Astrid Lacitis

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I grew up in South America of Latvian parents. Even though my father was an engineer and my mother an attorney, buying a home was totally out of our reach. That is why, once in the United States, becoming homeowners was a family priority.

First thing Saturday mornings my dad would go through the papers searching for new offerings. Albeit a bit unorthodox, my brother’s driving lessons consisted of going past these potential homes. And thus, one Saturday morning, to the surprise of the still sleepy homeowner, my dad rang his doorbell, looked around quickly, and handed him a check for $100, a handsome sum for Seattle in those days. The deal was sealed! Later that morning we saw a line of prospective buyers standing at the door, but the house was ours!

That was my first lesson in Real Estate: search diligently, have your finances lined up, and when the right property comes along, do not hesitate.

After I earned a BS in Chemistry and a Master’s in Economics at the University of Washington, I taught high school Math and Economics. Title 9 was passed and the principal looked around for the youngest female teacher on staff, pointed at me. That is how I became the first women’s tennis coach at GarIield High School. Clueless on the finer points of creating a team, I sought advice from the men’s football and basketball coaches. Ours may have been a fledging team, but our group spirit was stellar, and I could tell from the way the men’s coaches treated me that I had indeed earned their respect.

And thus another lesson that has served me well in Real Estate: be creative, keep learning, use all available resources to do the very best for those who rely on you.

After my husband and I moved to San Francisco and bought our first home, I joined a small residential firm, Vintage Properties. Later, after a stint with Grubb and Ellis Commercial, I formed my own commercial firm, Austin Commercial Properties. In 1985 I co-founded Keynote Properties, and I am thrilled Keynote has now merged with Vanguard Properties, an innovative and vibrant real estate powerhouse.

I happily navigate between residential and commercial real estate. I sell homes, commercial buildings, multi-tenant properties, land for development, negotiate leases. I love the creativity of Real Estate, the challenge of putting people and properties together. And I love the flexibility of what I do. I have been able to travel extensively, from Antarctica to African safaris, from Galapagos to Machu Picchu, from Bhutan to Burma, from skiing in St. Moritz to diving in the Caribbean.

Over the years I have been enriched by the many people I have met while working as their Realtor. It is not a coincidence that, over the decades, most of my business has come from repeat clients and referrals. I look forward to continuing to earn this trust as part of the Vanguard Properties team.
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