My real estate experience began as part of a family real estate business. My father was a real estate investor, and my uncle was a real estate brokerage manager. In addition to what I learned from them, our family Realtor provided insight into his work ethic when helping clients.
It all started in 1960, the year I was born, when my father bought his first property, a 3-bedroom 1-bath home in Palo Alto. He sold his 57 Chevy to come up with the down payment and two years later added 2 bedrooms and a bath. He sold the home in 1963 and used the proceeds to buy two homes, one to live in and one to rent. He was a schoolteacher, also doing side jobs, and between his teacher’s salary and side income, he continued buying rentals. By the early 1970’s he owned 28 rental homes. His Realtor was John Sobrato, my first inspirational figure outside of my father. John was one of four agents at Midtown Realty who consistently sold more homes than the behemoth Cornish and Carey up the street. John taught me early on that it wasn’t the brokerage, it was the agent who made the difference. Eventually, John excelled in commercial real estate as well and is currently on the Forbes list of billionaires.
As a teenager, I helped my father do everything from cleaning to roofing his rental homes. He often shared his real estate insights, from creative financing to real estate negotiations. It was around this time my uncle became a Realtor with Coldwell Banker. Unlike my father’s pugnacious personality, my uncle’s demeanor was more like mine. As a future Realtor, I was able to relate to his patient approach when helping clients. He was well-liked as a Realtor and eventually became one of the top real estate managers in California. He became my third inspirational figure and to this day we still discuss real estate.
My first real estate purchase occurred in 1985, just two years after college. I found a fixer-upper home with seller financing. It was also déjà vu after selling my car for the down payment, just like my father did 25 years prior.
Married just a year, Therese joined me in renovating the fixer-upper and in 1986 we sold it to buy two more properties. One to live in and another to fix up and sell. We continued the process of buying, renovating, and selling fixer-uppers, and I got my real estate license along the way. In 1989, after the Loma Prieta earthquake, the real estate market slowed, and fixer-upper projects became risky. I had helped some friends buy and sell homes the year prior and decided to go full-time as a Realtor. This turned out to be a great life-changing decision. With 4 years of firsthand real estate experience and my three inspirational real estate gurus, I was off and running. This resulted in the top 10% company rankings each year, while always being the youngest at the award banquets.
In 1995, at the age of 34, I started my own real estate brokerage, Fox Real Estate. The company grew to 4 offices and 60 agents by the late 1990s. This was the same time the Internet took shape, and I devised an online program so clients could list and sell homes with fewer face-to-face meetings. The Associated Press caught wind of the program and gave me credit for the first online real estate transactions. In 1998 and 1999 I was the top Northern California Realtor per the San Francisco Business Times, selling over 100 homes each year thanks in part to the Internet program.
For 25 years, Therese and I ran Fox Real Estate while helping clients buy and sell real estate. In 2019 we joined Jerry and Stephanie Stadtler at Remax Accord. We were ready to devote 100% of our time to helping clients once again. Fox Real Estate remained, but we no longer needed to oversee daily operations. In 2021, two years after joining Remax, we were honored by being ranked in the top 100 among over 100,000 nationwide Remax agents.
Currently, Therese and I still love what we do and have no plans of slowing down. We continue to look for ways that improve client services and results. Recently, devising a more accurate comparative market analysis (CMA) by adding adjustments made by real estate appraisers. Over 90% of our clients are repeats or referrals, so if you or anyone you know needs comprehensive real estate service, I’m easy to reach.
With access to top listings, a worldwide network, exceptional marketing strategies and cutting-edge technology, we work hard to make your real estate experience memorable and enjoyable. We look forward to the opportunity to work with you. Please don’t hesitate to contact us today!