I first came to the United States from the Philippines in 1985, at the age of eighteen. My father was a businessman, and he was relocating us to Arizona in the hopes of building a better career in the US. He instilled in me the heart of an entrepreneur and a tremendous love of family, both of which have remained with me my entire life.
I had started studying Psychology and Sociology at De La Salle University in the Philippines, but after moving to the US, I changed tracks and earned a bachelor’s degree in business administration. By that time, we had transitioned to California, where I would meet my husband, John, at our church!
John and I bought our first home in 1995, and I loved looking at all the different houses during our search. At the time, I was working as a project manager for McKesson Corporation, ensuring the smooth execution of our president’s special projects. But after my second child was born, I decided I needed some more flexibility, and I remembered how much I had enjoyed the open houses a few years prior. So, in 2000, I put that love into practice, earned my real estate license and jumped into the industry, starting in Solano County.
In 2004, I moved to Las Vegas with John and our daughters, Ana and Deanne. I earned my broker’s license in Nevada, and business was booming. John and I worked together out of an office we owned, and we’d even acquired a couple of investment properties. For the next few years, it felt like we were on top of the world.
But when the housing bubble burst in 2008, everything came tumbling down. We lost our office, our investment properties, even our home. And as everything was going wrong at once, I felt like I was losing my mind, too. “I’m a good person,” I remember thinking. “Why would this happen?”
With our lives and finances in pieces, and our baby boy Jonric to care for in addition to our daughters, we decided to return to California and live with family until I could secure a new job.
Of course, unemployment was sky-high at the time, and even though I had maintained my real estate license in California, it was impossible to build up a presence in that market from nothing. I was finally able to take on a job with a plumbing company, knocking on the doors of real estate agencies in the area and trying to get them connected with our contractors. It certainly wasn’t my dream job, but I was thankful to have anything at all. And as luck would have it, one of the doors I knocked on would change my life.
That door was opened by Keenan Howard, who was one of the busiest REO agents in Contra Costa County. And as I pitched the plumbing company to Keenan, he got the impression that I would make a good real estate agent. “Why don’t you have your license?” he asked. “I do!” I replied. I told him my story and he decided he wanted to hire me.
With Keenan’s guidance, I was able to return to real estate and begin helping homeowners in crisis during that difficult time. Because of the hardship I had gone through myself, I felt a real connection to so many of those clients, and I better appreciated their situations. With that unique perspective, I was able to offer counsel and assistance to homeowners in short sales. I’m so thankful to have had the opportunity to serve those people in their time of need.
My family and I credit much of our success to our Lord, who gives us strength. We are blessed to have made it through that year, and by God’s grace, we were even able to buy a house in Hercules in 2015! We remain very involved in our church, serving as leaders for the community, and we have been able to help found a sister church and a school in Leyte in the Philippines, where we also help to support a number of pastors!
Today, I’m co-owner and manager of Keenan Howard Realty, with Keenan acting as the broker. We’re committed to providing exceptional service marked by high integrity. To further improve the quality of my service, I also partnered with an exciting and innovative agency—Fusion Growth Partners. They provide me with administrative and marketing support so that I can focus the bulk of my time and energy directly on my clients. It’s satisfying to know that I can rest easy being part of such a capable team, and still work under my own name and my own principles.
I would love nothing more than to lend my knowledge and experience toward helping you with your real estate endeavors, but I don’t expect your business simply because of our relationship—I only ask that you take the time to interview me and see if I might be the best agent for you.
I realize that you have many options when choosing a real estate agent, and I encourage you to speak to several different agents. If you decide to work with someone else, I won’t be offended: I want you to pick the agent that’s the right fit for your particular needs. If that person ends up being me, I promise to work diligently to exceed your expectations.