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

Hi Stephen, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The focus of the “San Diego Steve” brand is to provide a value-add approach to buying or selling real estate. Several years prior to earning my license and starting this brand, I began in the real estate industry as an investor. At first, the asset class was a mystery and the myriad of investing strategies were foreign. Even the language of real estate was alien. My daily drive is to supply my depth of investing knowledge into every real estate interaction- no strings attached, especially to our veteran community. I want everyone around me to find their own pathway to wealth through real estate, and I want them to be able to use our conversations to make the absolute best decision for them. When I say no strings attached, I mean it. When I first moved to San Diego, I was flabbergasted by the ubiquity of realtors trying to take advantage of my va loan benefit and was immediately turned off by pushy advertising. That’s not who I am, or how I want San Diego Steve to be known in our great city. By focusing on providing value first, I believe my future success is driven by others’ natural attraction to expertise.

What should our readers know about your business?
I actually started in real estate as a by-product of joining the Navy. After I commissioned, I was forward-deployed to FIFTH Fleet for 22 months. While I was there, I realized the void of knowledge on investing/building wealth provided by the public education system. I get obsessive about my passions, and real estate quickly became that. I dove down the rabbit-hole of education through every medium I could find. I was, and continue to be, so excited by the amount of opportunity Real Estate provides to break traditional socio-economic bounds.

After that initial spark I began my real estate investment company, Sunset Rock Investment Group, to flip properties in the Midwest. This was my first time placing the rubber on the road, where my book knowledge and excitement met the Real Estate markets. I was overwhelmed by how different every property can be, and the number of factors which make a property a ‘deal’. I doubled down on my numbers; I built systems for analysis that made different, dynamic, markets easily understandable. I refined the way I understood markets and the asset class to a series of widely applicable models.

When I got to San Diego, I knew I wanted to buy a home. I knew the power of real estate, and the power of the VA Loan to make property ownership a very tangible opportunity for veterans. So, I, like everyone, networked my way into a realtor who was extremely amicable and professional. But, what I quickly saw was the gap of knowledge between your typical Realtor and a Real Estate Investor. I realized that I was on my own as a buyer to do the deal analysis, and my Realtor was just a middle-man in the transaction.

As a result of my personal experience, I pursued my license to be the bridge between that typical gap for every day buyers. I spent the time getting the deeper-level education required of an investor, and I get to bring to that knowledge to the fight. San Diego Steve exists to be your team member, not a middle man. I’ve learned that by working transparently together, we get to morph the home buying or selling process into a step on a longer pathway to a financially free life.

I want the world to know that San Diego Steve is a teammate that you bring off the bench when you want a grand slam instead of a base hit.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So exciting! This is the best city in the world.

With a week, I’d make sure to hit these highlights:
-Mandatory walk downtown by broadway pier to take in the sites, and a trip to the Midway Museum
-Octopus Tacos at Mitch’s Seafood
-A Padre’s Game (in Season)
-Farmer’s market’s! My Favorite are in OB on Wednesday and Hillcrest on Sunday!
-Tacos Del Gordo for the Best SD taco
-Chuy’s Taco Shop in Rolando for the best Burrito in Town
-Comedy Nights! We’d make sure to hit up the American Comedy Club and Madhouse Comedy Club down on gaslamp for weekly laughs! La Jolla’s Comedy Store is a gorgeous spot for the big headliners that head to San Diego
-We’d make sure to get coffee from Mr. Moto’s in National City and a hot dog from Barrio Dog in Barrio Logan

-If he’s got energy after that, we’ll do the 5 peaks in mission trail park!
-If he wants the best desert he’s had, we’ll take a drive for some pie at the Julian Pie Company.

-You get a different feel for every beach, but I love heading down to La Jolla shores. If you’re in the mood for a romantic date night dinner, hit up Piatti. Or, if you’d like the most refreshing post-beach day brew, take a seat at shore rider!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
We are a sum of those with whom we’ve shared our journey!

First, to my local mentor; Donald Appleberry from Appleberry Realty. You picked up my call as a new licensee and set me on fire down the path of a ethically successful real estate sales business.

Next, to my tribe of investors and investor-agent hybrids to include Charlie Cameron, Doug Spence, Rory Compton, Justin Melendez, Mark Linder, and Johnny Lynum. Our base is my platform to bring everyone I can to living their best life through the freedom provided by Real Estate.

Finally, to my wife, Sarah; our reflective conversations on our long trip catalyzed all of this. You are my muse and the light which marks every new morning. I love you.

Website: https://stephenbernard.exprealty.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/official_sandiegosteve/

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/stephen-bernard-b624ba85/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/pcstosandiego/

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCnTS12NRshHC_gHesyNrCAQ

Other: My Educational Website for the Military Community: https://pcstosandiego.com/

Image Credits
Manny Carlos Photography, San Diego

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