Steven Sladek of Coldwell Banker West

Recipe for Success

Homebuyers love having a real estate agent on their side who knows as much as possible about the area and understands the importance of a great kitchen. For Steven Sladek of Coldwell Banker West, life is all about serving his clients on both of those important points.

As a native of San Diego, Steven has been around long enough to have experienced all the local changes which have taken place over the years. “With so many transplants, some people don’t believe at first that I actually grew up here,” he told us. “But when I talk about what their neighborhood looked like 20 years ago, they quickly realize that I have been here all this time!”

Today, Sladek remains a top producing agent with Coldwell Banker West, following being honored as 2020 “Rookie of the Year.” Yet, he didn’t start out looking in that direction. When it came to college, Steven kept it local by attending and graduating from San Diego State University. Among his accomplishments was becoming a certified mediator, which remains helpful today when it comes to negotiations.

After college and abandoning the thought of going to law school, Sladek worked at his father’s construction company. “I can truly say I started the job from the ground floor! During that time, I learned a lot about building houses. Early on, I got ideas about what I like and don’t like about constructing a home, and what a quality-built home looked like.”

Sladek eventually left the construction world and found the job market challenging to find a quality job he was passionate about. He wound up working in sales for Penske Ford, eventually working his way up into finance. Although this was not his forever job, he gained an important understanding of how larger purchases (such as a new car) were handled from all sides, as well as the financing part of it. Despite his own good performance ratings from Ford, Steven left the demands of that job, going to work for a company providing sales training for independent auto repair shops. However, it was the job that broke down (instead of the cars). He, unfortunately, got let go from that job the week before his first daughter was born.
Knowing that houses are built to last, he decided to pursue a career in real estate. Along came March 2020 and the changes it forced upon everyone and everything around him. “I was not going to let it affect me,” he proclaims. “While people around me were shutting down, I took the opposite approach. My plan was to work harder, and I was determined not to fail. I couldn’t fail.”

Sladek’s "opposite approach" was so successful that Coldwell Banker selected him as “Rookie of the Year.” He continues to cook up success stories, whether in his office or in the kitchen. “Cooking is a way to decompress. It is a labor of love; it's all about the time and preparation. Quality food and quality time with others," he adds. His wife and daughters can attest to that. “I love smoked briskets, but there are plenty of dishes to create, and I enjoy it all.” 

Being a native of the area continues to help Steven when it comes to working with both buyers and sellers. He understands what his sellers are facing, as his construction experience combined with his lifetime in the area guide him toward realistic pricing. When it comes to working with buyers, he can easily share his findings about the quality of the construction while utilizing his expert negotiation skills to get them the best possible price.

Steven is also the chair for PSARs YPN committee, which focuses on REALTOR® education, networking and charity contribution. “It is a way for me to give back to an industry and to my colleagues that supported me and have given me so much since I started my real estate career.”

Whether it's partnerships or new technologies, Steven is always trying to find new ways to serve his clients and improve their experience. Most recently, he has partnered with a company called Buildable, which is a service for those who want to build a custom home but don’t know where to start, taking the guesswork out of large purchases and preventing costly mistakes.

No matter what Steven is "cooking up" for his clients, it can be said he appears to have the right recipe for San Diego real estate!