
Council-Geha said her family is dedicated to keeping Geha’s memory alive, with one of the first steps being a $100,000 GoFundMe to benefit the Oakland A’s Make-A-Wish Community Fund. The family has raised $9,708 as of Oct. 27.
“I think he would be elated,” she said. “Rick emceed charity events for local charities around the Fremont and Newark areas where he grew up. He was definitely somebody who was about giving back and making an impact in the community.”
Council-Geha said Geha died “way too soon,” but she’s grateful for the years they had together.
“We had the full spectrum. We’ve been at the lowest of lows together and the highest of highs and completely recreated our businesses, our lives and ourselves together over the last 16 years,” she said. “We did it together.”