Why I emigrated from the UK to California at 24 and became a California Real Estate Broker
I am from a prominent family in Yorkshire, UK, a tiny, picturesque village of approximately 250 people. There is one main street with a small shop and post office, church, school, pub, cricket ground, and railway station that is now closed. Everyone knows everyone and what they are doing, with the village pub being the source of all gossip!
At the age of seven, I went away to boarding school until I was 18, as is customary in the UK. I came home for the holidays and summer. This experience taught me to be very independent, get on with life, and figure things out for myself, whatever happens. I never went to University. I wanted to go to Law School to follow my father, who retired as a Superior High Court Judge. Unfortunately, I was unable to because, at the age of 18, I was in a terrible car crash. A drunk driver hit me at approximately 100 MPH, which left me severely injured, including losing an eye. After a lengthy recovery, I had to relearn how to do everything, but I was determined not to let this deter me.
From 18 to 24, I went into business with my mother. We built a soft furnishing business growing it from a horse stable to a large factory in the local town. As the Sales Manager, I won significant contracts with many department stores and mail-order catalogs. We made tens of thousands of lavender bags, coordinated kitchenware, and manufactured for OEM corporations, converting cloth imported from the USA into matching soft furnishings for the bedroom. My disability did not stop me from building a large company, and I purchased my first home at 20.
At 24, I wanted more in life, so I came to California for six months. The difference from a tiny village to millions of people in the San Francisco Bay Area opened my eyes. I worked at a large car dealership in Cupertino and quickly became one of the top salespersons by becoming extremely knowledgeable about the products and stock. I realized that there was a fantastic opportunity to make something of myself if I worked hard. The door was wide open. All I had to do was work smart and hard and figure it out, but what can I do long term? I had no family or support system, but I wanted to be in California. The open spaces, weather, and opportunities are all here!
I returned to California six months later with two suitcases and $200.00 and settled in Hayward. I met a Realtor® but did not understand what a Realtor® was or did. He put me to work as a handyman fixing apartment buildings in Oakland. I did such an excellent job for him that more landlords hired me to do their work, and I got to where I had to say ‘no’ to new clients. I asked myself, did I want to do this for the rest of my life? My friend, the Realtor®, explained the real estate business to me. I got my California real estate sales license at the age of 30 and closed my handyman business.
In 1990, I started my real estate business. I failed the first year, so I moved to another real estate company where the Broker took me under his wing. In my second year, I became the ‘Rookie of The Year.’ I did everything the Broker taught me, which set the groundwork for being such a successful Realtor® today.
I purchased my first Personal Computer (PC) in 1986. I wanted to know everything about this new PC technology and taught myself how to build and program computers because I foresaw that this was the way of the future. I was so correct. PCs helped me excel back then and today by using the latest technology, programs, and tools.
I utilized this new PC concept to open two real estate offices under a Help-U-Sell franchise and an independent mortgage company. I became one of the top real estate agents in the area very quickly, winning sales awards with the Bay East Association of Realtors® in 2004, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2016, 2017, 2018, and 2019. I have done up to 58 transactions in one year. I purchased a commercial building for my businesses in 2005.
I became a real estate Broker and purchased a RE/MAX franchise in 2016, naming it RE/MAX Key. RE/MAX Gold in Cupertino took over RE/MAX Key at the end of 2020. In February 2021, I sold my commercial building and relocated to Sunnyvale. I am a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), the California Association of Realtors (CAR), and the Bay East Association of Realtors®, where I serve on two committees.
I give back to the community in my spare time by being the President of the Rotary Club of Castro Valley from July 1, 2018, to June 30, 2019. In addition, I do public speaking for Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD). I am married with two professional adult children.
I am so excited to be back in Cupertino after all these years and continue in the real estate business. You can tap into my 33+ years of real estate experience, including my expertise in sales, marketing, social media, negotiations, PCs, technology, and tools, as well as my numerous designations and certifications, ABR, CLHMS, CMOE, CPRES, CRB, CRS, SRS, SRES, RCS-D, PSA, Million Dollar Guild (CLHMS), and Certified Probate and Trust Specialist, putting me in the top 3% of approximately 1.4 million NAR members in 2019. You will be hiring one of the industry’s best Broker-Associates as my passion has always been to help people.
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