Orange County’s Real Estate Royalty

Written By: Elena Khury Real Estate Professionals in Orange County

Everyone loves Orange County’s luxurious homes and buildings. But how exactly can you get your hands on one? Just ask our favorite real estate professionals in Orange County! You voted for your favorite real estate professionals in one of the most competitive markets in California. From their persistence to finding you the right home, to their loyalty in providing you the best service, Christa, Melane, Michael, Spyro, and Kurtis will always come through. Don’t just dream about OC living, own it!

 Real Estate Professionals in Orange County

Christa Lee Canaday, Canaday Group

Q: What is your biggest inspiration?

Christa Lee Canaday: My family and everyone who is doing their best. I’m inspired daily by the hard work of my friends and colleagues.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

CLC: Serving my clients with 100 percent satisfaction! Plus my family that has recently grown with the arrival of our new baby girl Sofia.

Q: What does it mean to you to be one of OC’s Favorite Real Estate Professionals?

CLC: More than anything in the world. The positive response from my clients, friends, colleagues, vendors and community as a whole was heartwarming and inspiring!

Q: How did you get into the industry?

CLC: I’ve been in the business since I was 11 years old. I started by hosting my mom’s open houses on the weekends and working 8:30 a.m.-5:30 p.m. in her office on the weekdays during the summer. While all of my friends were at the beach, I was learning the ins and outs of real estate. Something that I greatly appreciate now.

Q: How do you connect with your buyers?

CLC: All buyers are different, but they seem to like my unrelenting work ethic and super service along with my constant communication!

Q: What separates you from other real estate professionals?

CLC: My personalized service, energy and persistence. Plus I am a very happy person.

Real Estate Professionals in Orange County

Melane Barney, Surterre Properties

Q: What is your biggest inspiration?

Melane Barney: Seeing how happy my clients are when I help them find the perfect home and they are able to live the wonderful Southern California lifestyle.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

MB: My children and grandson. Working in real estate has been the perfect career for me. I was able to work on my own schedule—which gave me the time to volunteer at my son and daughter’s schools. They both went through our wonderful Laguna Beach school system. My son is a sophomore at University of Kansas. He wanted to experience a different lifestyle. Our first college shopping excursion was looking for long pants….board shorts do not keep you warm in the Midwest. On school breaks he shows up with fraternity brothers excited about the Southern California lifestyle. My daughter is the manager of a local Laguna Beach restaurant and has blessed me with an adorable grandson (who I love spending time with and taking on adventures).

Q: What does it mean to you to be one of OC’s Favorite Real Estate Professionals?

MB: I am so honored to be one of OC’s Favorite Real Estate Professionals and feel very fortunate to have so many loyal clients, friends, and family who support me.

Q: How did you get into the industry?

MB: My father was very interested real estate. He signed me up to get my RE license while I was a student at Chapman College. At the age of 18 I closed my first escrow out of an office in Huntington Beach. And that is when my journey began. I worked in a Huntington Beach Real Estate office and lived there in a condo with my brother. Before we knew it we sold that condo and each bought homes in Irvine. After graduating from college I went out looking for a job as an Art Director. But decided that Real Estate was the career for me.

Q: What separates you from other real estate professionals?

MB: I have been in the business through many ups and downs. Seeing interest rates over 15 percent to the new low rates we have today—this has helped me in counseling my clients in their real estate decisions. I have worked with many of my clients for years. The first home I ever sold in Huntington Beach back in 1978 is still owned by my client. I now advise him with his rental properties as well as helping him find a larger home for his family.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge?

MB: Finding the right home for my clients in a market where inventory is low and multiple offers come in on the homes they are interested in. With the help of my Surterre Team and other relationships I have built through the years I have been successful in finding homes before they hit the market.

Real Estate Professionals in Orange County

Michael Caruso, Caruso Real Estate Group, Surterre Properties

Q: What is your biggest inspiration?

Michael Caruso: My family is a constant inspiration. My children (now young professionals) were raised in our real estate household with their mom and me running our own independent real estate firm in Orange County for nearly 20 years. They were always so proud of us helping people sell or purchase a home. Two of our three children are now in the real estate business. Phillip is a Broker Associate in our Caruso Group at Surterre Properties, and Andrea Caruso is a commercial real estate specialist in Irvine.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

MC: I’m inspired to see just how happy we can make a client by exceeding their expectations of a real estate experience and then to have them become a part of our “2nd Family” of clients and advocates as a result of unrelenting caring service throughout a selling or buying process.

Q: What does it mean to you to be one of OC’ Favorite Real Estate Professionals?

MC: There is something very special about every one of the nominees for OC’s Favorite Real Estate Professional. It’s special because it shows that how you treat people really matters. Every day we have a choice with our attitude toward the people we work with in our industry as well as the public. Our choice here at the Caruso Group is to keep it fun and yet, keep it professional. Apparently the OC populace has grasped our approach and voted for us, a very humbling experience.

Q: What separates you from other Real Estate professionals?

MC: I think having owned and operated our own boutique real estate company gives me a deeper insight to the overall operation of the industry and associated challenges that economic swings bring to the business direction of real estate. In every market environment there are always a great number of homeowners that need help, and all for varied reasons. Understanding the economy and market direction helps me to guide clients properly. I treat real estate as an integral part of a person’s overall wealth portfolio. I’m like a financial consultant in many ways…just real estate centric.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge?

MC: I think my biggest challenge was running my own real estate firm and competing with multi office mega agent operations. It made me stronger and in order to be better connected with changing regulations and laws I volunteered at the OC Board of Realtors. That volunteer work grew into a concerted effort spanning nearly a decade that eventually led to my position as 2007 President of the Orange County Association of Realtors. That was a fantastic experience.

Q: How do you overcome adversity with your buyers?

MC: Listening to concerns, performing research and finding a path to move through those concerns is a key to successful buyer relationships

Real Estate Professionals in Orange County

Spyro Kemble, Spyro Kemble Group, Surterre Properties

Q: What is your biggest inspiration?
Spyro Kemble: This country…I came here legally in 1970 and was given so many opportunities that being an American and doing what I am doing is truly a dream come true.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

SK: My wife…Tracy who has stood by me through good and not so good times for the past 23 years. My job-selling dreams. My travel—seeing the world not only for pleasure but being able to travel to the most amazing places because of Tracy’s Mrs. Globe that takes us to so intriguing countries that I would never venture to in my personal travel. My Animals-Apollo and ATC (Alfred the Cat).

Q: What does it mean to you to be one of OC’s Favorite Real Estate Professionals?

SK: Favorite is good…Professional and respected is better.

Q: What separates you from other Real Estate professionals?

SK: My character, in-depth knowledge of the local luxury market and my negotiating skills that I would put up against any other realtor in our area.

Q: What has been your biggest challenge?

SK: I think my biggest challenge is also my biggest asset. My self-confidence. Maturity and age (I’m 59) however has put it all into balance.

Q: How do you overcome adversity with your buyers?

SK: I find that the adversities we face in our industry are only challenges where we are able to display and justify why we make a very good living. I always say we are not brain surgeons or rocket scientists yet for what we do we are very well compensated. Our clients count on us to navigate them through what can be a very stressful process and it is up to us to make sure to keep this calm and on course.

Kurtis John Pinedo, Maltese Real Estate, KJP Homes

Q: What is your biggest inspiration?

Kuris Pinedo: Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior. My lovely wife, without her I would be lost. Together we balance three angelic daughters Kate 11, Kennedy & Kasey (just over a year old). There’s nothing more inspiring for a father than his daughters, they’re the reason I live.

Q: What are you most passionate about?

KP: Helping others, making a difference and involvement within my community! Therefore real estate was a natural fit for me. I believe those passionate about what they do achieve amazing results.

Q: What does it mean to you to be one of OC’s Favorite Real Estate Professionals?

KP: Honored, especially being the only independent agent in the lineup and knowing that my community, peers, clients, friends and family support my success. Being voted a top realtor this early in my career shows the imprint I’m leaving on my clients.

Q: How did you get into the industry?

KP: My grandparents have bought and sold homes all their lives. My grandfather had an extremely tough life with countless losses in the industry but with perseverance he overcame and is now a successful real estate investor. My grandfather’s influence is the source that created my passion for the industry.

Q: What separates you from other Real Estate professionals?

KP: I work with a small boutique brokerage that gives each client the individual care and attention needed to provide the best service. We only take on a certain amount of listings/purchases a month to guarantee excelled one on one service with clientele. When you sign with me, you work with me. I will not pass you off to an associate or team member. You’re not just another number or transaction, I want to build a lifelong business relationship with my clients.

Q: How do you overcome adversity with your buyers?

KP: Qualify, ability, willingness and readiness. When I can figure out these four the process becomes less problematic. I like my buyers to fill out a questionnaire that typically will take 20-30 minutes of their time. Taking this first step educates me tremendously in regards to the state of mind my buyer(s) are in and if they’re truly qualified ready to take action clients.

These Orange County Real Estate Professionals Are at the Top of the Market

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