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Meet Genie Irish

Today we’d like to introduce you to Genie Irish.

Genie, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I’m the youngest of five, the only girl and was raised by a very strong single mother. As a daughter of an immigrant who owns her own housekeeping business, I spent my summers and school breaks helping my mom clean houses for her clients in Coronado. A real life “Spanglish”! I always wanted wealth, the kind of money that buying holiday printed cocktail napkins for every season kind-of money. That was living! I did fairly decent in school, was always involved in student activities, and was accepted into a few different schools. I never knew how I was going to gain wealth but I knew a Spanish minor and Poli-Sci major wasn’t going to do it for me.

My parents met while she was working at Nassco in the early ’70s before she began her housecleaning business. She was actually one of the first female crew of welders hired at Nassco in the ’70s; a real-life Rosie the Riveter! She was then a single mother of three boys and was still able to buy her own home and build a life in Imperial Beach before she met my dad. They separated when I was fairly young and although I was raised with my older brothers, I always longed for a stronger connection to my father. In 2002. my Dad was diagnosed with Stage 4 lung cancer. I took a “break” from school, became his hospice nurse (because my mom took him back in to die peacefully at home, after thirteen years of separation … a saint!) and quit my retail job at the age of 21.

After he passed, I got a job through a family friend as an assistant to two agents in Coronado. I had never worked in admin and these gals taught me a lot about the luxury market and clientele. Through that position, I was asked to join a young top producer as his assistant after being sought out by his broker. When I walked into Tim’s office, he had stacks of mail and about fifty active files. My life was about to change and being his assistant until 2007 was the experience that really shaped my career. We truly grew together, establishing a big brother/little sister relationship that shaped us both. As the market took a dive in SD, I ventured out and took a job in San Francisco. Life was challenging personally and I felt stagnant and unmotivated.

I moved to the city of sink or swim! I worked in a Real Estate office as an Office Manager which was later bought by a larger company, McGuire Real Estate, and I stayed on to become an assistant for another top agent. After four years in the Bay learning the refinement of the upper priced market, I moved back to SD and re-joined my old company. I finally became licensed in December of 2012, ten years after deciding I was ready to start my own business. I joined Keller Williams in August of 2013 and became Rookie of the Year 2014. I have consistently been a top producer since. I joined Compass in August 2018. I can tell you that when I graduated high school, I had a family member ask me to consider real estate and I rolled my eyes as a typical 18-year old would. I now laugh at that young girl. I knew working with people in a service-related field would be a career I’d settle in. I just didn’t know it would be the emotional rollercoaster that is buying a home!

I’ve settled into our second home purchase a darling 1920’s craftsman in downtown Chula Vista. We have loved our community and all that is changing in the area, Third Avenue offers so many great coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries. We are surrounded by gorgeous pre-1960’s built homes, some from the late 1880s. Our household of four; husband Tom, Son Billy and our Doberman Kimmie have loved calling this our home.

Has it been a smooth road?
When I left college, I was in a bad place, my grades were awful and even though I left SDSU to attend JC I was very lost in class. I had an awful young marriage that made me depressed, I gained 80lbs. and that all happened immediately after losing my dad. Addiction and incarceration ran like wildfire in my family for a decade and it really affected me. Work was my only safehouse (no pun intended). I ground away and dedicated myself to my job as an assistant. I excelled at work always but home life and personal life chipped away at me. When I moved to San Francisco, it was my time to reinvent myself and begin a new chapter. Being a Latina from a very traditional household, leaving my mom for a selfish move was not easy guilt to carry but I carried on knowing our relationship could be changed, it was and then became stronger and better with distance. I eventually moved back to San Diego and decided to finally get licensed as I had convinced my then fiancée to move from London to San Diego, I knew I needed to get roots planted quick.

Once I decided that I wanted to get into sales 100% I took a big risk of leaving a solid paid position. There were months that I didn’t know how I’d pay rent or my real estate dues. I really struggled for the first nine months and then with the lack of a very plentiful market and a loyal sphere my business began to take off. Now, the transition into motherhood and a business owner has brought a new level of change. All of these lessons have really taught me humility and most importantly, gratitude. I have had it much easier than most and even though there were tough situations around me my mom did her best to protect me. Although she always worked, she had one hand in everything I did and was involved in. While she was carving out a future for us, she never let us go astray.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Genie Irish Real Estate – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
I’m a solo producing agent. I have built a personal business over the last 5+ years on mere hard work and honesty. I have never had the time or budget to build extensive lead pages, databases, mailers or even been able to keep an assistant long enough to have real leverage. This business is all based on the basic love of what I do and those I get to work for. Whether it’s a 60k mobile home or multi-million dollar home in La Jolla, I treat clients all the same. My mom built her business as an immigrant off hard work and endless dedication to her clients. I use those same principles. I also found that giving back to my community in the form of leadership, money and time has helped my business flourish. I truly believe that what you give always comes back when given out of true desire.

I live in the South Bay currently, a community I was raised in and do about 60% of my business in. I own property in the Metro area and lived in City Heights before moving back to Chula Vista, so this part of the county really owns my heart. Especially now I’m at Compass, I feel that the under-served communities in those areas where agents aren’t always of the most ethical caliber also deserve the finest tools and resources regardless of their home’s price point. Finding a first-time home buyer a loan that really works, and then a home that they can live in for years to come is my forte.

My mom taught me the value of work, I learned from vacuuming and polishing furniture in my summers as a kid how to work hard but I didn’t know in what. I always loved and adored homes and properties and I knew about maintenance and basic repairs as we always did our own at home. My mom came to this country with nothing except a value system based on labor. My grandfather fathered 29 children and had them work and learn the trade of the farm in Mexico. Most of my family immigrated here and for the most part have run successful businesses here and throughout the nation, an inheritance far larger than anything I could ever ask for.

These humble beginnings connect me to my clients. I know what it takes a family to save for a down payment. My favorite memory was in my second year as a realtor when kids of my clients were so incredibly happy to have a home. They had grown up in an apartment and never had a yard or their own room. Those kids would go rake the leaves even before the home was theirs. This showed me that though there are stunning, incredible properties that I could sell far less of and make the same money I do now, I wouldn’t have the same memories and moments that serving my community makes. Those smiles and words of gratitude are my reason to stay and work in the South Bay.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
What I dislike: That 2:30 pm traffic is now the new 4:30 pm. How did this happen? Also, the clean water issue. It affects the community I work and own it and it makes me sad to look at the water report before taking my toddler out for a walk on the beach. The ongoing social and political issues relating to immigration and refugees that have driven a line within our communities has been incredibly heartbreaking. Most of the country is not directly impacted by this, but we’re just ten minutes away from the border. I also miss having a plethora of Indian and Asian take-out nearby!!! Living in San Francisco spoiled me!

What I love: The chill vibe that is missing in LA and SF lost in the last few years. This morning, I had breakfast at the Marina in Chula Vista, it was such a clear day that the mountains looked so close, reminding me that in reality, they are. We forget how lucky we are to be surrounded by such natural beauty. San Diego is more than just surfing. It’s incredible hiking trails, parks, and rivers. Being in such close proximity to Mexico is so awesome. My husband and I love Valle. The food scene there is just booming and as a kid that use to walk across just for tacos, having access is a must. In general, Mexican food in SD can’t be beaten. It’s not Tex Mex, Green Chile, or the LA Mexican scene. We’ve got the best tacos, supermercados, and fresh tortillas.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Danielle Miranda Photography, Laura Dimmock Photography, Continuum Photography

Getting in touch: SDVoyager is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

1 Comment

  1. Jenny Silva

    January 31, 2019 at 6:05 pm

    Genie! This is amazing and I love it. Your past helps shape who you are, and you my friend, are an amazing person! Keep it up!

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