FAIRFIELD — One of the things Darla Stever likes about being an independent real estate broker of record with five agents working under her is that the buck stops with her. She has the freedom to do what’s needed to meet her clients’ needs.
“We like being an independent. We have only ourselves to answer to,” Stever said of the work she does with her husband, Jim Stever of Jim Stever Realty and Stever & Associates.
Born and raised in Vallejo, Darla Stever moved to Fairfield in 1982. She is a broker of record with Jim Stever Realty, she is a broker of record. She runs the property management division with Stever & Associates.
Darla Stever’s experience in the business world has been diverse. Prior to getting into the world of real estate, she ran a bakery, worked in the grocery business as an assistant grocery store manager and started a cleaning business.
Jim Stever had been in the business of listing and selling real estate for 31 years. He went out on his own to establish Jim Stever Realty in 1990 “and he asked me for help,” she said.
Darla Stever started doing the bookkeeping and quickly expanded into other aspects of the business, getting her real estate license in 1989 and her broker’s license in 1992.
She centered her work in 2012 on the property management aspect of the real estate business, “and that is what I mainly do now.”
Property management can be challenging work, Darla Stever said. The best part of it is meeting new clients and filling their needs, she said.
“Once you help someone, you become their friend,” Darla Stever said, pointing out that 90 percent of her business is generated by referrals or return business from those clients she has helped before.
Both Stevers are past presidents of the local Association of Realtors. They are also members of the Northern Solano County Association of Realtors, the California Association of Realtors, the National Association of Realtors, the Better Business Bureau honor roll and the Fairfield-Suisun Chamber of Commerce. They are charter members of the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services.
Darla Stever was named Northern California Realtor of the Year in 2002 and 2010, according to Jim Stever.
In 2013, she was named the regional chairwoman for the California Association of Realtors, which involved reporting back to the association on issues involving Realtors and residents in seven regions that include Solano, Napa, Mendocino, Marin and Lake counties. She still holds a directorship position with the association.
She is a director for the Bay Area Real Estate Information Services, the area’s regional multiple listing service. She has been a director there since 2004.
Darla Stever founded the Solano County Coats for Kids organization in 2000 after she spotted Sacramento Channel 10’s Coats for Kids campaign and decided this area needed to establish a chapter.
In the 12 years since, Darla Stever and other members of Solano County Coats for Kids managed to raise about $300,000 and put nearly 1,400 coats on deserving childrens’ backs.
Reach Ian Thompson at 427-6976 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/ithompson.