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Chance meetings give passion and purpose to local realtor

REGION — A little bit of luck and a lot of hard work can change your life. Real estate agent Kelli Woodard knows this firsthand. When she decided to move to San Diego in 2015, she had little direction other than knowing she wanted to live near the beach. She had no idea that a few chance meetings would shape her entire career.

“I was born and raised in Phoenix and I stayed there until I was 18,” Woodard said. “I went to the University of San Francisco, then transferred to Grand Canyon University on a full soccer scholarship, and was bored after graduation in 2012. I had a little money saved up and decided I wanted to be near the beach. I posted on Facebook that I was moving to San Diego, and a good friend I went to San Francisco with reached out and offered me a place to stay with her in El Cajon in a father’s five-bedroom house. So that was how I ended up here.”

The friend she was staying with ended up moving suddenly to L.A., and Woodard found herself with no idea what was going to happen to her. She reached out to her friend’s father to let him know she had been living in his house. “He asked me, ‘Why don’t you manage the property?’” she said. “I had no idea what that meant. It was this huge house with amazing views and he said I could start by renting out the rooms. He showed me how to run credit and background checks and next thing I knew, I was managing the property. He didn’t charge me rent, and he even paid me on top of that.”

She ended up managing another property in Scripps after that, and in the middle of 2016 he asked her if she had ever considered becoming an agent. “I asked him what that entailed,” Woodard said. “He told me to take the classes, pass the test and try it out. So I did. I passed the test on my second try and, voila! I was an agent.”

Early on she realized that she wanted to be involved in the bigger transactions San Diego has to offer. “So I went to Sotheby’s in La Mesa and signed on,” she said. “Nothing happened for six to eight months. I ended up meeting someone. He lived in the UTC area and our leases were both up so we ended up moving in together. I had my rescue pit bull, and one day we were at a dog park and that’s where I met Christie Gray with Big Block Realty. We got to talking, and she was building a team she wanted to bring me onto as a buyer’s agent. Our team of four decided to call ourselves The Honest Agent. In the first year I did about four deals and made about $40,000.”

In 2017 the prominent Green Group joined forces with The Honest Agent and Woodard saw her income triple. In 2018 she won Rookie of the Year with Big Block Realty and purchased her first property. She now averages three to four deals per month, and the sky is the limit.

The market is heating up, and Woodard has advice for anyone looking to sell or buy. “My advice for sellers is to sell within the next 90 days. Buyers are coming out of hibernation, and you’ll get multiple offers and top dollar. For buyers, I say buy ASAP. The competition is getting steeper by the day.”

Currently Woodard has a listing for a condo in Solana Beach at 211 Turf View Drive, and actually sold her first property ever in Oceanside.

Woodard credits her success to both Christie Gray and to The Honest Agent Sales Manager Erick Gydesen. “I give a lot of thanks to them and how they have impacted my life and career,” she said. “You can sell houses for the rest of your life, and I plan to do this until I die.”

For more information about Woodard, visit