You might know Shun Wakita as PSAR’s South County representative to the Sandicor board
of directors (Sandicor is San Diego County’s regional multiple listing service
that is owned by three REALTOR® Associations, including PSAR, North San Diego
County Association of REALTORS® and the Greater San Diego Association of
REALTORS®). Wakita also has served as a member of Sandicor’s
Rules Committee since 2011.
But, did you know that
the 30-year-old worked for four years at the San Diego Harbor Police, followed
by nearly two years overseeing security at a new luxury hotel in Downtown San
Diego before he joined his father in the real estate field? Today, Shun operates two Chula Vista-based companies,
including Home Team Property Management that manages nearly 300 residential,
commercial and retail properties, and Wakita and Associates, a real estate sales company.
“I wanted to make sure
that real estate was the field I wanted to be in,” said Shun. “It was something I knew growing up, watching
my dad, but I wanted to work in some other fields like government and
hospitality and see what I really enjoyed doing.”
While working at other
jobs, Shun still kept an active interest in the real
estate field, obtaining his real estate license in 2004 and a broker’s license
in 2009. “In a way, I was expecting to end-up in real estate, which eventually
happened,” said Shun.
His father, Shuzo Wakita, was an executive at Tariam, a San Diego-based
real estate development company that worked with Japanese investors. The
company ceased operations in the early 1990s, and Shuzo transitioned to
residential real estate sales, which he still practices today as part of Wakita and Associates.
An often-asked question
to Shun by his clients and others is about his
first name. Shun is named after a Chinese emperor, even
though Shun is of Japanese descent. The Chinese
Emperor Shun, sometimes referred to as the Great Shun, served as an emperor from age 53 until his
death at 100 in ancient China preceding the Xia Dynasty, which began in 2100
B.C. “I didn’t really recognize the significance of it until some of my
clientele from China brought it up in conversation,” said Shun.
Shun grew up in Bonita, attending Bonita Vista
Middle School and Bonita Vista High School (class of 2002). He attended
Southwestern College and San Diego State University, but left college to run a
painting company. At age 19, Shun was responsible for the estimating, purchasing and running
the business. “It was my first experience running a company, making budgets, HR
and marketing. At one point, we were one of the most productive branches in the
state,” said Shun.
He joined the Port of
San Diego’s Harbor Police in 2003, and worked in the investigations and
administration departments. This is where a lot of Shun’s interest in information systems and
technology started. “It was exciting to see the process that law enforcement
used to gather data and the application of it,” he said.
Then, in 2006, he
decided to look into the hospitality field and accepted a job in security at
The Ivy, a luxury urban hotel at 6th Avenue and F Street in Downtown San Diego.
He worked there while the hotel was under construction and during the May 2007
grand opening, as well as the hotel’s first year in operation (today, the
property is called the Andaz Hotel).
“The hotel was a
reflection of the amount of money flowing through the economy at that time,”
said Shun. “It was not uncommon to see bar tabs in excess
of $50,000, and the biggest-name celebrities staying there. The money they
spent was over-the-top. It was like a modern day snapshot of the Great Gatsby.
But, as the economy began to enter a recession, uncertainty started to show and
on Thanksgiving night in 2008, there were two guests staying at a 148-room
According to Shun, “I learned a lot of important management and
leadership lessons from my previous bosses and mentors, including my father,
Harbor Police Chief Sanfilippo and my first broker Joe Harrison. Each of these
jobs provided me some valuable lessons that I apply to my professional life
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Stand by for next week’s story. Hint: He nearly got swept overboard by a rolling iceberg!!!