When we enter into a new practice or field, we look for key figures within the industry to help guide and give us direction. This kind of leadership is based upon honesty, integrity, compassion and hard work.

Silvio De Loreto embodied all of these characteristics.

Silvio passed away peacefully last Saturday and will be remembered amongst the real estate community as a true legend.

Di Loreto was the president of the Santa Barbara Association of REALTORS® in 1966. He was a visionary and touched the lives of many people who had the opportunity to know him as a broker, competitor and friend.

Only a few SBAOR members have had such a critical impact on the industry as Silvio.

Silvio taught his REALTORS® how to conduct their businesses successfully while maintaining their integrity. He did not bend or go around the rules, but instead worked within the guidelines proving to his peers how to run a successful business in an ethical manner.

This lead-by-example style of leadership brought him great respect even from his competitors.

I had the honor and pleasure of first meeting Silvio as we were paired up to speak to students at Dos Pueblos High School for a Partners in Education event.

At the time, I was a relatively new agent, and it was pretty intimidating to be speaking alongside “the godfather of real estate,” which is how many fondly remember Silvio.

Silvio could not have been more kind and welcoming to me. He genuinely took an interest in my experience and was very encouraging and uplifting when I was feeling nervous. I knew instantly why Silvio was so successful and why he was loved by so many in our community.

I was lucky enough to have lunch with Silvio before my installation as president and get some last-minute nuggets of wisdom, and a few laughs, of course.

You will be missed, Silvio. Our thoughts are with your family and loved ones.

— David Kim is a licensed real estate broker with Village Properties and the 2017 president of the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. Contact him at david@villagesite.com or 805.296.0662. The opinions expressed are his own.