Posted by Rick Griffin on Mar 7, 2024 10:00:00 AM

Jim ODonnell

Meet REALTOR® Jim O’Donnell, who was recently elected to serve a two-year term (2024-2025) on the PSAR board of directors.

Real estate sales is a second career for Jim, a Long Island native. He previously spent 27 years working in the banking industry in New York and San Diego with Bank of America and J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. His jobs in banking included talent acquisition, recruiting military veterans, and various training and human resources assignments.

One of his favorite roles in banking consisted of creating homeownership opportunities for low-to-moderate-income families by serving as a program manager for a community revitalization program. The program featured the bank re-gifting foreclosed homes to nonprofit organizations. Then, the nonprofits would remodel the homes and keep the proceeds from the home sale.

“It was the best job in the bank to give away homes to nonprofits,” said Jim. “It was a win-win opportunity for all parties. Building community partnerships that transformed neighborhoods was just so incredibly rewarding.”

Jim left the banking industry in 2017 and started his full-time real estate sales career in August 2018. The Mount Helix resident has lived in San Diego County since 1996.

“I really love real estate because we’re helping everyday people with the biggest investment of their lives, matching the right buyer to the right seller,” said Jim. “Homeownership is an investment that will lead to preserving and growth wealth over generations.”

Jim is known by the vehicle he drives, a recognizable 1965 Volkswagen bus, sometimes called a “hippie bus” made popular during its heyday as a counterculture icon of the 1960s.

“I see people smile when they see me driving down the road,” said Jim. “Other drivers honk their horns and give me the peace sign.”

Jim, also continues to serve as a member of PSAR’s Government Affairs Committee and Grievance Committee.

“I like to be engaged in the conversation and have a seat at the table when it comes to advocacy, which is why I enjoyed Government Affairs,” said Jim. “Also, the Grievance Committee was a natural for me with my human resources background.”

Jim admires PSAR and appreciates the family's feelings at PSAR events.

“At every PSAR meeting, I notice a sense of community, open communication, a welcoming team spirit, and support for each other,” he said. “I’ve been around long enough to size up the culture of an organization because I’ve seen how a vibrant culture can make everyone more successful.”

One of Jim’s new roles at PSAR is co-hosting the PSAR East County Pitch, a weekly marketing pitch session held from 9 to 10 a.m. on Thursdays at the PSAR East County Event Center, 1150 Broadway, El Cajon. Laurie MacDonald, 2024 PSAR President, is the other co-host.  

“PSAR values its members, who, in turn, value their clients,” he said. “When you put your client’s best interests first, then your personal needs will be realized beyond your greatest expectations.”

Topics: Announcements, Leadership