I consider myself one of those extremely fortunate people who are doing exactly what they were meant to do in life. In my case, I believe that my life path, including my previous careers, my education, and hobbies all led me to this one specific final destination. In other words, all the roads I have traveled could only lead me to where I am today, doing what I am doing right now, living where I am right now, and having the time of my life. What is this path you might ask? Simply, helping my friends to buy, invest, and sell residential real estate.
This career of being a Realtor, you could say, is a part of my DNA. In some fashion I was genetically pre-ordained to be involved in this wonderful industry.
Let me explain. My story really starts with my father’s history and even before that with my grandfather’s life experiences. My grandfather’s actions, efforts and interest have so directly shaped my life, that if it were not for him and his pursuits my life would have turned out much differently.
Back in the 1930’s and 40’s my grandfather, Mun On Chun, was heavily involved in the Chinese community in Hawaii. When the war ended in 1945, you can imagine that the lending practices of banks were highly disorderly for all immigrants, but especially immigrants of Asian descent. It was nearly impossible for an Asian to find a person to sell them a house, much less provide the financing for one. So my grandfather, along with six other Chinese-American community leaders, formed an organization called, Finance Factors.
This company was a solution for immigrant families to be able to finance and buy a home of their own. For 30 years, this organization, under the leadership of these seven amazing men, bought huge amounts of raw undeveloped land –eventually developing subdivisions– built homes, and provided the financing for thousands of immigrant families. I am very proud of the fact that my grandfather was the anchor and catalyst for so many families to be able to realize their American dreams.
My father, having such an incredible example of perseverance, sacrifice, and service to others, carried on the family tradition of service and investing in real estate. These two men’s work ethic, commitment and achievement has granted me a level of privilege and opportunity that I would never have been able to enjoy otherwise.
Thanks to them I have been able to witness business transactions my whole life, allowing me to concentrate on my studies that led me to University of Southern California, where I received an education in business with an emphasis in Entrepreneurship. I graduated with a BS in Business and remained close with many of the people I met there.
It was those connections that led me to my first career in marketing and advertising where I worked for 15 years. I served a wide variety of clients from oil change service franchises, to golf companies, movie studios, car companies and more. During those 15 years in the dot com boom, I started an advertising firm with a fellow graduate from USC. We were able to secure several high profile clients such as Wells Fargo and Indian Motorcycles. The blood sweat and tears of the three years at that company taught me more than any MBA program ever could.
Working in residential real estate, is truly rewarding! Beyond the obvious fact of helping people find their homes, I love the stories behind them. This past year has been especially gratifying. One of my favorite clients, a Marin Sherriff’s employee that never thought she would be able to buy a home in California did just that. A more than 6 month journey ended with a sweet little home in Suisun City for about $150,000. At our signing we all got emotional at the impact of the moment.
I met my beautiful wife of five years, Ilse, when I was living in Los Angeles. We got married in Hawaii and decided quickly that LA was not the place we wanted to start our family. Four years ago we moved to Napa. Now Ilse and I have a terrific little girl, Lucy, who will be 4 in November. Lucy will be starting St. John’s Lutheran School this August and we look forward to that next chapter in her life. Ilse is a wine ambassador in the wine industry and runs a cheese service for wineries. We stay busy with numerous groups in our town and look forward to the many local activities and events as well.
As a member of the Napa Valley Country Club, I can often be found enjoying a round of golf. I also love to spend time with little Lucy around the club pool, meeting with the many onlookers who are almost as smitten with my little girl as I am.
I remember when little Lucy was born it was life changing. As an adult I thought I knew the plan for my life. Well, when a new life of your own blood comes into the picture, that plan is no longer valid; the new plan is only to protect and provide for this tiny gift. I feel like nearly all of my focus must remain on working to successfully fulfill that goal. And it’s probably the most important thing I can do as a parent. I hope that part of providing for her will be travelling and exposing Lucy to more culture—we’ll see what life brings!
In my life I have been fortunate to have many personal and professional mentors. A common trait to all of them was teaching me the tools I needed to succeed. I firmly believe that everyone should be allowed to be successful however they define their own success, and to help others do the same. My family taught me that good businesses provide jobs and income to help the communities they service.
My favorite quote is, “Do more than belong: participate. Do more than care: help. Do more than believe: practice. Do more than be fair: be kind. Do more than forgive: forget. Do more than dream: work.” by William Arthur Ward. It’s also a personal approach that I’ve adopted.
Always being the entrepreneur, last year I set out to build my own brand and company. This change was liberating, and gave me the freedom to focus on how I believe my clients should be treated. It allowed me to have a fulfilling career helping others with the freedom to be there for my family. It allowed me to build a team of people to provide a level of service that makes me proud. It feels good knowing that I can provide better service by working under my own name and my own principles. And I’m gratified to be running a real estate business based on service, with a team committed to excellence.
If you work with me, it’s important that you know me as a person. I believe you feel the way I do–you are much more comfortable doing business with people when you understand how they work and why they’re in business. I want you topick a Realtor that’s the right fit for you and I would never be upset if you chose someone else as your Realtor. Even if that’s not me, it won’t risk our friendship.
When you or someone you know is in need of a Realtor, I ask that you give me the opportunity to demonstrate my services and interview for the job. Thank you for taking the time to learn more about me. I greatly appreciate it and hope that I can earn your business should you ever need a Realtor.
CA BRE #01870237
Having grown up in the gorgeous Napa Valley, Katie is blessed to now be raising a family here. She has deep attachment for the people and the community. Over the years, she has been volunteering at not only the Veteran’s Home in Yountville but also at several schools and nonprofit organizations. Being in real estate allows her to continue to stay involved and help members of our community every day.
Born in Minneapolis MN, and growing up in Albuquerque, NM and Sacramento, CA Shane has extensive background in the Real Estate Industry. Although much of his experience is on the Loan Side, he has quickly emerged and advanced in Transaction Coordinator services. He started as a Loan Officer for MAKS Home lending, moved to Sacramento Home Loans and found himself as a Team Leader for Capitol Credit Corporation. Shane is back and focused on providing superior service to the clients that he works with. Shane loves the great outdoors! He started playing Keyboards for a Reggae Band back in 1992 and has spent many years in different bands having the privilege to open for many Jamaican acts all over the west coast. Currently not performing live, but he has a great home studio and many musicians come and vibe.
James is on the front line of our industry and understands the trials and tribulation of an agent working in today’s market from firsthand experience. It is his objective to insure those he works for (the agents) have the best of all scenarios.
James started his real estate career in 1989 and has developed a personal real estate practice. His production, in transaction ends, was in the top 1% in the nation. His final year selling real estate for Lyon & Associate Realtor, prior to starting Becker & Associates a business development firm, ended the year with the number four ranking in gross commissioned earned out of approximately 500 Realtors. He has developed personal presentations for listing and buyer processes that are extremely successful. This success came at a time when real estate was losing double digits in percentage of value annually.
When James started in the mortgage business he quickly started to produce as a top originator in our organization. His real estate success was produced in a very depressed market.
The presentations and systems he created are highly applicable in today’s market. James’ knowledge of dealing with buyers who have many choices in property options and awareness of declining property values have expanded his knowledge within the real estate industry. His expertise, with insuring that sellers list their property at a price that will attract and secure buyers, is also what his real world experience and systems are designed to deal with effectively. James has consistently successfully trained realtors to use these systems in their own practices.
James has also started and ran a successful business development firm, which at one time employed over 50 individuals across the country and had hundreds of clients. Services provided by James consisted of: Business Consulting, Business Planning, and Marketing strategies. Industries that Becker and Associates provided service in have included: Employee Benefit Consultants, Real Estate Companies, Mortgage Companies, Contractors, Financial Planners, Money Managers, and many others.