John Juarez is no stranger to managing change and challenges. After college graduation, he was offered a management training position and began a long career in banking with United California Bank (UCB) in 1968. Fremont became his home in 1980 when he was asked to manage the local branch. The next year, UCB underwent a name change to First Interstate Bank and, in 1996, was acquired by Wells Fargo Bank.
When the bank ownership changed and branches consolidated, John looked for a "second career." A bank client suggested consideration of real estate and John says, "I took him up on it, got my license and started in my present business." The move from a large institution to the entrepreneurial life of a real estate agent agreed with John. "I enjoyed all aspects of banking but I felt reinvigorated by the change. Instead of a salary, I have to earn every penny of commission. There is no external structure - I don't have a company telling me what to do - so if I don't set my goals or motivate myself, then nothing happens. I wake up every day knowing that I have to make something happen."
John says he enjoys a working life that is filled with challenges and surprises. After many years working with small business people from the bank side, he now is able to see and appreciate what they went through, either success or the lack of it. "I couldn't really understand everything from the small business side before. Now I can understand both sides - corporate and entrepreneurial - and bring the benefit of that experience to my clients."
John says that banking was great preparation for his real estate career because the jargon and many technical aspects including financing were already known to him. "Instead of reading about some of this from a textbook, I have done many of them as a banker." When he entered the business, many assumed John would want to be directly involved in the lending aspects, but he says that he enjoys sales and wanted to do something different. "I want to specialize in one thing and do it well." John prefers to refer clients to experts in the loan area that he knows and trusts. "These experts will work on a loan - that's what they do - and I will find the house to put you in - that's what I do!"
"This is a people business," says John. I enjoy helping people sell and buy a home. It is hard to pinpoint a specific part of the business I enjoy the most." One of John's clients was a young couple with a baby who had difficulty in the past purchasing a home. The subsequent search and purchase of a home was successful and everyone involved in the transaction - buyer, seller, financing - was nice. "The neatest thing about it was when escrow closed and I met him at the house with the keys. We went inside and he looked around with his mouth agape, saying 'I can't believe it, I can't believe it.' It sounds trite, but that was a great feeling. Clearly, all transactions don't go that way, but those times are great."
Taking charge of his life is inspirational to John. "I know that I need to be aware of the consequences of my actions and take responsibility for them. I consider myself an honest and ethical professional. That has been good for me in my career in banking and now in real estate."
The Irvington Business Association is proud to present John Juarez as its featured business person of the month.
Prudential California Realty
43505 Mission Blvd., Fremont