You may know Bob Stewart as a member of PSAR’s East Government Affairs Committee for the past 20 years. He served as the Association’s president in 1984. Back then, the Association was called the East San Diego County Board of REALTORS®. Then, the name was changed to East San Diego County Association of REALTORS® (ESDCAR). Bob also was named Realtor of the Year in 1986 and 1989.
But did you know that Bob has developed about 25 single-family home communities in San Diego County? The subdivisions, built between 1990 and 2010, ranged in size between three and 30 homes in various locations, including Alpine, Escondido, Santee and Lakeside.
“My career has not focused on single-family homes, but rather on land development, new-home construction and exchange transactions,” said Bob, 68, who has lived in Point Loma since 1992.
Bob gained experience in real estate exchanges even before revisions to Section 1031 of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code that made it popular for investors to sell a property and reinvest the proceeds in a new property as a way to defer capital gains taxes. “I’ve completed a lot of exchanges, more than I can remember,” he said.
He was born at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire and grew up in Massachusetts. After high school, he attended the General Motors Institute in Flint, Mich. After two years in Michigan, he moved to San Diego to attend San Diego State. He graduated in 1975 with a bachelor’s degree in math, economics and public administration. Bob received his real estate sales license in 1973, while attending college.
Over the years, Bob served on several California Association of REALTORS® (C.A.R.) committees, as well as several East County Board committees. He helped develop the Multiple Listing Service in the 1980s. Before computers, Bob recalls the MLS consisted of loose papers in a three-ring binder that was passed around at Caravan meetings held at an upstairs auditorium at the Sears & Roebuck store at Parkway Plaza in El Cajon.
Bob also is proud to be one of PSAR’s current members with the longest continuous membership. Bob joined in 1973, soon after starting his real estate career. In 2000, the Association bestowed Bob with “Honorary Life Membership.”
He once played a joke on his friend Joe Blanchard. “We were at a C.A.R. meeting in Los Angeles, having dinner at a hotel,” said Bob. “I left the banquet room, used a hotel phone and asked to be connected to Joe. It was before cell phones and they brought a phone line to Joe’s dinner table. On the phone, I pretended to be our treasurer and started asking Joe why he was using Board money for such lavish entertainment in Los Angeles. He stuttered and stammered. It was fun to rattle his cage a bit.”
Bob opened three offices of Hometown Realtors, including an existing Hometown Realtors office in Santee in 1978. Also the same year he founded California Investment Bankers, a commercial real estate company. In 1994, Bob sold Hometown Realtors to his younger brother Brian, who converted it to a RE/MAX office.
Shortly after receiving his brokers license in 1976, he was joined in the real estate profession by his wife Margie, brother Brian and their mother Gloria Whalen, who today is 89 years old and living in Coronado. Bob’s dad Robert also had a career as a broker for many years for Atlantic Richfield Company (today, the company is called ARCO). Robert passed away in 1998.
During his career, Bob counts at least four recessions. “Us old timers mark the cycles by the down times,” he said.
Bob and wife Margie have been married for 40 years. Margie worked in the property management field for 30 years before her retirement in 2005. They have two grown and four grandchildren.
“I strongly believe in my Association membership and our code of ethics,” said Bob. “I cherish my long real estate career and the relationships I’ve made with other members.”