Some of the best things come in pairs–like Partners Trust Pasadena’s power couple, Roland Wilhelm and Candace Gunther. The two, partners in life and in business, have been working side-by-side for nearly ten years now, masterfully helping clients to buy and sell in the Pasadena area. As residents and agents, Roland and Candace are loaded with locavore tips including the best way to spend an afternoon in Old Town Pasadena.
Roland and Candace, self-proclaimed lovers of everything in their lives, are abundantly grateful for their clients and careers, and spend a lot of their time paying it forward in both the conventional and not-so-conventional sense. They’re involved in frequent motorcycle charity rides, allowing them to give purpose to one of their shared passions. And when they aren’t riding or making real estate magic happen, they’re experiencing the best of Pasadena. But rather than let us tell you, read on and hear it from them.
We’re gearing up for the holidays. Do you have any special traditions in your home?
Our holidays tend to be non-traditional and open to all of our loved ones – inclusive of family and our “chosen” extended family. Our Christmas Day is set to be fun one–a two meal day–which includes a brunch with Candace’s son and his husband, his parents, and a few other close family members followed by a gift exchange and elaborate dinner. Throughout the day, we just really enjoy each other’s company and relish the moments we have together as a big happy blended family. Fast forward to New Year’s Day and we’ll take a stroll over to Orange Grove Boulevard to watch the floats and ring in 2017 with all of the cheerful folks there. As for other holidays, we have started celebrating Thanksgiving in New York City – it’s the perfect time to visit this magical city!
You are partners in life and in work. How do you balance that and find time to foster each of those unique relationships?
Years ago, we had a professional business coach who taught us the value of both/and thinking instead of either/or. We love working together and feel that we have a deeper connection because of it. We can entertain clients and enjoy each other’s company at the same time – it’s really a win/win!
What was it about Partners Trust that drew you in?
We love the idea of working in a company of professionals that have an ownership stake in the company and are part of the daily decision making process. We think of it as having some “skin in the game.” When agents have a stake in the company, they are naturally inclined to work towards everyone’s mutual benefit.
Your team is growing and selling some of the most beautiful properties in the Pasadena area. What prompted you to bring on a new member (Alex Ford)?
We must have been very good in a past life, because Alex has been the best thing that’s happened to our business in a long time. He is smart, articulate, and a quick study with a photographic memory! He brings a fresh look to our marketing and ensures a level of consistency that would be difficult to maintain in this busy market without his help.
You two are very involved in giving back–from the Ronald McDonald House to Roland’s ride for Alzheimers. Roland, how do your purpose-driven rides differ from other types of volunteering and why do you continue to do it?
I have been riding motorcycles since I first got my driver’s license (yes, that’s a really long time). My trips allow me to meet people around the country and they have always been interested in what I’m up to! Friends and strangers alike want to be part of the adventure. Their generosity and donations to the numerous charities that Candace and I support allows them to be involved on a very personal level. I post lots of photos and send frequent updates during my trips. I’ve raised money by riding across the country, (Pacific coast to Atlantic coast!) in under 48 hours, riding from Mexico to Canada in under 24 hours, and riding from Mexico to the Arctic Ocean on Alaska’s northern border. The most frequent question I get asked is, “Where are you going next?”
Tell us about Meals of Love and how you get your clients involved.
Alex’s background as a Pediatric ICU Nurse made us very aware of the needs of families whose children are undergoing medical treatment. The Meals of Love program allows us to prepare dinners for these families at the Pasadena Ronald McDonald House. We asked some of our friends and clients if they’d like to help prepare a dinner with us and the response was amazing. We have a waiting list each month and love the camaraderie that it creates.
Pasadena is and always has been a magnificent area of Southern California. What are your local favorites right now? Food, shopping, art?
Our hands-down favorite restaurant in town is Houston’s. Beautiful atmosphere, great food and one of the most consistent restaurants around. That doesn’t keep us from enjoying the many other great restaurants in town as well! Old Town Pasadena actually combines some of our favorite shops and restaurants and is within walking distance to the Norton Simon Museum, (which we love because all three of us on our team are art collectors). We are fortunate to have world-class architecture, entertainment and culture all within our city.
Your tagline – WE JUST LOVE EVERYTHING — tell us more about this and how you service your clients.
A long time ago, our lender said to us, “Every client that you send me are among the nicest clients I’ve worked with. How do you do that?” We replied, “It’s simple, we don’t work with the other ones.” We do love our clients, our listings, our city and the opportunity to make a living here. We really do JUST LOVE EVERYTHING!
Tell us about a property—on-the-market, off-market or upcoming—that you’re excited about.
We sell so many beautiful homes in Pasadena, our favorite listing is always our present one! Currently we have an exceptional two-story Spanish home—370 South Berkeley Avenue— listed in Pasadena’s Caltech neighborhood with four bedrooms, three baths, with new kitchen and baths, listed just under $1,700,000.
What do you feel are the makings of a “dream home?”
We feel so fortunate to be living in our “dream home” and I think that bottom line, it’s the same for everyone. Your dream home is that place that you can’t wait to come back to at the end of the day. It’s the place you want to share with your family and friends. It’s the place that nurtures your creativity and creates a sense of gratitude.
You’re enthusiastic about working as a team. What specifically about team work serves your business best?
We feed off each other’s energy and enthusiasm. We are all involved with every client and we each contribute to the marketing, sales and escrow management of each transaction. Having three members on a team also gives our clients a superior level of coverage. We’re never too busy for our clients and their referrals!