We had the good fortune of connecting with Caroline Abkar and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Caroline, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I always had an entrepreneurial spirit where I wanted to be my own boss while at the same time make a direct impact on people’s lives. I learned so much from corporate America but after over a decade as an Engineer & IT consultant, my desire of starting my own business and helping others only grew stronger. I decided to get into real estate because home has always been that special place to me where you build a certain sense of identity, and my family lost all of that when I was 9 years old due to war. We left the comfort of everything we knew and had to start from scratch in a new country. My parents had us move apartments so many times after that and we never experienced the joy of homeownership together again as a family. Now, every time I help a family with their dreams of moving, it brings me back to how special it is to have a place to make memories and call your own, where you feel safe and whole.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Before getting into real estate and starting my business, I had two very poor experiences with Realtors that left me hurt and confused. As a result, I viewed Realtors as dishonest individuals who only cared about their own interests. The extent of how much one Realtor can make or break the entire customer experience struck me because there is so much latitude on what and how things are done, and how much time is spent with each client.
I saw this as an opportunity to really make a tremendous impact in people’s journeys and elevate the bar in the industry. People depend on us so much throughout the entire emotional and sometimes overwhelming process of moving.
Therefore, my business is based on a few core principles including commitment, passion and trust. I strive to be the added value one stop shop for my clients’ real estate needs and I invest a lot of resources in staying up to speed and connected on all aspects of the business including legal, marketing, technology and negotiation. What sets me apart is that every one of my actions is driven by a sincere desire to provide the best results and go the extra mile for those who put their trust in me. The financials fall into place naturally as a result of that.
I am deeply committed to this career full-time, and being the best I can be so that ultimately my clients can reap the benefits. I think it’s important to wear a long term lens and view clients as relationships that I am building for life, they are not transactions where high volume is the goal.

Has the road been smooth and what were some of your challenges?
My younger years were full of challenges and hardship. Although I came to develop a lot of resilience and perseverance over time, the road to success is full of hard work, dedication, and sacrifices. One of my challenges after starting this business was developing thick skin. Real estate is an incredibly competitive industry in San Diego and it can be challenging not to fall into the scarcity trap.
As a consumer, it’s difficult to find that fraction of Realtors who are full of integrity and really talented at what they do because you really don’t know until you have chosen someone to work with and are in the process. One of my mentors once told me that Realtors with the best marketing and not necessarily the most talented ones are the ones who attract most clients. So I had to learn about marketing while catering to my core business so that people knew I existed! Thankfully, I think the love I have for my community put me on the map and I have been blessed to have wonderful clients who have helped spread the word about me. Someday, I hope that my business will be 100% by referral. That’s my dream!

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I love being a tour guide for my friends and family and even clients relocating to San Diego! My itinerary would include hiking in Torrey Pines, exploring Balboa Park, spending a day at San Diego Zoo, strolling down La Jolla Shores and walking along the harbor from Liberty Station to Little Italy. From there, we would explore Gaslamp and Downtown. If time allows, I would incorporate a bit of time in Coronado, as well as the drive to Cabrillo Monument. As far as activities, whale watching, exploring tide pools and a surf lesson might be on the schedule depending on season!
There are so many great eateries in our lovely city and I certainly consider myself a foodie, so this is difficult to choose! My list would include Puesto in La Jolla Village, Snooze for brunch, Mike’s Tacos for a casual taco lunch on the beach in Ocean Beach, delicious cupcakes from Pure Cupcakes in PB, fresh fish and seafood from Blue Water Grill, a delicious Pitaya bowl for breakfast from Clairemont Coffee or Caffe Vicino in my neighborhood of Bay Park, a creamy Latte from Bay Park Coffee, scrumptious homemade ice cream from Salt & Straw in Little Italy and An’s Ice Cream on Adams Ave in North Park. If splurging is on the list, Juniper & Ivy is a must! I also have several favorite gluten free and vegan eateries including Gratitude Cafe in Little Italy and Healthy Creations Cafe in Encinitas!

Who would you like to give a shoutout to who supported you?
First of all, I am grateful to my parents for making the difficult decision to leave their entire lives behind in order for my sister & I to have a future. I will forever be grateful to them for that.
Then, I was scared to leave my comfortable, well paying career as a project manager/consultant/engineer. I’m so glad that my husband Michael Rander and his family saw the skills in me that would make me a great Realtor and encouraged me to pursue my entrepreneurial dream, which ultimately is what allows me to fulfill my calling of helping others directly daily.
I wouldn’t have a business if it weren’t for each and every client and friend who refer their loved ones and friends to me and for that, I am also deeply and forever thankful.
I have met great friends and supporters along the way – too many to name here – but I do have to give my friend Stacy Roth a shoutout for being a breath of fresh air in this industry and someone I could trust, Mike Marmion whom I have learned a lot from including the nitty gritty details and contractual aspects of what we do, Raini Gordy who inspires me daily with her positive attitude and relentless hard work, David Albarian who was the first to change my opinion of Realtors before I got into the business and with whom I now love talking real estate. I’m a big fan of Brian Buffini’s motivational podcasts, and other great speakers who keep my mindset and attitude in check.

Website: www.yoursandiegorealty.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/caroline_yoursandiegorealtor/
Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carolineabkar
Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/caroline.abkarRealEstate/
Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC0PlFFo4nNPp3ijK7pF58nQ

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutSocal is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.