Drew And Tim Nelson: Brotherly Bonds Via Promoting San Diego Actual Property

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Actual property has all the time been a household affair for Drew and Tim Nelson. The sons of San Diego actual property luminary Andrew Nelson of Willis Allen Real Estate, the brothers have been virtually born and raised at itemizing showings and later earned their stripes in varied actual estate-related sectors earlier than becoming a member of Willis Allen as impartial brokers greater than a decade in the past.

Since then, the La Jolla natives have teamed together and hustled their option to changing into high producers in San Diego’s actual property scene. In 2020, the Nelson brothers had greater than $118 million in actual property gross sales quantity, about 90% of which got here in a roughly 7-month interval. Of the properties they represented, greater than third of the listings went for above the asking value — a uncommon feat even within the hottest markets.

The Nelson brothers not too long ago sat down to talk about how they received into the household enterprise of actual property, competitors amongst siblings and the way integrity elements into each enterprise determination they make.

NL: What was it like rising up in an actual property household?

TN: We keep in mind our dad throwing us at the back of his automobile to run to an appointment to point out a property, letting us run across the yard, in all probability terrorizing his displaying and it is an excessive amount of noise and a ruckus. [Laughs] However I suppose occasions have been somewhat completely different again then. We additionally keep in mind him having to run out and in of the workplace as a result of again then it was fax machines and landlines, and also you needed to are available to do issues otherwise you’d miss them. He needed to come into the workplace and do issues, however he by no means missed our baseball video games or soccer video games, or taking us to go surf and ski.

NL: Rising up, did you assume actual property was one thing you’d find yourself pursuing?

TN: Our dad was extraordinarily agency in ensuring that we received an training, went to varsity and received enterprise expertise and earned our stripes in numerous industries earlier than we ever even thought-about coming again and dealing in residential actual property. That’s what we each did.

NL: Had been there any life classes discovered from watching your dad at showings?

TN: I feel our dad actually instilled in us the work ethic that’s completely essential to outlive and thrive on this enterprise and likewise confirmed us that it’s a way of life. It’s not a job. You join it pondering you’re going to work eight-to-five, Monday to Friday, however that’s not the case.

NL: When did it actually click on that actual property was ‘it’ for you?

TN: All of it occurred very naturally, very organically. Drew was working for a luxurious actual property advertising and marketing firm that ceased operation, and I used to be working in land brokerage, promoting infill and redevelopment alternatives in San Diego, and so they determined to close down the San Diego workplace. It ended up being an ideal and form of pure transition for us, from these land and actual estate-related roles into residential gross sales.

DN: I feel we each knew we needed to be in actual property, however we weren’t 100% certain. In truth, we have been in all probability satisfied sooner or later that we didn’t need to get into actual property gross sales as a result of we had seen how exhausting of a job it’s. We watched our dad work so exhausting at it over time and but, after doing different issues, we began to comprehend that it was a possibility for us and it was a job we’d cherish. The remainder is historical past.

NL: What was your relationship with one another rising up?

DN: [Laughs] We’ve got all the time had very comparable pursuits. We’ve all the time skied and golfed collectively. Being two years aside, we have been by no means on the identical baseball, soccer or soccer groups, however we have been all the time very aggressive with one another, which I feel is partly due to the way in which we have been raised. Naturally, our dad made all the things a contest.

NL: Even in a crew atmosphere, is there competitors between the 2 of you?

DN: Competitors is a catch-all for formidable drive on this area. Tim and I are each formidable and pushed, however we’re each truthful. We’re each very aware of not permitting being aggressive to get in the way in which of being productive. Even earlier than we have been companions, there was collaboration and help there. 

TN: We grew up taking part in golf collectively, and I feel that the golf course enabled us to have a aggressive atmosphere the place we’re at a degree taking part in subject. Golf teaches you plenty of enterprise classes, notably in terms of dealing with the aggressive drive that we each have. We perceive that we share the identical widespread objectives and pursuits that allow us to work effectively collectively. The form of glue-of-it-all is the truth that we’re brothers.

NL: Has actual property strengthened your bond as brothers?

DN: I don’t assume you might have the true property partnership that we now have with out it being a household sort of relationship. That’s one of many issues we expect is effective to our purchasers — Tim and I are reduce from the identical ilk, we now have the identical form of ethics and philosophy and mentality about issues.

NL: What’s the most effective piece of recommendation you’ve acquired out of your dad with reference to actual property?

DN: The factor about our dad is that he’s a pacesetter by instance. What he says is much less related than what he does. Each determination he makes, all the things that he does, each phrase that he says is predicated on integrity. Nobody in the true property enterprise or any enterprise can go so far as he has and finished in addition to he has with out making all choices based mostly on integrity. In 2005, Willis Allen included the phrases integrity into our enterprise slogan — ‘Actual property. Actual integrity. Since 1914’. There are occasions when that’s more durable to do than others however our dad has survived for a very long time by having all the things based mostly on integrity. Tim and I took that from him and proceed to use it to our enterprise every day.

NL: It’s powerful to get to the highest of any trade, notably actual property. What are among the challenges you’ve confronted in your careers?

TN: One excessive problem that we each had coming into the enterprise and, frankly, we nonetheless have, is to show we’re not handed all the things with a silver spoon. We’ve got to battle for enterprise, and we now have to generate enterprise for ourselves. The fact is, we’re within the workplace on a regular basis, grinding on a nonstop foundation to earn the enterprise we now have. And we’re pleased to say that over two-thirds of our enterprise final 12 months got here from previous purchasers and relationships.

NL: What recommendation would you give your children in the event that they needed to get into actual property? Is {that a} path you’d need for them?

TN: I’d be pleased as a result of I feel which means we’d have proven them a very good instance of what it takes to work exhausting and that the job appealed to them. However I’d inform them what our dad instructed us: good thought, however exit and get the training, get the extra enterprise expertise to make it possible for’s the trail you’re finally going to need to go down. Forcing anybody into something can usually harbor resentment that may develop, particularly in dangerous occasions. Work expertise in numerous industries and completely different fields is mission essential.


Willis Allen Actual Property is an unique member of Forbes Global Properties, a client market and membership community of elite brokerages promoting the world’s most luxurious properties.

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