Celebrating 100 Years with Willis Allen Real Estate

Friday October 17, 2014 We have so enjoyed watching Willis Allen Real Estate commemorate their 100th year in business. Such an incredible achievement by a group of wonderful real estate professionals we are proud to work with.

We have so enjoyed watching Willis Allen Real Estate commemorate their 100th year in business. Such an incredible achievement by a group of wonderful real estate professionals we are proud to work with. Here are a few words from their President and Owner, Andrew E. Nelson on looking back and looking forward to the future…



As we arrive at the conclusion of our company’s one hundredth year of operation, one must reflect on the changes we have seen since our beginning. I was fortunate to have been raised in Del Mar, so I have observed the area’s physical changes, most especially in San Diego’s North County. There was no Interstate 5 until the early 1960s; we had to use Highway 101 to get from San Diego to Los Angeles. And there were only two-lane concrete roads between La Jolla, Del Mar and Rancho Santa Fe. No one locked their doors and life was free and easy.

Check out the FALL Issue of COLLECTION here

Oh, and did I mention? Real estate prices were certainly more affordable for the citizens of San Diego back then, and the real estate process was more simplified. In fact, we only had a one-page purchase contract! “Buyer beware” was the guiding principal for purchases, to say the least. Fast forward 100 years, and it’s clear to see that a lot has changed. Contracts are now dozens of pages in length. Inspections, disclosures, repairs, etc. are all necessary requirements to create a successful closing.

It’s also a different world for buyers and sellers, who now have access to market details at their fingertips and even in the palm of their hand with smartphones. Thanks to the Internet, you can search the multiple listing services (MLS) on demand 24/7. You can view past sales and even compare a home you’re considering with active and available properties. For instance, you can use Google Earth to view neighborhoods without a “drive by.” Zillow and the multiple listing services show comparable sales facts, interiors, back yards, garages, et al. – all without a potential buyer having to set foot on the property.

Print advertising is still prevalent, but it simply isn’t as immediate as online ads. Sellers like to see their home featured in a glossy picture in a magazine, but the Internet allows us to publish twenty-five pictures, professionally produced with the pixel strength of its max!

Real estate agents themselves no longer need the MLS printout to guide them. Smartphones, iPads, and tablets are the tools of the trade today. Agents can remotely access a world of information. Agents new to the business (and young agents know fully well how to use this technology) can achieve near immediate success.

Because of the Internet, buyers and sellers are astute, inquisitive and knowledgeable. As an agent, our most important contribution is to be one step ahead of our clients and the competition, and also provide a trusting relationship with our clients. These are big-money decisions, which are often fraught with impediments, such as inspection needs and repairs, loan frustrations, etc. We, as agents, are compelled to guide, to educate and to counsel our clients throughout the process. That kind of service and expertise simply can’t be replicated on a website or mobile app.

When we hire agents at Willis Allen Real Estate, we diligently define our goals of professionalism, integrity, commitment and the person’s ability to assimilate into the company culture. This is a multi-step process. We do not hire all of the agents who apply – only the best represent our well-admired name.

Looking ahead to the next 100 years, it’s fair to say that we do not intend to be the biggest real estate brokerage in San Diego. But we do intend to continue to have a reputation that is respected by our clients and envied by our peers. Yes, there will be a day when a real estate transaction – from start to finish – will be “paperless.” Your purchase documents and details will be “in the cloud.” But one thing that won’t change – no matter how much technology advances – is the fact that Willis Allen will continue to provide the top-notch service that our clients have come to expect from us over the last 100 years.

Andrew E. Nelson

President & Owner

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