A person can be very successful at doing something, but still be dissatisfied. An outsider would have looked at Chey Castro, with a MSA from Notre Dame, making good money as a successful senior financial analyst, with a top real estate development firm like DMB Associates, and think he had everything a young man could want. He took real estate classes at the Arizona Department of Real Estate to build his knowledge base, but had never needed to take the tests for a license. He was following his parents’ (both successful CPAs) example. But Chey spent lonely days in his office, just him and Excel spreadsheets, creating the same monthly financial reports, never involved in the decision-making. Chey wanted more.
A friend of Chey’s suggested he watch “The Secret,” a 2006 film produced by Prime Time Productions, which detailed the law of attraction (i.e., positive emotional states can attract the desired outcomes) that was being promoted by Oprah, Ellen DeGeneres, and Larry King. After much reluctance, Chey finally decided to watch the film and his life changed forever. Chey went into work the next day and, while sitting at his desk, he "asked the Universe" (as the film suggests) to give him a career where his phone would ring constantly with people wanting his advice and guidance, where he would be out of an office environment and be able to make his own schedule, where he would be able to create his own path and be compensated on his actual production, with no limit on the amount he can earn each year, and above all to be a decision-maker where his opinion/advice is truly listened to and valued.
Within two weeks, a sales assistant position at the exclusive DMB master planned community, Silverleaf, miraculously became available. That was Chey's first signal that this "Secret" stuff might actually really work.
Most people with no sales experience and a comfortable corporate job might have completely ignored another one of those "internal job postings." But when Chey got that email that day, it was as if something smacked him in the face, and, as "The Secret" encourages, when an opportunity presents itself, you need to act on it! Sure the job would require a 50% pay cut, an active Arizona real estate license, and the embarrassment of now being an "assistant" when Chey's colleagues in the finance world were only worried about what their title was.
Chey attacked the challenge and when asked in the interview why they should hire someone with zero sales experience to come work at one of the top sales offices in the Valley, Chey calmly replied "it is like teaching someone how to play golf, you want someone who has never played before so you can teach him the right way."
Chey also didn't have the required active real estate license; but because he already took the classes about a year prior, the job was his if he was able to pass the tests and have the license before the two-week start date. With his new positive attitude, Chey treated the challenge like a good ole' all-nighter in his days at Notre Dame and easily passed the tests on the first try, after a few days of studying the material again after the long break.
He spent the next two years being a sponge and, as he likes to say, "earning my MBA in Sales." A strong work ethic is his mantra. Chey has spent the last eight years at Russ Lyon Sotheby’s International Realty and now RE/MAX Platinum Living. He was not even deterred by the recession, working 80-100 hours a week, digging in when others were getting out of the business.
“I like the fact that there is no typical day,” says Chey. “I could be responding to inquiries about my ad that just came out; suddenly taking a previous client out to see a house he just drove by; or building a relationship by taking a new client out golfing.”
A unique habit of Chey is attending every showing of one of his listings, arriving early to turn on the lights, music, AC, and water features, to make the house look inviting. “Buying a home is emotional,” he says, “I want to trigger the right emotions in potential buyers.”
Chey, himself, is not a secret anymore. In the past eight years, he has increased his business over 100% each year (Over $40 million in 2014) and has been noted annually as one of Valley’s top producing Realtors by the Phoenix Business Journal's Book of Lists. There will be more competition in 2015, but he expects to continue to live his dream.
About Chey Castro
Chey Castro wants to build long-term relationships with his clients. He works at RE/MAX Platinum and can be reached at 602-570-2516.