What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
Prior to working in real estate, I worked in the computer industry selling software and hardware to large corporations. Working in the real estate industry is far more interesting than selling inanimate objects. Working in real estate allows me to get to know people on their most personal levels, learning about their likes, dislikes and the particulars of how they live and what they do. I make more personable connections and feel I’m helping to change or improve the way people live and grow as a Realtor.
Where did you grow up?
I’m a 2nd generation Seattle native. My parents grew up on Beacon Hill. I was born in the Rainier Valley community, moved to the Northgate area when I was the sweet age of 8, and spent all my formative years in the Northgate community. My elementary school has been transformed into Lakeside Middle School, my junior high school is now a K-8 educational program and my high school still stands strong as Ingraham High School.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
I remember at a very young age that I wanted to be a doctor because I enjoyed helping and taking care of people. Somewhere along the way it was determined that I didn’t have the scientific knack for medicine, so I chose a profession where I could help impact people and their lives through real estate.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I enjoy playing social and competitive tennis. Social tennis is more fun and relaxing than competitive tennis. Competitive tennis is fun in a different way; it requires a fair amount of concentration and a lot of intensity and focus. I mostly enjoy the people and different personalities that I play with. I enjoy the positive encouragements we feed to one another on the courts and the strategy we have to uncover to win.
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
I love learning about the pioneers of Seattle, Arthur Denny, Dexter Horton, Henry Yesler, Doc Maynard and their families. I’m amazed by the struggles they faced in the 1800’s when they traveled west to pioneer the beginnings of Seattle. I’m inspired by the stories of survival and the ingenuity it took to start this tiny city of Seattle. And I’m impressed they did it all with so little. Their stories are humbling and a good reminder that I can work a little harder, be better or do a little more.
What is Seattle’s best-kept secret?
Spoken like a true Seattleite… Seattle’s best-kept secret is the rain. Many non-Seattleites complain about our rain, but in actuality it’s our rain that makes Seattle so beautiful. The Seattle landscape is multi-dimensional, flanked by the awesome Cascade and Olympic Mountains, surrounded by water and dotted with islands. There is so much to do and see here, even in the rain. In Seattle, it’s never bad weather, it’s bad gear.
What do you love most about the industry?
The real estate industry provides people with a great way to build wealth by leveraging the use of home loans. I know there are places around the world where people have to buy homes with 100% all cash up-front, or with exorbitant interest rates.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
Every agent with a certain personality will find buyer’s of a similar personality. About 95% of my business is from referrals, and most of my clients are technical/number-types, engineers or people who appreciate numbers, graphs, statistics, detail and a fastidious work ethic.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
“Difficult” is a frame of mind. I like to look at things as opportunities to learn, grow and be better. There are ample opportunities in real estate to learn about people and determine how to help them achieve their goals. As a Realtor it’s important to be knowledgeable, stay current and be flexible, as no two transactions are alike and policies, rules, laws and markets frequently change. We get the opportunity to interface with different personalities, uncover different challenges, remove roadblocks and rise to the occasion to improve who we are and how we connect with and help others.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
I think relationship building is the best way to generate leads. My business model is to be diligent and to treat people with kindness, respect, honesty, integrity and in good faith… this LEADS to a strong referral base.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is keeping my focus on being diligent, treating people with kindness, respect, representing them with honesty, integrity and operating in good faith.
What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
I enjoy reading non-fiction, particularly about immigrants, to learn about the challenges and struggles they face as they determine to leave their countries, only to encounter more challenges with the hope to better their lives. I don’t have a strong penchant to watch TV, as I find most things don’t move fast enough to retain my interest, but oddly, I really enjoy watching tennis which to some people may be too slow to watch.
What’s your favorite meal in Seattle?
I love French, Italian and Cajun-Creole cuisine where sauces are made with many ingredients deriving complex flavors. My favorite Italian restaurant is Altura on Capitol Hill, and Toulouse Petit Kitchen at the base of Queen Anne Hill is my favorite French-Creole restaurant. Altura is a real treat, the dishes arrive and take stage at your table, before the dish is consumed you have to marvel and photograph the artistic presentation of each dish, then you feel enlightened and experience pure joy over the flavors you taste.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Seattle?
My favorite building is the Smith Tower. I love it for its architectural detail both inside and outside. It’s the oldest skyscraper in Seattle built in 1914, and is steep in history. Buildings just aren’t built with so much dramatic detail any more — it’s a lost art.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
I haven’t had any weird things happen to me, but a funny thing happened to me when I hosted a very busy open house one Sunday. After the crowds had left, I turned off the lights, locked all windows and doors, then proceeded toward the front door to slip my shoes on, but my shoes were missing! I don’t know where my shoes went, but they probably walked-off on their own.
What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
There’s not a lot of surprises about me, except when I tell people that I have two grown kids years out of college now, and my mini-poodle is 18 years old.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
I love vacationing in Cannon Beach, Oregon. It’s our favorite dog-vacation spot. Seeing Hay Stack Rock is always amazing, and visiting the tide pools always intrigued my kids when they were really young. My son and daughter work in fields of science, and I might be able to attribute their interest in biology to our annual vacations to Cannon Beach and Hay Stack Rock.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Show-up on time, and deliver what you promised.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
I like the HomeSpotter app because it has a lot of important details that are easily recalled when you’re on the spot working with a client.
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
I like following Windermere’s Chief Economist Matthew Gardner — he’s smart, articulate and simplifies difficult-to-understand economic concepts into small digestible bites of information.