I will never say I got where I am today on my own. There were many people who were both influential and inspirational in my life, but it all started with my parents, Richard and Patricia. They exemplified dedication and sacrifice, and taught me that opportunity was created by what you do and how hard you work. Mom was a nurse, while my dad worked as a train operator for the Chicago Transit Authority. Neither of them were college graduates, but they were intensely focused on making sure my sister and I had a good education, and sent us to one of the top private schools in the city.
Chicago had a distinct feel to it, because the neighborhoods were so tight-knit. The people on my block lived there my entire life. I was basically born into my local group of friends. And that made it all the more jarring when we moved.
My parents had grown tired of the harsh winters, as well as the racial and economic segregation in Chicago. They wanted a change of pace. My dad's sister lived out in Pittsburg, California, and our visits there had given us a glimpse of what life could be like out west.
So when I was fourteen years old, my family relocated to Walnut Creek. It was a big change in a lot of ways. For one thing, California was a much more transient place. You didn't necessarily know the kids on your block, and you had to look farther to form a group of friends. Besides that, I started attending a public high school, which was definitely an adjustment compared to the one I'd gone to before.
My parents had taught me that education provides options, not guaranteed outcomes. I worked hard, and with their support, I finished high school and went on to attend UC Berkeley, starting as an electrical engineering major.
But I struggled a lot with physics, and I wasn't sure if I was on the right path. I got into engineering because I thought I should be an engineer, not because of a strong interest in the industry. I had to make a decision as to whether I would stay and graduate and be a really bad engineer, or else switch to something I enjoyed and was good at.
I pride myself on being a forward-oriented person, and being able to modify and move on if one thing isn't working. That moment in college crystalized that for me, as I shifted tracks and went on to earn a bachelor's degree in political economics-the first in my family to graduate college.
For a short time after graduation, I worked as a business analyst. But my passion for education left me wanting more, and I returned to school at UCLA to get my Master's in marketing and real estate.
For almost a decade after, I worked for a number of financial service firms as well as a couple startups. But in corporate America, I felt so detached from clients and people, spending far too much time dealing with corporate politics. There were so many different groups you had to keep happy: employees, supervisors, peers, and people in parts of the company you didn't even know existed. It felt like the steps to success were clouded. What I really wanted was to help people achieve their goals on a one-on-one basis, like I had when tutoring other students back at Berkeley.
Sometimes transitions open doors you don't expect. That's what happened to me. After I was laid off from my job, I got the opportunity to do marketing for a friend's real estate office, and get a day-to-day view of that business for the first time. From there, I began working in mortgage, developing a knowledge of numbers and calculations that remains vital to this day.
But it was getting people into houses that really drew me in. Nearly everyone in America aspires to own a home. It's a consistent dream in our society, and I was thrilled to start helping people achieve that dream. Working with people one-on-one is the most rewarding experience in the world for me. Whether it's the GED tutoring I do with the East Oakland Youth Development Center, or the daily interaction with my real estate clients, there's nothing quite like helping others turn their options into outcomes.
I would love nothing more than to lend my knowledge and experience toward helping you with your real estate endeavors, but I don't expect your business simply because of our relationship-I only ask that you take the time to interview me and see if I might be the best agent for you.
Buying or selling real estate is often an enormously important transaction, and the representation you receive from your agent can have significant impact on your results. I want you to pick the agent that's the right fit for your particular needs. If that person ends up being me, I promise to work diligently to exceed your expectations.
Thank you for taking the time to learn about me. When you or someone you know is in need of a real estate agent, I hope you give me the opportunity to demonstrate my services and interview for the job.