ENCINITAS — As someone who’s grown up in an Encinitas pre Interstate-5 and whose life has been on the 101, Steven Cory has seen the world come through the city he loves.
And so when Cory, a realtor with Sea Coast Exclusive Properties was selected to receive the Realtor Emeritus Award from the National Association of Realtors for his 40 consecutive years in the industry, he amounted the award to a “looking back.”
Not to mention that he’s done all 40 years in the city where the Cory name has been around for five generations.
He grew up surfing Moonlight Beach, where as a kid, he would stow his surfboard at his grandma’s house and then walk a couple hundred yards before he was in the water. And Cory still surfs Moonlight to this day.
“We live in a community that’s changed a lot, but hasn’t changed that much,” said Cory. “There’s just good people everywhere. There was then and there is now.”
At the site of the 7-Eleven on D Street and Coast Highway 101, there was once a Mobil gas station that Cory worked at as a youth, pumping gas and washing cars.
Almost directly across the street at 587 Coast Highway 101, his grandfather opened Encinitas Dry Good Company Store in 1924, and then later opened a Cory Brother’s men’s clothing store at 553 Coast Highway 101.
“When I was a kid (in) Encinitas, those buildings were old,” said Cory. “And they’re still old today and everybody’s coming to see them.
“I used to walk and go, ‘these are really old buildings,’ well now they’ve got some new faces on them, but they really haven’t changed…They’re all the same buildings as when I was a kid. I don’t know what that means, but I think people like it,” said Cory.
“He’s the best guy in the world to work with,” said Mike Evans, owner of Sea Coast Exclusive Properties and one of Cory’s longtime friends.
“I’ve never seen anybody get it before,” Evans said of Cory’s award. “This is the first. That speaks to the awe of the moment.”
The honor was first bestowed in 1982 and today almost 13,500 of the Realtor Emeritus Awards have been given out, according to the National Association of Realtors.
The award, Cory said, is one that he’s honored to have.
“When you deal with the ups and downs of real estate, and you’re dealing with perseverance and you’re dealing with disappointment, glee — the emotions that you must go through for 40 years are insurmountable,” said Cory. “So to me, it means that I’ve persevered and that I would never quit.”
Cory said that his sense of perseverance comes from his time as a student athlete while attending San Dieguito High School.
But ultimately in real estate, he said, it’s all about the amount of work that you’re putting in.
“Life is competitive,” he said, adding that, “it’s the amount of work that you put into something. You’ve got to get up after you’ve been knocked down. You want to quit but you’ve got to get back up.”
Cory said he learned one four-letter word that he still uses all the time in his business — though it may not be one that initially comes to mind in an industry that sees more bumps and jolts than a roller coaster.
That word, he said, is “Next.”
“That means get up in 24-hours and get back (to it). Next,” Cory said.
And so what’s next for Cory?
He said he plans to keep on working for as long as he can, supporting his family, and taking the Cory name into the next generation in Encinitas.