In the latest Tips From the Top, we sat down with Jocelyn Lomahan of the Avenue Home Collective to talk about her real estate journey from banking and telecommunication to hosting “The Neighborhood SD” show.
REAM: What inspired you to become a real estate agent, and how did you get started in the industry?
JL: I actually stumbled onto real estate as a career. I was a finance major at SDSU and I was already working in the banking industry then telecommunications when the company I was working for decided they were going to close their San Diego office and asked if I wanted to move to New York. I love San Diego, so I decided to move on with my life. I ended up working as a marketing assistant to two high-producing agents in Rancho Santa Fe, and the rest was history. I got my license right away, and am now celebrating 21 years in the business.
I naturally liked the idea of real estate as I remember when I was about 18 years old, my parents were looking to sell my childhood home in order to move into a new construction. We had a real estate agent working with my parents and I remembered admiring how professional and “put together” she was. She encouraged my parents to keep the home instead of selling it so that they could build generational wealth, and I will always remember that because that is what I strive to do as well. Always do what’s in the best interest of my clients – sometimes it will translate to a sale, not always, and that’s okay. To know that I am elevating my clients is truly what I am called to do.
REAM: Can you tell us about your background and how it impacted your career?
JL: I have a bachelor’s degree in business administration, with an emphasis in finance and I have been working since I was almost 16 years old. My work ethic has been very strong thanks in part to my parents.
Both my parents are from the Philippines – my dad came to the U.S. serving in the U.S. Navy. My mother was the only one of her seven siblings to come to the United States as a nursing student. She and my father met in Philadelphia which is where I was born.
My parents both worked very hard to raise my sister and me well and to also help their families in the Philippines. They were able to petition many of my aunts and uncles to also move to the States. My mom was an operating room nurse at Sharp Hospital – and I recall how often she was “paged” to come to work for a surgery. She worked very hard and was proud of her career – but she always made sure that my sister, Jennifer, and I were taken care of. She petitioned my grandmother to come to the States and we were fortunate to have been able to have her take care of us growing up while my dad was deployed and my mother worked.
These childhood memories impacted my career because I always give my all when it comes to working. With a career like real estate, you are entrusted with one of the biggest life decisions of people’s lives. I never take that trust for granted, and go above and beyond for my clients.
REAM: Tell us about your first sale.
JL: I remember getting the call from a friend of mine saying that she didn’t know what to do – they were underwater on their home and felt helpless. I immediately drove to her home to talk. I eventually helped her family short-sale their home and it changed their lives because they were under a tremendous amount of stress and pressure. I helped several families through this similar situation. It was a great learning experience to be able to start my career during that time as it set me up for my career being more of a counselor or consultant rather than a sales person.
REAM: What’s your best tip to give to a new agent as they are beginning their career?
JL: If this is what you really want to do – don’t do two careers at once. If you’re like me and fortunate to find a brokerage where I was doing work for the agents and getting paid a salary as well as selling – I had the best of both worlds and was immersed in real estate until I was able to be 100% in production. Also know that this business is all about relationships, not selling homes.
REAM: What is your biggest challenge running a business? How do you overcome it?
JL: My biggest challenge running a business was realizing that being a real estate agent is, in fact, a business …not just being a sales person. I wish I had that mentality early on in my career. To overcome this, we just have to start today! Have a business plan, know exactly how much to re-invest back into the business, get a business coach to help you early in your career.
REAM: Can you tell us about your experience co-hosting “The Neighborhood SD?”
JL: Again, the real estate industry is all about relationships. One never knows who you might meet that can help elevate your career. Friends I met through my daughter’s basketball team introduced me to the host of “The Neighborhood SD” and with my background in pageantry and public speaking, it was easy to get comfortable in front of a camera and just talk about the city I know and love. One episode we filmed from a hot air balloon, one episode we paddle boarded, we even did one episode from the actual basketball court that my daughter and her friends played on. The show was a great way to catapult my business because I was able to showcase my knowledge of the city – in fact, my domain name is: TheKeyToSanDiego.com.
REAM: How do you manage your time and stay organized while juggling multiple clients and transactions?
JL: I think it’s give and take. I don’t think that we are every truly balanced nor can juggle all of the things we need to do at a given time. Early in my career, my priority was my family – my husband and two daughters. Now that they’re a little older, I have even more time to devote to my business. As for staying organized, I’m a little old-school and still do much of my planning on a paper calendar and notebooks. I definitely embrace apps like Trello and Slack and CRMs like FollowUp Boss to help me keep track of the day to day as well – but there’s something about “pen to paper” that helps me connect better with tasks and things I want to remember.
REAM: How are you involved in your community? Is there one group you support especially? Why did you select that cause?
JL: Community outreach is my jam. In addition to being super involved in my parish Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, I am also on the Rancho Penasquitos Town Council; I am a board member for Catholic Charities and the Rancho YMCA; and I am involved in the Filipino-American community as well. I am currently the San Diego Chapter President of AREAA (Asian Real Estate Association) where we advocate for sustainable homeownership in the AAPI community.
REAM: Tell us a bit about yourself outside the office.
JL: I am a coffee girl (my favorite drink is a Flat White with Oat Milk). Early in my career when I was meeting people to talk about real estate, I would always suggest my favorite coffee shops, and it became a “thing” and friends would ask to have Java with Joce. I hung out a lot at the coffee shop and I would get people that didn’t know me saying, “Hey, you’re the Realtor!”
Another fun fact is that I competed in pageants in my 20s and again after I got married and had children. My most recent pageant experience was winning Mrs. California International 2019.
Both of my daughters play basketball – and I just LOVE being a sports mom, especially for girls/women’s sports. I love every aspect of team sports as I see so many metaphors with sports and life. I love seeing their discipline, dedication and love for the game. I try my best never to miss a game as I know that time is precious and I want them to always remember me being in the stands being their biggest cheerleader.
REAM: Is there anything else you would like to add?
JL: I have a pretty active social media presence and I post much about my day-to-day life and all of the things I’m involved in. Sometimes I get my friends to say that they feel as though I’m too busy for them – that couldn’t be further from the truth. My passion is elevating others through personal excellence and much of that comes from the pride of being a homeowner. I have a great team and support group that I will always make the time to assist anyone with real estate.