From Ventura County, CA Beekeeper to Chehalis, WA Realtor
Humble Beeginnings. I am from Ventura California, which is basically the wealthy suburbs of Los Angeles. In college I studied Ecology with an emphasis on pollination and agriculture at California State University Channel Islands. In 2013 I entered the work force, alternating career paths between working with honey bees, and working in commercial pest control, all while growing my own beekeeping and live honey bee removal company, Bryan’s Bees. My adventures took me, my two Dachshunds, and my incredibly patient spouse, Lyndsay, from California to Idaho, and back every year chasing flowers and killing pests.
Troubles in Beekeeping. As I am sure you heard, the bees are dying. Colony Collapse Disorder, the California Drought, insecticides, and fires, all took their toll on my business. In 2016 and 2017 Idaho experienced a record drought as well, and in 2017 my business partner in Idaho informed me he was selling the business. At that point it hit me. “Why Idaho?” Lyndsay, the dogs, and I got in the car and we went for a road trip. We wanted to find a beautiful place covered in flowers to call home, and we weren’t stopping until we found it.
Why I fell in love with Chehalis WA. On our journey we drove west along the 12 from Yakima across the cascades. Everything from Packwood to Chehalis was the most beautiful scenery, trees, and mountains Lyndsay and I had ever seen. Flowers, farms, affordability, and everything else we had been looking for, all in one place. The best part? There aren’t huge crowds of people, and everything we could ever want is less than two hours away.
Starting a new life in Chehalis WA. In 2018 I moved into the St Helen’s Inn in Chehalis while I kept 408 beehives, and worked for Orkin Pest Control. Over the next year I learned about the local agriculture, kept my bees, and and learned about local homes during pest inspections. I got to explore every nook and cranny of thousands of houses, and every corner of dozens of local farms. The problem was, I was unable to answer calls or help my staff while working for Orkin, so in January of 2019 began the process of becoming a Realtor in the state of Washington. The day I passed my test Lyndsay informed me we were having a baby (boy) in October.
Becoming a New Realtor in a Small Town. Becoming a Realtor is scary. You help guide people through the biggest financial transaction of their lives. No pressure right? I was incredibly intimidated when I first started. I knew any mistake I made could cost people a lot of money, so I knew I had to learn as much as possible. I joined Century 21 Lund, Realtors in March of 2019 to take advantage of their incredible experience and training, and studied my butt off. I knew I had to be on top of my game if I was going to do right by people.
California’s Cutting Edge Realtors. I got enough experience to get a good feeling for the industry, and the bees called me back to California to help my beekeeping staff for a few weeks. While I was there I decided to do more homework on Real Estate. I met with local Realtors, and learned about their state of the art techniques in areas such as Malibu and Beverly Hills. I came back to Lewis County with technology and techniques that my Lewis County peers say we simply don’t need out here. I didn’t like that answer, and to this day I continue to use cutting edge technology to give me, and my clients, all the advantages possible when selling their home.
Transition to eXp Realty. The unfortunate truth about Real Estate is that between gas, professional photos, advertising, signs, licenses, and lock boxes it is an incredibly expensive industry. Century 21 was a very expensive firm to work for, and I found that if I wanted to provide services that met my standards, I needed to sell around three to five houses per month. At around four clients per month I generally feel like I am running around with my hair on fire. That is when I found eXp Realty. They not only paid almost double for the same work that I did for Century 21, but they also have a huge selection of tools and databases to help me provide more for my clients. Now that I have transitioned I am able to provide my clients with more intimate, and higher quality care.
Continuing Education. I take education, experience, and technology very seriously. In order to provide the best service, I want to be the most overqualified agent in Lewis County. Most Realtors will pass their exam, complete their continuing education, and focus on working. Becoming a licensed Realtor is the bare minimum. Through the National Association of Realtors I am also an Accredited Buyers’s Representative, and a certified E-Pro. This means I have extra training and expertise in helping buyers have a great experience, providing top quality online marketing, and keeping your personal information secure. Where I feel I really stand out is from private courses. I have learned from some of the top Realtors from CA such as Krista Mashore and Meet Kevin, as well as Ryan Serhant from Million Dollar Listing New York. These courses combined are hundreds of additional hours of education on top of what is required, and I feel this really gives me, and my clients, a huge edge in our marketplace.
Providing More. When you work with me you will really notice things that I do to go above and beyond. Lets be honest. It is a hot market right now. If you do the bare minimum as an agent you will probably still sell houses. Personally, I think that is a horrible attitude. Agents are paid well. We should put in the effort to earn our client’s business. I bring a ton of techniques and technology that nobody else is using in our area. Always taking professional photos, 3D home tours, online marketing, and packets of information for both my buyers and sellers are just a few things that I do that really set my services apart.
Did I mention I hate sales people? I hate sales people. I have a terrible habit of walking out of car dealerships because I don’t like their pushy attitude. To this day I am still driving around a little dirty Carolla because of it. I think the feeling of walking into a shark tank is one of the absolute worst in the whole world. I want to treat my clients the way I wish salesmen would treat me. I want to give away a ton of free stuff, teach you everything I know, get you a great deal on the perfect house, and make the entire process as easy as possible. I even meet my clients at local coffee shops to take the edge off.
Let me worry about the details.
If you want to chat real estate or even just connect, coffee is on me. Just remember- Call Castro!
– Bryan Castro