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Real estate provides opportunities to help the community.

posted Jul 15, 2016, 12:53 PM by Joyce Evans   [ updated Jul 20, 2016, 8:04 AM by Richard D'Ascoli ]
You may know PSAR REALTOR® member Tony Villafranca who has served as a member of PSAR’s South County Government Affairs Committee for the past three years. The PSAR Government Affairs Committees focus on real estate-related legislative and policy issues and other concerns pertaining to various market areas. The Association supports both South County and East County Governmental Affairs Committees. Tony also represented PSAR in organizing last year’s “San Diego’s New Water Realty, South County Water Forum,” attended by business leaders and representatives from local and regional water agencies who discussed the drought and the future of the South County water supply. Attendees included representatives from the South County Economic Development Council (SCEDC), Chula Vista Chamber of Commerce and San Diego County Water Authority’s Water Smart program.
But did you know that Tony once served as a San Diego County Sheriff’s Reservist Deputy? Many reserve deputies volunteer because they are preparing for a career in law enforcement. Many of them work in patrol, providing all levels of law enforcement from the day-to-day duties of a patrol deputy to assisting in major emergencies.  “I graduated from the 73rd Sheriff’s Academy with a POST certification (POST is acronym for Peace Officer Standards and Training), and I was seriously considering making a career in law enforcement,” said Tony. “But, the day came when I had to decide between real estate and law enforcement. My law enforcement colleagues said that I was headstrong with a determined sense of individualism. You could say my personality better fit with real estate because now I have the opportunity to help my community while making a living.”
Tony has a strong desire to support the local community. He is a committed volunteer with a number of community organizations, including the Skyline-Paradise Hills Planning Committee, Knights of Columbus (Ferdinand Magellan Assembly #2063) and Mission Healthcare, which provides hospice services. At St. Michael’s Catholic Church, he coordinates the quarterly blood drives that benefit San Diego Blood Bank (the next blood drive is scheduled for July 31).
“I believe strongly that REALTORS® should be very involved in their communities because there’s nothing comparable to the role that REALTORS® can play in their communities,” Tony said. “First, we need to be grateful that we’re part of such a terrific industry like real estate. But, second, we need to show our gratitude by being involved in civic groups, schools, churches and community organizations. Community leaders are involved in all aspects of their community.”
Tony has previously run for public office, including city council races in both National City and San Diego. He was a candidate in the recent June 3 primary election for a seat to represent the City of San Diego’s District 4. “It’s both challenging and rewarding to be a candidate in an election,” Tony said. “I’ve have not yet achieved my goal of victory, but I plan to keep on trying because it’s an opportunity to show the community what REALTORS® are all about.”
Tony, 54, grew up in the South Bay area. He graduated from Bonita Vista High School (class of 1980) and now lives in Paradise Hills. He has been selling real estate since 1988. He also has worked as a loan officer. He briefly left the real estate industry following the 2008 recession. Since 2012, he has worked with Big Block Realty, a company with about 20 branch offices, according to Tony. He is currently managing the Casa del Oro office.
Tony believes PSAR has a tremendous future. “A lot of agents don’t understand the value of our trade association,” he said. “Yes, we’re in business for ourselves, but our REALTOR® Association has unbelievable resources and support that helps us do a better job for our clients. PSAR provides a bridge for REALTORS® to interface with other community groups, such as chambers, government agencies and other businesses. I can only imagine how successful PSAR will be in the future, and I want to be part of that.”