Top Producer Pat Patricelli,
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Pat Patricelli, Top Producer

A long and winding road has taken Pat Patricelli back-and-forth across the U.S. to his career as a realtor. The upstate New York high school graduate joined the Air Force on a dare. “The person who dared me to do it backed out,’ he recalls with a smile, “but I wasn’t decided on a career at that point so it seemed like a good opportunity.”

His five years of service, including commendations and two years stationed in England, reinforced his drive to succeed and the dual traits of organization and discipline that continue as the core of his professional life. They also gave him the nickname that he still uses. “In the service, you tend to go by your last name and no one could pronounce Patricelli,” he laughs, giving his name the appropriate Italian inflection.

Seeking greater challenges, Pat left the Air Force and pursued a degree in business from the University of Maryland. He came to California in 1988. Blessed with a green thumb and an aptitude for sales, he began working in property-related fields of plant services and nursery management until an opportunity for his first real estate investment took him back to the East.

Several properties later, he recalls, “I really enjoyed the renovation process but I found myself less than impressed with the caliber of agents that I encountered there. It was not my initial intent to become a full-time agent. I simply wanted to be able to negotiate my own deals.”
Inevitably friends who were looking to purchase properties would ask for his assistance. It only took Pat a few iterations of this to make an important discovery. “In renovations you’re dealing with contractors and tradesmen, but I really missed the general day-to-day interaction with a wider range of people.”

Helping someone make the best choice for a home is at the top of Pat’s priorities. “Doing the right thing for the client is the most important thing for me, even if doing the right thing means that I don’t have a deal. What’s best for the client has to come before questions of whether or not I get a commission. When people see that you operate on that level they will respect you and they will feel comfortable referring you to their friends and colleagues.”

By way of example Pat tells of two clients from early in his career. They found what they thought was the perfect property. Pat disagreed. “I had been to their home and seen their furnishings, which tended towards large antiques, many of which had been handed down through several generations. The scale of the things they had and were likely to keep was completely wrong for the property they were considering. Ultimately we did find the right house for them and they have been in it for over eight years. They still thank me for talking them out of that first house.”

Pat embraces the multi-faceted role of a realtor. “It’s like having many different jobs. You’re a psychologist, you’re a negotiator, you’re a financial adviser, you’re a contractor… there are just so many different aspects to a transaction. There’s also,” he continues, “a romance aspect to real estate. A client walks into a house and falls in love with the way it’s staged or the way the light comes through the window. They don’t immediately think about essential things like whether or not there is enough closet space for their clothes. It’s my job to help them consider these things, to point out the subtleties. I have those eyes now, so as I get to know the client I can make those recommendations as to whether or not a house is a good fit.”

ACTIVITIES: Pat, a vegetarian in the kitchen, also loves to get green outside. Happily ensconced in his own cozy Edwardian flat in the Castro - “If I’m stressed out at the end of the day I’ll go spend an hour in my garden and all my stress melts away.” He also believes in civic involvement. “When life or work are challenging I find that doing something on a volunteer basis helps take me out of myself. Plowing through a box of cookies also helps, though I try not to do that too often!” he laughs.

Pat continues to find great satisfaction in exceeding the expectations of his clients. “Some people enter the real estate market because they think it’s an easy way to make a living. Fortunately most of those people tend to drop out pretty quickly and the ones who make a long-term commitment to providing quality service are the ones who last. I work in real estate because I really enjoy the business. People see that in me and I really believe it’s why I have so much repeat business among my clients.”