Nick Cardenas

Nick Cardenas has been surrounded by the real estate business for as long as he can remember. His uncle has owned Century 21 King for the past 15 years, and his aunt is also a REALTOR®. Despite Nick’s clear affinity for entrepreneurship and business, he didn’t take an interest in real estate until his mid-twenties.
“I’ve always been the type to go out and sell things. I was in eighth-grade selling pop rocks on the bus for lunch money. But it just didn’t click for me that real estate could be my career until later,” Nick reflects.
When the real estate market began to recover from the recession in 2011, Nick watched friends and family members find success in the business. At the time, he was working as a crane operator for California Steel and was newly married. The opportunity to earn more and provide for his family suddenly became enticing. 
“I had that shiny penny syndrome. I thought, ‘Maybe it's my time,’” Nick continues. “So in 2011, I finally decided to give it a shot. I love selling things, working for myself, and being my own boss.”
Nick’s initial draw to real estate was financial, but as he stepped deeper into his real estate career, he realized that the business was about much more than making a quick buck. He saw an opportunity to better the lives of his clients, his family, and himself. 
“When I first went full-time, I had a baby on the way and had just bought my first house. Being able to be at every one of my wife’s appointments for the baby, that right there, was an eye-opener on what the future could hold. If I were still at my other job — three rotating shifts, set schedule, vacation days were hard to get — that just wouldn't be possible. Then suddenly, I had this flexibility and time freedom.”
Nick has been thriving in real estate for over a decade, but his path to success hasn’t been without struggle. Early in his career, he had a young child, had recently bought a house, and had quit his full-time job. The pressure was high to succeed, and there were real financial struggles. During this time of hardship, his wife and his faith were his guiding lights.
“I remember one moment when I was in the pits, my wife looked me in the eyes and said, ‘Has God ever let us down?’ That was a lightbulb moment for me. I had to start letting go of the control.”
Fast forward to the present, and Nick is thriving with Century 21 King. He closed 23 transactions for $17 million in 2022. Perhaps even more impressively, he’s done it while achieving true work/life balance.
Most days, Nick drops his daughter off at school and is in the office by 8:00 am. He closes his computer to pick her up again at 2:30, which is generally the end of his work day. He does occasional client appointments after 3:00 pm, but only when necessary.
Nick’s commitment to his family is strong, but his achievement of balance has been a learning process. Early in his career, he spent many evenings grinding away at work, and then, he had a realization: he was missing some of the most exciting years of his two kids’ lives. 
“So I focus on them now,” he explains. “If my business slacks a little bit, I'm okay with that right now. I have the rest of my life to work on my business, but my kids won’t be young forever. I don't let my business control my life, but let my life control my business.
“When I focused so hard on my business, I realized the grind wasn’t worth the stress of it all. When I started to let go and trust and lean into faith and let God take control… things really started working.”
Nick and his wife, Daleena, have three children — two on Earth and one in Heaven. Aubriella is now ten, and Jameson is four. Nick and his family enjoy traveling, camping with their RV, and watching sports.
“Honestly, I don't want to be known for what I do for work. I want to be known as a great husband and father. That's my focus — being here for my family no matter what.”