Bryan Van Heusen: Headfirst
By James Florence, Diamond Certified Program Reporter
PLEASANTON — Fifteen years ago, Bryan Van Heusen was comfortably immersed in a respectable trade, but following an unexpected setback, he found himself diving headfirst into uncharted waters. “Right out of high school, I started a career as a licensed electrician,” he remembers. “When the dot com bust occurred in 2001, I was laid off. Fortunately, I had a friend who did mortgage lending for a local bank, and he helped me get a job. After about three years of doing mortgage lending, I wanted to get into something that would allow me to interact face-to-face with people instead of sitting in a cubicle all day. So, I decided to make the switch to residential real estate sales.”
Citing the competitive character of the industry, Bryan says it took considerable effort just to stay afloat during his first years as a realtor. “I wasn’t brought in under anyone’s wing; rather, I had to jump in and work my way up from the bottom. I took the big hitters in my office to lunch and applied the things I learned from them to help get my business off the ground.” Today, more than a decade later, Bryan says his favorite part of his job is the satisfaction he gets from concluding a positive transaction. “Whether it’s handing keys to a new homeowner or delivering a check to the seller, I love seeing the expressions on my clients’ faces at the end of their transactions. It’s hard to beat that feeling.”
A lifetime resident of the Bay Area (where he lives with his wife, Siena), Bryan enjoys taking advantage of all the region has to offer. “As someone who loves food and being outdoors, I feel right at home in the Bay Area. Not only is there a wide variety of restaurants to choose from, there’s an abundance of open spaces to explore, including the beach and the mountains. I’m also a big Bay Area sports guy, so I follow all the local teams.”
In regard to his career as a realtor, Bryan cites a notable quotation that he says has served as a guiding professional principle. “One of my favorite quotes is from Zig Ziglar: ‘You can have everything in life you want, if you will just help enough other people get what they want.’ This is something I apply in my work by always keeping my clients’ best interests at the forefront. I know that if I perform at the level my clients expect and achieve positive outcomes for them, they’ll refer business to me and I’ll be taken care of.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, Bryan says he’d take off for a long-deferred excursion. “When you work in real estate, you don’t get to travel as much as you’d like because you always have a deal in the pipeline and need to be available for your clients. So, I think the first thing I’d do is go someplace that doesn’t have cellphone reception, which is something I haven’t had the luxury of enjoying for some time.”
Ask Me Anything!
Q: If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would you go?
A: I’ve never been to Europe, so I’d probably start with one of the typical tourist destinations like Paris or London.
Q: What’s your favorite local restaurant?
A: Pamir Restaurant in Dublin.
Q: What were you most known for in high school?
A: Probably sports—I played baseball and wrestled.
Q: Music or talk radio?
A: Music, just because it helps me unwind after a long workday.
Q: What’s your favorite snack?
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A: Mixed nuts. I always have a supply of Planters Mixed Nuts in my office.