Since his first foray into Southern California’s real estate world roughly 10 years ago, Christian Wach has boosted his profile to that of a recognizable face for South County buyers, sellers, and real estate enthusiasts.
Yet, Wach found something was missing within his day-to-day professional life. So, roughly a year ago, he began working on a new brand unique to him, Talavera Real Estate, which recently launched and is still in its early stages.
“The idea for starting Talavera came from a want to have more creative freedom and something that was my own, and a brand that’s really focused on the San Clemente area,” Wach said. “I’m a huge advocate for San Clemente, Dana Point and (San Juan Capistrano), and the brand is heavily focused on advocating for those areas, as well as outside areas in Orange County.
With him long having a creative mindset and a passion for art, he desired the ability to market, advertise for, and present listings in a manner that stood out from other agencies.
Additionally, his agency’s name reflects its focus on San Clemente’s Spanish Colonial Revival culture, especially as Wach and his wife and Talavera Operations Manager Katie Wach reside within the city.
Talavera refers to the Spanish city of Talavera de la Reina, which gained notoriety beginning in the 16th century for its production of maiolica, or tin-enameled earthenware, which was painted in various colors and patterns.
Those tiles were brought to the Americas via Spanish conquests and missionaries, and are a key part of Spanish Colonial Revival architecture.
Wach also spoke to his team’s emotions regarding the agency’s launch.
“Now that it’s come to fruition and it’s a reality, it’s definitely exciting,” he said. “We are stoked to have our own thing that we can develop over time and (to) see where it goes from here.”
Before he began his real estate career, Wach had a sponsor that allowed him to take his surfing exploits to numerous places. Between the ages of 14 and 21, his travels took him to Japan five times and to Australia 10.
Through those experiences, he learned how to navigate interactions with people from various demographics and how to be good with people, motivating him to pursue real estate. Wach added that his profession has greatly impacted his life since his first year at age 23.
“(I’ve just created) a lot of longstanding relationships and mentorships from clients that I may have just met at a random open house, who ended up becoming more like family for me,” he said. “In addition to that, (I’ve been) able to live in the area and work in the area, and be a good member of the community and a contributor to the overall success in the area.”
Now, with Talavera, he’s entered a new creative chapter in his career that he can further with the help of his wife, Katie, and Executive Associate Aubrey Shank. Wach described both Katie and Shank as his “right-hand” people, with Katie making everything happen behind the scenes and Shank being a presence in front of people at open houses and showings.
He also spoke about being able to share the skills he’s developed throughout his career with his team, that will help boost the brand overall.
“Just really good, nice, honest, dedicated individuals are going to be the type of people that work with us,” said Wach.
As the real estate industry has recently shifted away from personal, “white glove service” with the advent of digital tools, he expressed a desire to provide people with what he called an old-school manner of assistance.
Talavera will still use certain technologies when necessary to streamline its productivity, but still looks to stand out from its competitors.
“I feel like a lot of the personal sort of service has gone away,” said Wach. “I feel like people are trying to work less to get more, where we’re—I think—working a lot and working closely with our clients, and going above and beyond what the industry standard has become.”
He reiterated that his agency wasn’t attempting to “take over the world” and be the No. 1 luxury group between Los Angeles and San Diego; it wants to focus on the area its staff lives in and enjoys.
“There’s so many cool things about San Clemente, and I’ve been a huge San Clemente advocate for so long,” Wach said. “That’s what I’m passionate about.”
Talavera will be passionate about what it does, he added, given the time and effort put into making the agency a reality.
“This is a huge, new chapter for me and I’m excited about it,” said Wach. “(I’m) excited to share it with the community, and (I) look forward to being here for many more years and growing this with everybody around.”