Why should you choose me as “Your Realtor for Life”? Let me tell you a little bit about how I got into real estate business. I am very fortunate; I have many friends, family members and experiences that have shaped my life. As I look back there are a few key moments that stand out as “life changers”.
To understand who I am, it is important to know a little bit about my background. I am a fourth generation Sacramentan and I am one of six children. We were lucky to have a “stay at home Mom”. She was very involved in all of our activities. Mom was active in the community and never missed any of our events, which is quite a commitment when there were that many children to juggle.
Dad was a natural salesman and loved talking to people. He was a positive, outgoing, and patient man who got the job done and had fun while doing it. He built an insurance business from the ground up. From a young age I witnessed the commitment and hard work it takes to be successful. Going to work with my dad as a young boy proved to be the best education possible for my future as a business owner.
My parents provided me a solid foundation that taught me the importance of commitment, hard work, and having a positive attitude. They were my guides that helped me navigate life and they did so until the day they died. They were role models for commitment to family and business. They showed me that it takes hard work to be successful as a family man and a professional. Lastly, they exemplified the way having a positive attitude leads to a fulfilling life. Here is a snapshot of my journey….
In 1982, I was in my early twenties and I had just graduated from Santa Clara University with a degree in Accounting when I landed my first professional job as an Accountant at a CPA firm in Sacramento. I was newly married to my high school sweetheart, Kari. On our honeymoon we spent two months in Europe visiting the family I lived with as a high school exchange student in Finland. We traveled throughout Finland, Norway, Denmark and Sweden. It was a once in a lifetime trip!
On our honeymoon we spent most of our savings, but we didn’t worry because Kari had a great job as a Commercial Space Planner and I would be starting my accounting position as soon as we returned. I was an optimistic 22 year-old who was ready to conquer the world just like I had seen my parents do! My life was set, and the future looked bright.
However, fate had different plans.
I worked my tail off that first season with the accounting firm and I thought I had earned a spot on the team for the long run. Then on April 16th, the day after tax season, I got laid off! I was in shock. I couldn’t believe it. I felt like the rug got pulled out from underneath me. A once clear vision of a bright future turned into sheer panic.
I honestly didn’t know what to do, so I turned to the person whose advice I valued above all others; my Dad.
“Talk to the partners in the firm,” he told me matter-of-factly, “See if there is anything that you can do to change their minds.”
I shrugged off the thought because I didn’t think it would do any good.
“It won’t hurt to try,” he told me, and there was really no arguing with that. Dad’s positive attitude once again lead me in the right direction. I committed to contacting the partners.
There were six partners at that accounting firm, all seasoned professionals, who were well known in the community. It was very intimidating to request a meeting to speak with them. Despite my fears, I kept the commitment I had made to my dad and scheduled a meeting with each and every one of the company’s partners.
To my surprise they were all very receptive and agreed to meet with me. In fact, they were impressed with my initiative and helped me get my next full-time job as a Controller for a local advertising company. My life was back on track and heading in the right direction
In 1984, Kari and I bought our first home. It was a HUD foreclosure fixer. Everyone thought we were crazy. And we probably were. It was a dump! At the time I was the Assistant Controller for an insurance administrator. After work and on the weekends, we focused on the house, which needed a lot of work! We were on a tight budget, so we learned how to do all the remodeling projects ourselves.
Thankfully, Kari’s parents helped us because we had a lot to learn. We had worked with them on their rental properties and they taught us how to do everything from sheetrock to stucco. The house was really taking shape, but then came a turn in the road we didn’t see coming. The company I worked for was sold and I was laid off. I was determined to keep a positive attitude. We once again would to have to tighten the budget, which began our tradition of eating popcorn for dinner on Fridays. This tradition we still hold today!
Faced with unemployment, I got busy and reached out to my contacts to look for job opportunities. Soon I was working as the Controller for the Real Estate company from whom we bought our first home. I quickly realized that the real estate agent’s daily tasks were things that came very naturally for me. Meeting new people every day; I liked talking with people. Negotiating contracts; I liked the challenge of putting a deal together. Discussing financial options; I was a natural at that with my accounting background. Then it clicked. I thought, “I can do this!” So, in 1988, I earned my real estate license and I’ve never looked back!
Kari and I have been married for 36 years, and we have two great kids. Our daughter Mackenzie is 29 and is an Event/Marketing Manager in San Francisco. Our son Mason is 25, and recently earned his Master’s degree. He lives in Seattle and is teaching 5th grade. I have tried to instill in them the lessons I learned from my own parents; the importance of commitment, hard work and having a positive attitude.
You might be wondering, what does this story have to do with my real estate career? I would say plenty!
When I began my real estate career over 30 years ago Kari was 7 months pregnant with our first child so I needed to hit the ground running. I knew with hard work and commitment that I would be successful. Luckily, it happened quickly for me with the sale of two houses in my first week and 17 in my first 6 months. I was on my way!
Over the years I have relied on the foundation my parents provided and have developed my team and business with the principles of commitment, hard work and having a positive attitude. My personal motto is: I’m “Your Realtor for Life”. You are important to me and I will do everything I can to support with your real estate needs.
Thank you for taking the time to read our story. Team Kassis is committed to working hard to ensure you have a positive real estate experience. Remember, I’m “Your Realtor for Life”!
Broker Associate CA DRE# 00989626 RE/MAX Gold - Sierra Oaks