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Meet James Mabry of San Diego Properties & Investments

Today we’d like to introduce you to James Mabry.

James, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born in San Diego back in 1968 and have seen this city go through some major changes over the past few decades with new neighborhoods being constructed on what used to be mountains and valleys, new freeways and the revitalization of many parts of San Diego County. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a large family home with a huge yard and room to run and play as a child but today it seems like personal space is more of a luxury instead of a necessity. My parents bought their first home in San Diego for $28,000 and as I grew up noticed that land became more and more scarce and housing was more and more unattainable for some people.

I started to invest in real estate back in 2001 and after purchasing my first two properties, I quickly realized that my transactions left me with a lot of questions and even worse owning more than I could actually afford at the time. At the time I was the systems manager for a commercial printer out in the East County but soon decided that I wanted to become more informed about real estate law in general and sought out to the real estate exam.

After passing the exam on my first attempt in 2005, I never looked back. I joined a local real estate company and within six months had my own team of realtors working with me and we were winning awards what seemed like monthly. The obvious next step was to start my own brokerage which I did in 2008, a property management division in 2010 and a short sale company in 2011.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I first started in the industry the first hurdle I had to overcome was getting the right training and learning how to delegate my time. Working for yourself presents plenty of challenges in itself, i.e finding time to continue my education, searching for clientele and working through your current transactions. I quickly learned that in order to succeed in this industry you needed to multi-task or else you would constantly be working extra hard with little return for your invested time.

I would have to say that the biggest challenges that I faced in the past 12 plus years was the ever-changing real estate environment, from the mortgage meltdown to the numerous families that lost their homes due to predatory lending. Let’s not forget the influx of agents getting into the industry to make a quick buck when the market is hot.

When you have an industry where the requirements to earn a license are fairly easy this leads to some people misinforming the general public leading to a bad name for the industry in general. From the beginning, I have chosen to train all of my team members to make sure that when they are out in the field representing my brokerage, they have the correct answers and know what is required of them to guide their clients through a successful real estate transaction.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about San Diego Properties & Investments – what should we know?
My real estate brokerage is called San Diego Properties & Investments and as I mentioned previously it was formed in 2008. When we first started out we were primarily residential agents helping our clients buy and sell everything from mobile homes to million dollar homes, however over the last ten years since starting this company, we have opened up several other divisions. Currently, we are selling residential, commercial, businesses and land development opportunities.

After earning my CIPS designation (Certified International Property Specialist) I started to advertise on the International market with the focus on helping clients from around the World to invest in the San Diego real estate market. At the time of this interview, I can honestly say that we have helped clients from nine different countries to purchase several properties throughout the county. The success of this International division has led us to offer property management as an auxiliary service since these particular clients needed someone to look out for their investments once they closed escrow.

The one thing that sets my company apart from the crowd is our drive to continually educate ourselves as well as our customers regarding all aspects of the real estate transaction. How can you honestly guide a customer through a real estate transaction if you are not up to date on all the requirements?

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
Wow, this is a great question. I would have to say that my very first manager when I started my real estate career was not only brutally honest with me about the odds of becoming a full-time Realtor but also listened to me when I mentioned where I wanted to go in the industry. I will never forget the time Mike told me “they don’t know you, they don’t like you and they don’t trust you” speaking about the attitude of the general public towards real estate professionals.

What he didn’t know was that was the driving force behind me learning everything I could about the industry as a whole and studying every form possible whether it was used in a current transaction or not. You see Mike was not only the type of manager to be very direct but he was also the type of manager to give encouragement and offer to help in any way he could.

For instance, after being in the industry for less than a year, I told him I wanted to start my own team so he told me to write down my business plan and he would set up a meeting with me and the head of the company. Well not only did they agree to allow we to start a team but they also asked me to be a member of an advisory committee. I guess this hard-nosed approach to training was his way of seeing who was prepared to go the distance.

I have had many clients over the years that have continued to place their trust in my company and for that, I am forever grateful. Not only did they allow me to work on their personal transactions but have made me the personal Real Estate Broker for their entire family. I have some families that we have worked on over ten transactions with together.

But the one person that deserves the most credit for my success is my wife. She has been right there with me since the beginning of my career and has always supported the decisions I have made even when it meant me running off at odd hours of the day to meet with clients or having to cancel personal plans because I have too much work. We love to travel and I never even hear a complaint when I end up working during our vacation so for this reason she is my rock.

Contact Info:

  • Address: 12061 Tivoli Park Row
    San Diego, CA 92128
  • Phone: (619) 940-7367
  • Email:
  • Facebook:

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