We’re so proud of our own Paul Trakarn who was featured in the latest issue of Portland Real Producer!
Read the full article below!
Paul Trakarn, of Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate, is a force to be reckoned with! His internal drive is pushing him to become one of Portland’s top agents while he is taking on the global market at the same time. But success is not the only thing that propels Paul. He is a fiercely loyal family man and a firm believer in doing the right thing. We caught up with Paul to learn a bit more about him and how he is handling business is the age of COVID-19.
When did you start your career in real estate?
I was licensed in December 2015.
What did you do before you became a REALTOR®?
Being an entrepreneur, I had a small business selling sneakers. I did a lot of e-commerce sales of high-end shoes, such as Jordan’s and pretty much all the exclusives you would see in the media. Collecting was a hobby and passion that I turned into a business. Being in the backyard of Nike made it fairly easy to get the inventory of the more limited production, samples, and exclusives, but it was all of the relationships that really propelled it to the next level. The sneakers were the business, but the relationships were the bread and butter. The customers were people with a commonality and a similar interest, so building the relationship came naturally. Now, years later, I am selling them homes.
When I graduated from the University of Oregon in 2012, I asked my mom, “Who do you know that I need to know?” What I was looking for was a connection, whether it be a foot in the door, a mentor, or just a career path, as I didn’t want my tombstone to read, “Paul, the Sneaker Man.” I had hit a plateau and was not growing in the business, so I really wanted to challenge myself.
At the time, my mom’s broker was Nick Shivers with WestOne Properties Group and he became my mentor and my introduction to the industry. I worked at the company first as an intern then as inside sales. I had big aspirations and Nick and others in the industry gave me guidance and helped me learn the ropes.
What guided you to Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate?
I started at a small boutique brokerage with my cousin, which was a great launching pad.
When I started in the industry, I really did my research to find out who were the biggest players? I looked up Terry Sprague and found out he was another Oregon alumni and thought I should meet this man! I finally sat down with him in late 2018 and had the chance to learn more about the culture and mindset of Luxe Christie’s International Real Estate. It aligned with my end-goals and was a great fit from the start.
What’s your favorite part of being a REALTOR®?
What has become the most rewarding part of your business? What is most fulfilling is appreciation. In real estate, it is not just the paperwork, it is not just the communication, but it is having the deepest level of understanding and compassion. Obviously healthcare and being on the front lines trumps it all. However, in the high stress and very emotional environment of buying and selling homes, we have to be able to act and have a solid, sound, and calming vibe to deal with any issues that arise and work towards a resolution with all parties involved. More than that, there could be the added stress of death or separation for those clients. So, I get a deep sense of fulfillment that I was really appreciated and made things as seamless and stress less as possible by solving the problems where there may not have been a foreseeable solution. The service aspect is something that I wake up every morning and say, “Hey, there is someone out there, my clients, friends, or family that need me,” and that gets me up every day. In life, generally, everyone wants to feel needed and I just happened to find my niche in real estate. It isn’t just the sales aspect, it is that you speak direct, walk the walk and talk the talk. You have to be a man of your word and people appreciate that. You take another step and do more than what is needed. I like to follow the Golden Rule, “Treat everyone how you want to be treated.” But the next step is to treat everyone how they want to be treated. It is this whole development of being able to know others and reciprocate on how they want to be regarded and the building the relationship on their terms because in this industry, it isn’t about you.
What was your biggest challenge as a REALTOR®?
Balance, absolutely! It wasn’t easy getting into the industry. It took everything and you just had to run with it. Now I feel like I can be a little more picky and choosy and living a life where I can have more balance. I make sure to make appointments for dinner, family time, and gym time. The balance is key. Balance is definitely the REALTOR’S® worst nightmare. If I could share one aspect of that, it is that there is always this fear of missing the deal or fear of missing out which is really huge amongst sales professionals, especially those working solely on commission. But, if you take a step back and you are able to control it, which I am still not the master of, it is the balance of setting your calendar, setting your boundaries upfront, and knowing that everything does not require you to drop everything you are doing. People just want to be appreciated and know that they are heard and that you are going to follow back up.
What new challenges you are facing and navigating during this coronavirus pandemic?
As we all are uncertain about the climate during this time, we must utilize historical data, current market trends, and provide our network/client/prospects with guidance through statistics. This includes the mortgage rates, opportunity cost, and the remainder of one’s real estate goals are much longer than a depression/recession so it is impossible to catch the falling knife (simply timing a bottom of any sort) especially with a more resilient market that had low inventory, to begin with. I am personally still confident of our market so I purchased a rental in April and one in May.
What creative business practices have you implemented during this time of shelter in place?
(And do you feel you’ll stick with some of them, moving forward?) Safety precautions with gear (booties, gloves, wipes, sanitizer) including utilizing the Showing Time app to avoid double showings, 3D Matterport tours with floor plans, assisting clients with disinfecting cleanings prior to moving into a home, offering live video tours showing services. I believe all of this should be standard to what a client deserves so I would not lower my standard of practice regardless of the climate. What have the surprising gifts, blessings, or silver linings in the last six weeks been? The opportunity to spend the most time I ever have with my daughter in the past four years her life. This includes homeschooling, enjoying meals together, lots of crafts, naps, movies, and much overdue quality daddy-daughter memories! It also gave me the chance to reconnect with my global network through lots of Zoom/video meetings, perform overdue home improvements, and have lost over 10 pounds through eating meal preps!
Are there any charities or organizations you support?
I think it is important to make an impact both by giving and by doing. I am very involved with the Asian Real Estate Association of America (AREAA). That is definitely a passion of mine and the contribution aspect of doing anything in life, giving back, whether mentoring or financially. I am a big supporter of The Ronald McDonald House. I have been a part of the Circle of Giving for about four years. I am also part of their young professionals’ organization, Friends of the House. The PMAR Young Professional’s Network is also an organization I am involved with. They supported me to get to the Top Finalists in 30 Under 30 back in 2018.
How has having a license to practice real estate in Dubai and Thailand worked for you?
I was lucky to be one of the first 150 American agents licensed to sell real estate in Dubai through the Asian Real Estate Association of America. I also completed my Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation in Bangkok in Thailand, as that is my cultural background and I speak Thai.
Knowing our Thai restaurant peers here in the Portland area, my family is connected with the Buddhist Temple, and me being a member of a few networks, like the Thai Agent and Lender Network, has fostered a strong relationship with the Thai community. That relationship has allowed me to be able to bridge that gap by becoming a concierge for referring Thai agents with American agents. The connection allows me to support other agents locally, nationally, and globally, which in turn has helped me grow my business. I am a firm believer in sharing whatever wisdom and knowledge I have which is how I have utilized the global network. There is a global reach with these networks. If you come in with an abundant mindset, there is really no limit to your success. I am a big thinker and it has been the absolute best dream I could have dreamed about living. I am living the greatest life and I tell myself that every day.
Tell us about your family.
My daughter, Everly, is 4 and she is my world! She is a constant lesson in patience and understanding and really she is truly what I wake up for every morning. I am incessantly asking myself, “What am I doing this for? How do I want her to perceive me? What do I want to teach her in this lifetime?” I just want to be there to create memories with her. She is easily the heart of my existence. She is a unicorn in my eyes!
Antonette, my amazing partner, has been by my side for about seven years. I want to give a big shout out to her, my partner in crime, as she is definitely my rock and she is a wonderful mother to Everly. Being young parents, we are certainly different than the typical millennial. It isn’t easy being young parents and we are so lucky that we have a great support system and friends and family that all love us and love our daughter. Together we make a great team.
My family has a Thai restaurant, Sivalai Thai, here in Portland, which we have had for almost 17 years. I was the kid that always ran around the restaurant after school. Now we donate food, help with catering orders, and help contribute to the community. Thank you to that community that is helping to support the restaurant during the pandemic by placing take-out orders! We are making sure we do our part, as well, by ordering takeout a few days a week and leaving generous tips. We will all get through this stronger. We just have to stay strong and know that we are all in the same boat.
What are your hobbies and interests outside of the business?
Besides the gym, I love traveling. I have a pretty deep global real estate network and am active with a couple of associations, the largest being the Asian Real Estate Association of America, with over 17,000 members and over 40 chapters. My love of traveling really fits in with that, as we have regional, national, and global events, so I have gotten a chance to see the world for work and to expand my global real estate network. It has been great for relationship building because you go to one event and meet someone, then you are in Tokyo or Dubai and see that same person again. It has been fun to combine personal and business that way.
I love eating; the restaurant industry in Portland is amazing! I am a big foodie, so to eat all over the world then come back to Portland and get to eat at even more great restaurants is mind-blowing!
Scuba diving! You travel the world, you get to see and experience the culture, and you get to eat the food. So seeing the world underwater is one of my favorite pastimes, but I don’t get as much of a chance to enjoy it as I would like. Other than that, it is with my family where I spend the majority of my extracurricular time.
Is there anything else you would like to communicate using this Portland REAL Producer platform?
Being nice and being understanding, caring, and just deeply compassionate is so important. If I could convey one message to my peers, colleagues, counterparts, and new agents, it would be to have a really open mind and really try to look at yourself 10 years out and think, is that how you want to be remembered? Niceness and being kind. You can’t ever lose by being kind. Especially in this climate, people are just nasty and there is a lot of negativity. You have to rise above that.
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