Who is Sunny Yi?

A man trying to live the truth and self-recognize every single day.

A man who holds himself accountable for his actions and words.

A man who can love oneself & others, show empathy, respect, and kindness.

A “Curious George” and a student of life, teacher, and mentor.

A man that's goofy, fun, compassionate, and loving.

A man who measures his character based on his consistent daily actions and not words, possessions, and money.

A man who is searching for constant and never-ending improvement to every aspect of his life.

A man who reminds himself to appreciate the gift of today and to be grateful for all that we take for granted.

A man who prays and practice…kneel before man and god and to look up versus looking down.

A man who practices impeccable words and not talks out of the blue.

A man who is disciplined, focused, and committed to being the best that he can possibly be in his profession that he loves.

My ultimate life goal

You measure yourself by the people who measure themselves by you.

My life

Why Real Estate?

Well, I got fired from almost every job I had! Every job I stirred the pot by simply asking "Why?"

My mother was a developer in Korea so it must have been in my blood. In college while my friends were interning at traditional companies, I interned at a real estate office in Glendale, CA. Very quickly I realized that I needed the necessary funds to carry me through the learning phase of my career. There was so much more to this career than driving around in a fancy car and showing homes. To prepare for my real estate career, I took the advice of my mother and sought out a salaried position in real estate.

I aggressively searched for a position by calling all the major real estate firms and developers. Within no time I was given an opportunity to work at Goldrich Kest Management (owned by Mr. Jona Goldrich and Sol Kest). In my introduction to real estate I was placed in charge to lease out a 27 story high rise building in Downtown LA (Bunker Hills). On my first day on the job he asked what resources I would need, a timeline of completion, and future revenue projections. Due to the prime location, I proactively went after all the major law firms overseas and successfully leased out 98% of the building, way ahead of schedule. Immediately after I was offered an opportunity to learn condo conversions in West Hollywood (1250 N. Kings Rd). Once again, successfully selling out the project on time.

During the final phase of the condo conversion, I was blessed with the announcement that I was going to be a father. As a young man with limited resources, I had the primal need to provide a shelter for my family. I immediately hired a realtor and within few months, I found a home for my family. When asked to present a bank statements to show that I had the financial means to purchase, I didn't have any funds to show, not even the 3% initial deposit. While frantically searching for funds, Mr. Goldrich walked into my office. After the meeting, I asked Mr. Goldrich to borrow $50,000. He didn't ask why, nor showed any signs of commitment. Following day, I received an envelope from the main office from Mr. Goldrich and a check for $50,000. Along with a simple note that read, 6% interest only for 5 years with no pre payment penalty.

Shortly after the purchase of my home, 1994 Northridge earthquake occurred. Soon thereafter, my future project came to a halt. We recently moved into our home with two new cars on the drive way, new born daughter (Nicole), and a puppy (Zena). This was the sign from the universe to finally transition into real estate sales. After sharing my exciting intent with my family, I was shot gunned with negativity. This was the same time the loan companies were being shut down due to fraudulent lending practices.

The only person who encouraged me to enter the game was my mother. She quietly expressed, "Son, don't be upset, How can you be upset at an individual(s) who don't know or unable to understand.  And, there are too many average people in the world. Therefore, you don't need to make a contribution to the average. Whatever is that they're doing, do the opposite."

Shortly after, I entered into the game of real estate. Right from the gate, I was ridiculed and called every name in the book. I refuse to apologize for having a higher standard for myself and for the people around me.

Lowest Point / Humble Beginnings

I was just starting out with a lack of knowledge, low efficiency, and surrounded by so called competitors who wanted me to fail and disappear. So I went to my comfort zone; to work harder than anyone else.

I was the first one in the office and last to leave. I was taught to cold call and door knock all day everyday. One of my character strengths is laser focused discipline. Once I make a commitment I will do whatever it takes. For the next 5 months I was up at 4:15am and went home 9:30-10pm. I made thousands of calls and knocked on doors week after week failing miserably. My management moved my desk 5 times due to surrounding agents complaining about me making calls all day. I was being ridiculed for working? Welcome to real estate. My reality set in when my wife advised me, we had $2000 to our name and my unemployment check was about to run out. Let's just say, I shed my share of tears and many one on ones with my god. Desperation and reality set in. I approached all the top agents in the office and offered my services for their C and D leads that they didn't want or didn't have time for. In return, I offered 50% of my commission. In three months, I sold 9 homes. I even had a shotgun pointed at my face by an owner because I was door knocking at 9:30pm to locate a home for a buyer. I did whatever it took.

After evaluating my activities at the end of the year and my share of the $47,000 commissions I've earned, I had to restructure my business from the experiences that I just had. I asked my wife to give me one year and for her to not question the when, who, what, where, & how. I placed a time line for myself and after my commitment to my family, the following year I studied and learned the art of being a professional sales person. I practiced, rehearsed, video and voice recorded all of my appointments. By end of the year, I went on 92 listing appointments. I never looked back and the rest is history.

Reaching My Goals

I went after my goals and I wasn't going to be denied. I made millions of calls with bull’s eye determination. In 12 years and at the age of 36, I checked off all the goals that I've set. I had the house that I visualized from day one, the exact cars, country club memberships, money in the bank, and investments. One of my main goals was to have a single handicap and play golf everyday at 9am. Why 9am? Because most had to work around that time. I enjoyed the golf schedule for 2 weeks and YES! SINGLE handicap accomplished. Now what?

I was bored out of my mind and I wasn't happy? Why? This can't be it? I worked hard and sacrificed and neglected my relationships with my wife, daughter and my family in Korea for decades. For THIS?!?! As one my mentors had forewarned me, "Sunny, it's another toilet and a bedroom regardless of zip code and size of the home." I didn't question why I was chasing my goals. I chased it because that's what success is supposed to look like. I realized today that I chased it for all the wrong reasons. I chased after all the "junk toys" to cover up that vulnerable insecure little boy.

Hurt That I Caused

Through the process, I hurt the one's who loved me the most; my wife and my daughter. Mid life crisis? I don't know. I was completely lost. My divorce was the hardest life lessons I had to endure and learn from. I had no choice but to address the vulnerability, insecurity, and loneliness. After years of self-recognition and responsibility I've learned to forgive myself, apologize for the actions I've taken, and ask for forgiveness from the one's I've hurt. People ask me, knowing what I know today, would you go through the process again? It's impossible for me to answer the question because I've hurt the ones who loved me the most. And yet, I wouldn't be where I'm at today if I didn't go through the process.

The Awakening

My business was growing and yet I wasn't satisfied. I bled and shed gallons of tears to be in this position. So why was I not happy? I didn't know what I wanted anymore. I was a zombie and went through the daily motions. One day, I asked my best friend, "Don't you miss the old days not knowing how to?"  Where could I go where what I did in the past had no relevance?

Let's go to Beverly Hills! I love and miss the game of real estate and the hunger of the chase. So at the end of 2012 I came to West LA committing myself to putting my old hat back on and repeat what I did in the valley in Beverly Hills. With my valley production in 2012, I immediately became the #2 agent here in Beverly Hills.

Instead of initiating my game plan and growing my business, I ended up finding myself.

After relocating to West LA my mother's health became fragile but I also met the woman who I'd fall in love with, my wife, Nancy. In the beginning, I resented my mother for interrupting my daily life schedule with emergency hospital visits. I've been to every hospital here in LA. I was the sole caregiver for my mother. As years passed, I realized this was an incredible blessing. Right before I lost my mother in 2014, she advised me, “Son, you learned how to make money at a young age. Now, you're learning how become a man." And sure enough she was right. Her passing forced me to step away from my daily routine and I had to press the reset button on life. I'm grateful and blessed that my mother was able to witness our beautiful wedding night.

After I lost my mother, my wife and I took my mother back home and scattered her ashes next to my grandmother’s gravesite. At last I was united with my brother and family that I haven't seen in almost 20 years.

Why I Do It

I love the art of competition. It's the game that I love. Money is the after product of what I love to do. I wake up every morning with the confidence and a firm belief that my level of service and how I protect my clients are unmatched.

Every decision and advisement I offer for my clients are based from the beliefs – is this for the best interest of my client? It's a simple concept but most do not understand it. It’s like a giraffe and a turtle standing next to one another. They're both in the same location yet they have different a perspective and vision. It’s not about the single “deal.” I’m looking for long term relationships for life. I love this business because it's a constant and never ending process of improvement. You cannot conquer the business.

Sunny Yi

After thousands of successful transactions I arrived here not based on who I know, but what I know. I'll compete with anyone here in Los Angeles. My business practice is simple and precise. I pray daily to my god and as a reminder – to serve all by looking up as opposed to looking down. To use impeccable words and offer confirmation and affirmation that my handshake and verbal communication supersedes any formal contract.

I am committed to be the best I can possibly be and protect my client's without out of control egos, perverse entitlements, a roller coaster of emotions, and pretentiousness.

I can confidently say today that I am a magnificent man who's able to self recognize, show and practice empathy and kindness, and can love and be loved. I am healthy, happy, have overflowing joy in my heart, and the Curious George that's always asking, "Why?"

I am a truly blessed man because I’m experiencing the ultimate success in life today.

I am forever thankful and grateful to my mother for her sacrifices and surrendering herself to life in order for her son to have the life he has today. To my beautiful wife, Nancy – strong, beautiful, independent, goofy, and my partner for life until death! And my amazing daughter, Nicole. Because of you I'm cognizant of my daily actions and verbal communication. I am your role model whether good or bad.

In closing, I teach my daughter:

What you say is who you're trying to become. What you do is who you are.

Allow me the opportunity to show you who I am.

Sunny Yi

A division of Rodeo Realty and Sunny Yi & Associates