Kim Senecal, the affable and highly successful broker/owner of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices California Realty in Rancho Cucamonga, died Jan. 20 from a brain aneurism. She was 71.
Senecal was a longtime Prudential Real Estate network member and her brokerage was among the first Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices companies in California. Though she operated California Realty, Senecal never stopped selling real estate and just received the rare, 25-Year Legend award. To earn this distinction, Senecal placed among the top 2% of all network agents for GCI and/or units in 25 different years. Her daughter Arika will be accepting the award on her behalf at Sales Convention 2017 in Phoenix.
Yet Senecal wasn’t just forging a trail on her own. She led her brokerage to consistent success year after year and today California Realty dominates the Rancho Cucamonga marketplace as a perennial top producer in closed sales volume. She enthusiastically helped her agents develop their business skills as her door was always open. Her work ethic, business sense and positive spirit guided the brokerage through good times and challenging ones.
Senecal is remembered fondly by her daughters, Laura Bautista and Arika Senecal, the latter of whom serves as California Realty’s marketing director.
“My mom wanted to work every day for the rest of her life,” said Arika, recalling the drive and motivation her mother so passionately instilled in others. “She always said do your best and the returns will come in buckets.”
But it wasn’t just her inspiring mindset and can-do attitude that set Senecal apart in the real estate industry; the broker’s life story was both singular and spectacular.
Kwang Ja “Kim” Senecal, born in Korea in 1945, emigrated to the U.S. at the age of 21. Hopping all over the map—she lived in Washington, D.C.; Lafayette, IN; Louisville, KY; and Oahu, HI—Senecal finally settled with her family in Rancho Cucamonga in 1985. It was here she lived—and thrived—for 30 years, earning a real estate license in 1986 and in 1991, purchasing a building in the heart of the town that would serve as the headquarters for her burgeoning real estate business.
“I bought the building to provide my agents with a stable, comfortable working environment no matter what the economy was doing,” Senecal once said, reinforcing the idea that this titan of real estate led others with her mind and heart.
“She was as compassionate as she was charismatic and kind,” said Gino Blefari, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices. “Kim embodied the highest standards of professionalism and was an outstanding brand ambassador. She will be sorely missed.”
Her dedication to the network and her agents is a lasting legacy Senecal’s daughters pledge to uphold. “My mother built something really special at our brokerage,” said Arika, who will now serve as brokerage president. “I will honor her wishes and keep this great thing going. It’s my duty.”