I was born and raised in Gross Pointe, Michigan, a suburb of Detroit. I was like most kids in this part of the country, when the weather starting turning cold, you found something constructive to do. For me, I learned how to play hockey at 5 years old. I still love hockey and play in an adult league once a week. Now after playing, I have more aches and pains, but it is all worth it!
The summers were for boating and water skiing with family and friends on Lake St Clair. In junior high and high school, I worked for my dad in his automotive part’s manufacturing business. This experience helped instill a work ethic in me at a young age. Also around 14 years old I would spend time looking up at the contrails of the jets and wonder what else is out there in the world. In the summers during high school my dad would take me along on some of his business trips. This was a great memory of spending time with my dad and opening my eyes to the world.
My freshman year of college was at Michigan State. However, I felt the “call of the west” and transferred to Arizona State University. The climate and way of life of Arizona was distinctly different than Michigan. I found out why they are called the Sun Devils! I earned a degree in Corporate Finance and a minor in Real Estate. While in college a friend introduced me to Real Estate, and I was very intrigued by the multi-faceted aspect and how I can use my skills learned in school and life.
Following college, I went back to Michigan, obtained my real estate license, and a residential builders license. This provided me the opportunity to worked with a developer in creating a new single-family subdivision. I also worked in property management and built custom homes in Ann Arbor. Additionally, I have experience in renovating multi-family properties.
In 1994, I moved back to the Phoenix area and started my own consulting company specializing in pre-development entitlement services. I enjoy all aspects of the development process. Being analytical and paying attention to details is beneficial when working through the intricacies of the entitlement process.
While in Phoenix I met my wife and we were ready to start our family. In 2002, we moved to California and I earned my Real Estate Broker’s license. My wife is an Interior Designer and we opened Willis and Bennett in the Village of Arroyo Grande. I worked with my wife in this business and we made a good team. We specialized in importing one-of-a-kind home furnishings for our store. I enjoyed the opportunity to travel with my wife in Asia, South America and Europe to find the many home furnishings that our discerning customers have come to enjoy. My wife handled the creative end and I managed the logistics of shipping, customs, and all aspects of making sure these furnishings made it to our store in one piece. Recently, my wife and I re-evaluated our business and moved from the storefront to the warehouse a block away on the eastside of the village. This allows us to be open a few days out of the week for our customers and gives us more time to be available to our children. This change has allowed me to get back into one of my passions which is Real Estate. I enjoy being available to my friends, colleagues, and family for their residential real estate needs. I am also excited about all aspects of Commercial Real Estate. My background in land, entitlements, finance, development, and property management gives me an understanding of the processes and challenges of Commercial Real Estate. My focus and attention to detail is an asset as there are so many moving parts to a transaction that any oversight can be a costly mistake.
I enjoy living in, and raising my family on, the Central Coast. As a Commercial Realtor I enjoy covering the entire state to find the best opportunity for my clients. In addition, through my brokerage and other networks, I can accommodate clients nationally and internationally.
I look forward to speaking with you about your residential and commercial real estate needs