Like most real estate transactions, it started with a relationship. I knew Darin and Meredith DeRenzis as friends and neighbors before I began working with them in the summer of 2020. Burned out from teaching and unsure of my next move, we discussed the possibility of me working as their assistant. Fast-forward a year and a half, and I’ve had an opportunity to watch them in action—promoting and sponsoring charities and causes, providing our clients with the absolute best representation, and building many lifelong relationships in the process.
Life as a Realtor® is a dynamic one. There is something magical about how Darin and Meredith navigate their relationships. A fluidity exists where clients become friends and friends become clients. While it’s enjoyable and downright fun to find homes for the people you know well, an added pressure comes with it that the team at DeRenzis Real Estate leans into. Working for and with your friends is a responsibility they take seriously.
Working in real estate for the past 16 years—and as a partner at Vista Sotheby’s since 2010—has given Darin expertise in guiding his clients through the process of buying and selling homes. And it has also given him a deep understanding of his true role as a Realtor.
Darin lives for the deeply personal and individual stories this job inspires. “Years ago a good friend and I found a home for his family. We had a vision for the home and what it could be. Today it’s the hub of our friend group, and I take great pride in the fact that I helped create that for them and all of us,” he shares with a laugh.
Meredith and Darin have also taught me that the most powerful marketing is free; it comes from forming relationships with the families in our communities and being invested in their well-being and the people they love. Our business primarily comes from beloved clients who are ready to buy again, as well as those referred to us by clients and friends. It’s a privilege to build these relationships, and I’ve seen firsthand how often many evolve into great friendships.
Above: Rose Gavagan, Darin DeRenzis, Meredith DeRenzis
Driving around the South Bay with them is always an opportunity for me to learn. They point out new construction and inform me of what is being built and by whom. They are in constant discussion of pros and cons on certain streets and why particular clients might prefer one over the other. They describe how specific areas have changed over time. I know their expertise is deep, and equally their passion for this place.
“I love looking west and just seeing blue. We are at the edge of the United States—that view never gets old,” says Meredith, who has worked in real estate since 2007.
In addition to the innately slower lifestyle, the couple expresses appreciation for the ubiquity of locally owned businesses. When the pandemic hit, I watched them and so many others purchase substantial gift certificates from local places—many where they know the owners—and do their part to help keep them in business. As Darin says, “You get to know these people and innately want to promote and support them.”
Darin and Meredith also have charities and causes close to their hearts. Meredith supports an organization founded after a friend’s young son was a victim of a traumatic brain injury. “Holton’s Heroes is very important to me,” she says. “It’s a group of good people all across the country fighting to raise resources that go toward bridging the gap between what health insurance offers and what their kids need.”
Much of Darin’s energy is focused on their kids’ school and sports. DeRenzis Real Estate supports the local education foundations, and they proudly hang banners at the facilities for Mira Costa sports and Hermosa’s Clark Field. “That’s the great thing about raising kids here,” Darin says. “The people you get to know continue to change and grow as your kids enter these new, exciting phases of their lives.”
As for me, since summer 2020 the definition of home has changed. As Darin has said, “There are times people get obsessed about what property is worth around here, but it’s not about that. A home is where your heart is. Home is where you heal.”
And it’s an honor, alongside this team, to help people find their next great place to make memories.