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Community Highlights: Meet Ayush Vats

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ayush Vats.

Hi Ayush, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself
I grew up in New Delhi, India and spent my childhood there, always feeling a connection to California (as many do!) influenced by what I saw in pop culture & media. I always knew I wanted to live here. After living in Denver, CO for a few years, my wife (a San Diego native, who I met in college) & I moved to San Diego about 8 years ago and have been here ever since.

Real estate was a similar path for me. As far back as I can remember I was encouraged by those who know me best to pursue it. I’ve always had a love for beautiful things (who doesn’t?!) but especially beautiful homes. What fascinates me is that at the core a house is a physical structure, but in reality, it is an experiential art form. You build a house, you make it yours, you make it a home, and then for one reason or another, you move on. The next person comes, maybe a stranger, but now that home is a central piece of their life and their story. It is strange but also comforting.

My first foray into Real Estate was helping friends in Denver find homes to flip and then eventually getting into that business with them. What I found most fulfilling about that time was the ability to create value for others. For example, when you convert a run-down house from a 2 bed, 1 bath house to a beautifully updated 3 bed 2 bath home you are improving neighborhoods, providing shelter and maybe even fulfilling a dream that would not have been otherwise possible without your vision to see a diamond in the rough.

San Diego is the perfect place to sell Real Estate. Great weather, great people- clients in this market have got to be some of the sharpest in the country (possibly the world) and the amount I’ve learned since being a “newbie” realtor is astounding — and learning more every day!

My success is 100% down to pursuing this business as a passion and being fortunate enough to find some of the best people to give me advice on getting better. I feel energized when I’m around other people and I’ve always enjoyed learning how others like to live. I’m a big believer in there being an infinite number of ways to live life and I’m on an endless quest to discover more. What better way to accomplish that than being in Real Estate?!

I think my ‘secret’ ingredient is that I am, somehow, able to understand the thinking behind other people’s feelings and using that logic to be good at making suggestions or recommending houses they’d like etc. It’s a hard thing to quantify, but I love learning about the motivations and passions of others — and use those learnings to help guide them through one of the most important and meaningful decisions of their life.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
In my experience, nothing I’ve valued was gained on a smooth road. Maybe as humans, we just don’t value the things that come easy? A discussion for another day!

Getting into Real Estate can be tough. The first challenge is figuring out if this is what you love to do. I’ve talked with a few people who were in this business but weren’t “all in” and therefore found it a never-ending uphill battle. Real Estate is demanding and if you don’t love it then that will just compound the rough sailing. When you are fighting the external factors and internal doubt success will most likely be evasive.

The biggest challenge I faced was trading the safety of a well-paying corporate career to willingly start again at zero. Luckily, this was not the first time I have jumped headfirst into the unknown. I arrived in this country as a teenager with two suitcases and no connections — an indelible memory and feeling that guided me through this major shift and probably will do so again.

The question I repeatedly asked myself was — is it worth living a “good life” without passion? And I just couldn’t do it anymore. As soon as I started I was like Dorothy in Technicolor — there was no going back. Now, I am so grateful I took that chance and wake up each morning doing what I love working with a range of incredible business associates and clients every day.

In short, starting at zero is no small feat. But I’ve always had a vision of where I want to end up and that’s been my greatest motivation to keep pushing. I am still a long way from that vision but learning more at every step and I know one day I will reach it (and, let’s be honest, probably set a new goal).

We’ve been impressed with your business, but for folks who might not be as familiar, what can you share with them about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Since day one, I’ve described myself as the ‘Proactive Agent on your Side’ because proactive is a word I value very highly. Any agent worth their salt will be an encyclopedia of market knowledge, be proficient and detailed through the transaction and work with a stellar team. The distinction between what makes a good and a great Realtor is nuanced. It is not all about the knowledge, but what one does to leverage that knowledge to your client’s benefit that makes lasting partnerships and opens opportunities.

That’s why it is so crucial to really understand our client’s needs, wants and desires (even if they can’t quite articulate them clearly) and then work backward from the end goal to create a winning strategy.

Houses themselves can almost be treated in the same way. Where did this house begin its story and where is it going? What does this house have to offer and who might find that offering most valuable? This storytelling exercise can be a benefit for discussions with both buyers and sellers. We want to hone what is important and attract the right opportunities —rather than just scattering good intentions into the wind.

As a Realtor, I also often think about where this city is going to be 10, 20 or 30 years. I look at census reports and demographic trends to gauge opportunities that may not be apparent. Whether you’re a homeowner buying your first place or an investor looking to park your money for the next decade, what I bring to the table is a healthy dose of critical thinking with vision to help reach your goals.

Using a sports analogy, I’m not just happy playing defense- the win comes from running a solid, efficient offense.

Any advice for finding a mentor or networking in general?
I find inspiration in others constantly. My ‘secret’ to networking is rooted in curiosity. I love to learn about others and then dig in when I find parallels in thought processes and world outlooks. It leads to some amazing relationships. I have developed meaningful connections with those that have clearly similar life experiences and backgrounds. But I have also created lasting friendships with people that surface-level I probably have zero in common with — except our internal motivators and values which draw us together.

I also truly enjoy listening to and learning from viewpoints totally opposite to mine. There is real value in exploring thoughts we haven’t organically had ourselves. When we only surround ourselves with like-minded people we are limiting our capacity for learning and exploring things we may not have thought possible. Often times I have a “lightbulb” moment simply from a conversation with a colleague that has approached an issue or problem from a distinctly different vantage point. Challenging our existing truths can be difficult — but also sometimes a much-needed mental cleanse.

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