The Makings of When Home Isn't First

Ron enjoyed an idyllic Southern California childhood in the Mayberry-esque town of Montebello, where he and the neighborhood kids played baseball until nightfall and calls to the dinner table summoned them inside. His extraordinary athletic and academic talents eventually led him to the University of Southern California, where he played baseball with the university’s 1978 championship team. He went on to a professional baseball career, first with two Major League teams in Mexico and then with the Oakland A’s. During his journey, Ron experienced the contrast of life among California’s glitterati against that of Mexico’s dire poverty, and he discovered that money is not the source of happiness. “It really helped me clarify what I wanted to do in life,” he says. “Some of the happiest people I ever saw were among the poorest families in Mexico.”

Ron returned to California and knew he wanted to do something radically different with his life. He found an opportunity to join his faith with his vocational interests, which led to a successful 20-year career in the Christian book store industry, where he achieved accolades as general manager of the nation’s most acclaimed store.

When Ron’s wife, Sue, was pregnant with their second daughter, they began looking for a larger home. In his customary methodical fashion, Ron developed a 39-point, weighted checklist of features he and Sue were looking for in a home. He then set out to see every home for sale in the area.

Ron also got to know the area’s Realtors®, and he was frequently disappointed by the quality of ethics and professionalism he encountered. During the final walk-thru for his home he declared to the agent present, “The last job I’d ever do is be a Realtor®.”

In time, Ron found himself at a professional crossroads. As he was deciding his next career path, he interviewed a group of trusted friends regarding his options. They unanimously agreed on one thing: he should become a real estate agent. In spite of his heart’s serious misgivings, he realized that becoming a Realtor® was an opportunity for him to take all he had learned in his personal and professional journeys and use it to help others. Being a Real Estate Agent became more than a career – it became a calling to guide people through the significant life event of buying a home with integrity and compassion.

Ron was inspired to sit down and begin drafting the faith-based mission statement and 10 guiding principles that govern his real estate practice today. These core principles revolve around respect, doing good, speaking the truth and showing love.

Since then, Ron and Sue have put together a strong team of Realtors®, with a broad range of experience and talent. Ron and his team constantly come back to their mission statement and core principles as the benchmark for evaluating their business decisions and advice to clients. “We care authentically about other people’s best interests and our fiduciary duty to them. Sometimes that means discouraging clients from buying or selling because they’re not ready, because there is too much risk, or because the financial burden would harm their family. There are more important things in life than a house. I think that makes our team different.

Today, Ron and his team are gratified to work with a real estate company that supports them in promoting a work culture that prioritizes God and family. Through our service, we continually strive to demonstrate that people are highly valued. We hope that by the way we treat people, we make them look up.

More than 140 raving fans on the internet agree. One recent homebuyer shared this experience:

“Ron and Sue are realistic advisers and negotiators. They knew what issues to push on and what not to. They also brought a list of very helpful, local contractors with whom we consulted. In one instance, based on Ron and Sue’s insights and those of the contractors we hired, we canceled escrow on a seemingly good house that turned out to be a money-pit. What was so relieving is that neither Ron nor Sue ever put their own interests ahead of ours. They sought our best interest and were willing to lose a commission when we walked away from the aforementioned home. When they did find the house for us, Ron kept us on track through the escrow process, including staying on top of our lender. Ron did his own agent inspection of the home along with our physical inspection contractor. We have already recommended Ron and Sue, along with the whole team, to all of our family and friends.”