David Kerr: A Window of Insight
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Resource Reporter
SONOMA — For David Kerr, it was a career in carpet cleaning that served as a window into the real estate field, where he’d later find his true professional calling. “I used to own a carpet cleaning company, during which time I did a lot of work for real estate agents,” he remembers. “This gave me some insight into how the industry worked and, in some cases, how hard it was for professionals in the field.”
Later, David sold his carpet cleaning company and went back to school, where he earned a degree in Art History. However, when he sought to re-enter the workforce, he had difficulty finding employment in his field of study. “Unfortunately, there wasn’t a lot of work available for someone with my expertise, so I decided to get my real estate license and take a job as an assistant for an Oakland real estate agent. After about six months, I went out on my own as an agent, started closing transactions and just flourished at it.”
A few years after establishing himself in the real estate field, David was joined by his longtime partner, Rob. “Rob and I have been together for 28 years, and he supported me while I was in school,” he explains. “He worked in the financial sector for a long time, but eventually he became so burned out with the corporate world that he decided to get his license and work with me. Today, we make a great team, each with varying strengths that complement one another.”
Today, David says his favorite part of his job is working with first-time buyers. “First-time buyers are really fun to work with because they’re totally new to the process, so there’s a lot of educating and hand-holding. It’s also extra fun handing the keys to a first-time buyer because it’s such an exciting, life-changing event for them.”
A resident of Sonoma, David expresses his appreciation for life and work in the North Bay. “When you consider the beauty and diversity of the Bay Area, it’s pretty incredible. It’s so nice to walk the streets and look out at the hills and pines, or just sit outside and have a glass of wine. Even after all these years, I still find myself thinking, ‘My God, I actually get to live here.’”
Outside of work, David engages in a variety of pastimes, from swimming to painting and photography. “I’m a master swimmer, and I do a lot of lap swimming,” he affirms. “For a lot of people, just swimming back and forth might seem boring, but for me, it gives me a chance to think and clear my head. I also enjoy going on long walks with Rob—that’s something we’ve done the entire time we’ve been together.”
In addition to leisure and hobbies, David devotes a substantial amount of time to representing his professional field. “I’m very involved in organized real estate,” he says. “I’m a director at the California Association of Realtors and I recently served as president of the North Bay Association of Realtors. I actually represent both the California association and the national association. Once a year, I go to Washington, D.C. to lobby Congress on behalf of our industry, and I also go to Sacramento to lobby our state assembly people.”
In his life and career, David espouses the importance of taking chances. “One recurring theme in my life is that if you don’t try for fear of making mistakes, you’re never going to grow or move forward,” he explains. “As one of my favorite mentors used to say, if we as children never fell down, we’d never learn to walk. It’s important to be willing to fall, get up and try again.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, David says he’d spend more time doing the things he currently enjoys. “Quite honestly, life in the North Bay is like retirement on some levels, so I can’t say I’m particularly motivated to retire. If I did, however, I’d probably devote more time to my favorite pastimes like swimming, painting and photography.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: What’s your favorite sports team?
A: The Oakland Raiders.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Glen Ellen Star in Glen Ellen.
Q: Coffee or tea?
Q: Do you collect anything?
A: Yes—too many things, really. I have a collection of antique box cameras, a collection of Star Trek miniature pieces and a collection of little robots.
Q: What’s one website you visit on a daily basis?
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A: Google. I am forever Googling things.