FREMONT − After several years working in international commerce, George Duarte made the switch to a more locally focused livelihood. “In 1986, I decided to leave my job in the import/export industry to pursue a career in real estate,” he explains. “Originally, I thought I’d become a realtor, but eventually I decided to get into the financial side of the field. Besides the fact that it was a rapidly growing industry, I’d always been good with numbers, so it seemed like the right fit. After working for a local mortgage brokerage for a couple of years, I struck out on my own and became a broker.”
Today, as president of Horizon Financial Associates, George says he appreciates the local focus of his second career. “In my previous occupation, I worked for large corporations on an international scale, which was interesting and rewarding in its own right, but it left me with very little connection to my local community. Real estate, on the other hand, is almost ‘hyper-local’—you’re constantly involved with people in the local area and market, which is an aspect of this business I thoroughly enjoy.”
A resident of Livermore, George says he’s grateful for the strong ties he’s developed within his community. “Because I’ve been doing business here for so long, I know lots of people and have a lot of connections. I’m very active in my Chamber of Commerce and mortgage broker association, as well as the Bay East Association of REALTORS. Of course, I also love the great weather and all the amenities we have in the Bay Area.”
Outside of work, George spends his time immersed in a variety of interests and activities, from reading to attending concerts and sports events. He also takes advantage of opportunities to venture outside the local sphere. “I like traveling, both around the west coast and outside of the country,” he affirms. “I’m actually an experienced international traveler and have been to Europe many times.” Additionally, George enjoys spending time with his two adult sons, Louis and Nick.
In regard to his professional career, George says true success is grounded in the Golden Rule. “When I first started in this industry, like most rookies, my focus was on the numbers, but over time I learned that true success comes when you put your clients first. When you act in the best interests of your clients, it not only leads to good financial outcomes, it also brings psychological benefits such as peace of mind. That’s why I always treat my clients the way I’d want to be treated and look for ways to add value to their lives.”
When asked the first thing he’d do if he were to retire tomorrow, George says he’d hit the open road. “I would probably take a long road trip across the United States. It would be fun to go from one coast to the other and take my time seeing the sights and exploring new places.”