If anyone fits the definition of a "Clairemonster," it's Richard Morris.
"Eighty-thousand people live in Clairemont. It's the largest community in San Diego. It's rolling hills and panoramic ocean views. I specialize in Clairemont because I live and breathe Clairemont," said Morris, a Realtor with Century 21 1st Choice Realty since 2005.
Having lived in the community for 33 years, Morris is as familiar with its neighborhoods and organizations as they are with him. Getting involved is his primary source of new business and leads.
"I'm in my second year as president of Clairemont Hills Kiwanis," he said. "I'm vice president of Clairemont Town Council after being a director for a couple of years. I'm on the boards of the Clairemont Chamber of Commerce, Bay Mesa Real Estate Association, Clairemont Mesa Education Foundation, the Clairemont Art Guild.
"This business is all about relationships, about people feeling comfortable and having confidence in you. My mantra for this year and every other year is 'consistency.' There's no other word for a Realtor that's going to give your business a better foundation."
Morris got his start in real estate 10 years ago after realizing he didn't like punching a time card at a previous job. He even used his company benefits to visit a career counselor, who suggested real estate as a possible path. "And so I did, and it has proven to be something I truly am grateful for and enjoy," he said.
After earning his agent's license, his very first listing came from a fellow member in his gym's swimming pool. Working at another real estate office at the time, he saw the listing -- six parcels in El Cajon -- wasn't moving. He came to Century 21 1st Choice near his home in Clairemont Mesa, where the sales manager worked with him to boost the price. The listing sold for $1.15 million, and Morris decided to stay put.
"We're a team here," he said. "The environment is so conducive to sales. I know a lot about real estate because I hang out with people who know a lot about real estate. I have been to 300 different training seminars either put on by this office or by people who come into this office. I just eat it up. We have 'lunch and learn' every Thursday. It's just constant training and outside influence and that's how you get a feel for this business."
His resolutions for 2014? Getting his broker's license, starting a website and expanding his social media presence.
Looks like a monster year ahead for the "Clairemonster."