Some people take a long time to find their true calling. But Charles Moore knew he was destined to work in real estate since he was a child.
"I was raised in a real estate family where we all convened and sat at the same dinner table, unlike my boys today, and the talk always revolved around real estate," said Moore. "My introduction was not abrupt or an awakening, it just occurred over time. I always knew that was where I was going. It wasn’t a moment of enlightenment as much as a life style of real estate."
Moore is the president of McGuire Real Estate in San Francisco. His grandfather, Walter E. McGuire, started the company in the early 1900s, when selling real estate meant much more than staging homes and walkthroughs.
"My grandfather got into the business because he was a service type of person," McGuire said. "Back in his era, real estate involved many elements that today have been spun off into specialties. Back in 1919, you did property management, you sold insurance, you were a notary, you did the bill paying for your clients."
Although McGuire aims to keep that level of service for his clients, he doesn’t do their bill paying.
McGuire started selling real estate in 1973, a year after he graduated from college. Every decade since, he said, has had it’s own patterns. The ’70s were a time for capitalism in the real estate market, the ’80s, a time of baby boomer instant gratification and the ’90s about voice and connection.
"Today, I think we’re evolving into a new solar system, where the companies are having to keep the consumer at the center of the transaction with all of what the consumer expects," Moore said. "The data is abundant. In the past, real estate entities guarded data as a proprietary tool. Today, the consumer has all the data they need. So it becomes about creating value for the consumer."
Although there has been speculation this is a decade for real estate decline, Moore doesn’t seem concerned.
"The real estate market, due to economic conditions, is going into a very normal adjustment cycle that we haven’t seen in 12 years, so people are treating it as if its an abnormal occurrence, when it’s really a transition into a softer market that is more balanced between buyer and seller," he said. "It is healthy in the long run to have a balance like that. The prices can’t keep going at the pace of the past. I see the next two to three years as adjustment years."
Although this will make homes a bit more affordable in The City, Moore doesn’t stock up on cheaper homes as investments for himself. He believes there is a conflict of interest between snatching up the good properties and finding the best deals for his clients.
"If we believe and incorporate into our core values that our consumers are first, I wouldn’t advocate that any of us compete with our own consumers," he said. "We don’t really encourage buying and selling for our own accounts. That way, theoretically, the good buys are passed along to our client base. I would hate to see our sales associates buy it first rather than sell it to our clients."