We had the good fortune of connecting with John & Melissa Steele and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi John & Melissa, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
We started our business because we recognized that there were so many people out there who were having negative experiences around real estate and working with poor real estate agents. We saw that gap as an opportunity for us to step into the market and show people what a great agent can and should be, and how partnering with a wonderful agent can truly benefit you in achieving your real estate goals. Our first real estate experience was when we were 21 years old and buying our first home. It wasn’t until years later when we were studying to become agents ourselves, that we recognized so many areas that we had been misguided, misled, or just straight up lied to by the real estate agent we’d worked with. Considering that a home purchase or sale is typically the biggest financial decision that one makes in their lifetime, we knew that there had to be a better way and we set out to establish a new standard of knowledge and service with Team Steele San Diego Homes.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We’re John and Melissa Steele, leaders of a small team of real estate agents here in San Diego also known as Team Steele. Starting our careers in real estate at about half the age of your average agent, we knew that we had to set ourselves apart in order to succeed. Not only were we trying to convince buyers and sellers to hire us to help them with one of the biggest decisions of their life. We were also trying to convince them to work with someone who was just a few years out of college and with arguably little real world “adult” experience. We started out with a focus on customer service and getting our name out, using traditional methods but also focusing on our online presence and social media. Our goal was to provide such an exceptional experience to each and every one of our clients, that they would want to refer us to everyone that they know. One of the biggest challenges that we faced, though, is that we were not locals to San Diego and we knew no one when we moved here. So where most agents will often get their start helping out a cousin, aunt, or high school friend, we had to start by hitting the pavement and our method to meet people and potential clients was open houses. Our first year of real estate, we held over 100 open houses. We worked pretty much every day and were regularly doing 4 open houses in a single weekend (Saturday and Sunday both days, from 9-12 and 1-4). While it was certainly a sprint, our efforts paid off and helped us to build a strong foundation and momentum. Less than 5 years later, our team has sold over 150 homes for a total of $80,000,000+ and received hundreds of 5-star reviews across Facebook, Zillow, Yelp and Google. It’s safe to say that we achieved our goals in providing a better real estate experience. It certainly did not come easy though. Over the last few years as we built our business, we have experienced incredible challenges and have grown immensely both professionally and personally. There were many long days and nights behind the desk, transactions falling through, clients ghosting us and times where we really wondered if we were really cut out for this. Through everything though, we persevered. Reflecting back, we certainly had some naivety as we decided to take the leap of faith, quitting our jobs to start our real estate business. Had we known the full scope of the journey that we were about to take on, we likely would have second guessed ourselves. But this is also where so many people find themselves holding back and not taking the leap. Looking back, we’re so glad we did!

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
We’d of course have to drive through the beach communities and show our guests some of our favorite sights and bites – Hodad’s in OB, the Boardwalk and Belmont Park in Mission Bay, Oscar’s for Fish Tacos in PB, the seals in La Jolla – we could spend at least a day cruising through our favorite beach towns! Being big foodies, we’d also certainly have to check out some of our absolute favorite restaurants in San Diego, like Blue Water Seafood & Grill for more fish tacos, Lucho Libre for John’s favorite burrito, Bahn Thai for ethnic eats, and for a nice night out on the town and drinks, one of our absolute favorite go-to’s is Herb & Wood. We love a good walk through Balboa Park, so that would be a must-see. It’s a special place for us because we visited Balboa the first day we ever visited San Diego in 2012, and it’s where John proposed! We enjoy a good Zoo visit, but our guests would have to be in town for more than just the weekend, because the world-famous San Diego Zoo can take all day! Being real estate agents, we tend to try and encourage our guests to try taking “residential hikes” with us, which is where we’ll choose a neighborhood we love, walk around checking out the homes, and if there are vacant ones, check them out in person because we’re real estate agents! Our out-of-town guests love seeing the homes as much as we do, especially ones with character like those that can be found in Mission Hills and Kensington.

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Melissa’s grandparents (Yiayia and Pappou) have always been a constant source of love and support for us as individuals. As entrepreneurs and investors themselves, they have always encouraged us to follow our dreams, believed that we could do anything we set our minds to, and have supported us in many different ways along the journey. Witnessing firsthand how they, and other members of our family, invested in real estate encouraged us to initially start investing, too. We are always excited to call to tell Yiayia and Pappou of our wins, they pick us up when we are feeling down from our lows, and overall, we know we can always count on them for not only unconditional support and familial love, but feedback and advice, as well.

Website: www.steelesandiegohomes.com
Instagram: www.instagram.com/steelesandiegohomes
Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/company/steele-san-diego-homes
Twitter: www.twitter.com/sandiegohomessd
Facebook: www.facebook.com/SteeleSanDiegoHomes
Yelp: www.yelp.com/biz/melissa-and-john-steele-san-diego-2
Youtube: www.youtube.com/steelesandiegohomes
Other: www.zillow.com/profile/steelesandiegohomes/