To say that Bay Area native, Sean Spanek, is a major league sports fan would be an understatement. He’s one of the first to know when a professional athlete is being traded, drafted, or released, whether it’s football, baseball, basketball, or hockey. And it’s not just because he grew up following Bay Area teams (though he did and played college football himself). Sean plays a crucial role in the lives of professional athletes by handling their real estate needs when a player joins or leaves one of the major leagues sports teams, including the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland A’s, the San Francisco Giants, Golden State Warriors, and the San Jose Sharks.
Born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, Sean Spanek is a 20-year veteran in the real estate industry with a special knack for matching high-profile homebuyers with the right home in the perfect neighborhood for their lifestyle. He is also one of three partners for SportStar Relocation, the #1 athlete real estate and relocation company in the country, in which he assists major athletes and their families find their next home. Sean explains that because SportStar is currently the only real estate company that leverages every major real estate brand under one umbrella, they have wide access to a variety of luxury listings—a key component when working with professional athletes who may move a handful of times over the course of their career.
With higher-than-usual demand and low supply, finding a home for a client that is a slam dunk has been more challenging than usual. But in 2018, Sean met the Thomas James Homes team and saw the niche opportunity he could offer his clients: a brand new home in established, in-demand neighborhoods. “Professional athletes love new construction and the idea of being able to customize their own home exactly as they want,” says Sean. “It’s why awareness is growing in the realtor community about TJH’s process of getting into escrow early and being able to customize the details. It’s a luxury to be able to do that.”
Location plays a huge part as well. Getting traded to a new team can take an emotional toll on athletes and their families. People often forget that players have real lives outside of sports that are impacted by relocating to a new city and giving up established ties where they were living. So when Sean is able to avoid the MLS and bring his high-profile clients the opportunity to personalize a new home that’s situated in a desirable location, it makes an otherwise stressful process more enjoyable.
Sean has noticed the growing trend of clients looking for new homes in Los Gatos, Saratoga and especially key TJH neighborhoods in Cupertino and Willow Glen, where a handful of his clients are in the process of moving. The addition of new construction homes in these enclaves has created a niche for homebuyers to personalize a new home in a neighborhood that has a strong sense of community.
“There’s so many general spec homes that get built that don’t take the future homeowners into consideration. Most times I bring a client to one, and there are things about the design or layout that they would’ve done differently. But in TJH’s case, the homebuyer has a variety of plans to choose from and the luxury of customizing it exactly how they want.”
– Sean Spanek, TJH Realtor
“Athletes with growing families are concerned about the same things when looking for a new home as everyone else—good schools, safe neighborhoods, and of course, the commute,” Sean explains. “[They] want to be 30 minutes or less from the stadium, the practice facility, and the airport. It’s the sports star triangle. The neighborhoods in which Thomas James Homes is building [in the Bay Area] makes that possible.”
“There aren’t a lot of niches out there as unique as Thomas James Homes.”
– Sean Spanek, TJH Realtor
Player movement and relocation is a part of the business. For Sean, it’s about ensuring every aspect of that process is buttoned up and seamless from beginning to end—his clients can’t afford the distractions that come with most new construction homes. With Thomas James Homes, it’s different—everything from the types of neighborhoods in which they build to the concierge-style design and personalized build process. It gives athletes peace of mind as they relocate so they can focus their attention on the game and the purpose of uprooting in the first place. With Thomas James Homes, it’s always a win.
Managing Partner, Spanek Real Estate and SportStar Relocation
Spanek Real Estate/SportStar Relocation handles the real estate (residential and commercial) needs of professional athletes and their families for major league sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, and NHL), as well as offering a wide variety of concierge services. Our network also supports entertainers, high net worth individuals and business professionals from just about every industry imaginable.