Switching Lanes: Former music publisher finds  the perfect pitch in real estate

Switching Lanes: Former music publisher finds the perfect pitch in real estate

By Justin Liggin

As a musician, Louis McCall always imagined himself owning a recording studio rather than creating tunes in it.

With his father serving as the co-founder and drummer of the California-based funk and R&B group Con Funk Shun and his mother a record label executive, McCall moved around frequently between his birthplace of Vallejo, California, and Gaithersburg, Maryland, before his family settled in Atlanta, just prior to the economic boom of the 1996 Atlanta Olympics.

His father passed away when he was 15, and it was his mother, Linda Lou McCall, that instilled the confidence in him to succeed and flourish in whatever industry he chose.

“My father was extremely creative and followed his dreams of becoming a drummer,” McCall says. “But I couldn’t drum, so I knew that wouldn’t be the path for me. I instead decided I would own the recording studio rather than running the studio.”

After settling down in Atlanta, McCall began working in the recording industry, doing music promotion and publishing while also owning a recording studio.

“My mother was instrumental in sparking my entrepreneurial spirit,” McCall says. “She gave me a lot of the business acumen and confidence to go out in the world and look at life as a business owner.”

In 2004, McCall moved to the real estate industry after his mentor and business partner went into the luxury homebuilding business. After explaining to his mother about his new business venture, she encouraged his new endeavor and gifted him with a book on how to negotiate deals and find business success.

“My mother always told me to pursue whatever my interest was and not feel like I needed anyone to lean on other than myself,” McCall says. “Growing up, I was able to see my parents pursue their dream and achieve success, which gave me the confidence to try something new outside of the music business.”

Despite only visiting Arizona once, McCall packed up and headed west in late 2009 with the vision of continuing his real estate journey.

Upon arriving in Arizona, McCall went on a ride-along with his sister, who was working as a Paradise Valley police officer.

While riding through the then-Montelucia Resort, McCall was invited by a friend to meet a local broker named Astria Wong, who was living at the resort.

“I called Astria the next day, met with her Wednesday, talked on Thursday and by Friday I had keys to her office,” McCall says.

Wong took McCall under her wing and taught him the ins and outs of Scottsdale realty. Additionally, Wong’s presence on the board of the directors of the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors encouraged McCall to follow suit and join the association..

“When I started with the association, I was given a wealth of knowledge about the history, community and business landscape that charted my trajectory in reference to involvement within the organization and real estate within Arizona,” McCall says.

With her knowledge and experience from serving as a Realtor in the community, Wong advised McCall to establish himself as a leader in Arizona’s real estate industry.

“I always felt like it was extremely important that I participated and got involved at the behest of her guidance,” McCall says. “She told me that you have to stay visible and let people know you are around — the best way to do that is to pursue leadership positions.”

McCall took her advice in 2014 as he became the SAAR Young Professionals Committee chairman — a role where he could mentor young professionals and introduce them to the real estate industry. Additionally, McCall also joined the board of directors of the Arizona Association of Realtors in 2015 and the board of the Scottsdale Area Association of Realtors in 2016.

All members of SAAR also belong to the Arizona Association of Realtors. Arizona Realtors represents more than 50,000 members who hold active real estate licenses and subscribe to a strict code of ethics and standards of practice established by the National Association of Realtors. In addition to providing a number of member benefits, Arizona Realtors is dedicated to the protection of private property rights for all Arizonians.

In December 2020, McCall took his leadership to the next level as he was installed as president of SAAR after two years of serving on the leadership team. At the ceremony, during which he was passed the gavel by more than a dozen past presidents, he was sworn in by his former mentor, Wong. As the president of SAAR, McCall leads more than 8,600 realtors and 200 affiliate members.

“My role is to chart our path as an organization,” McCall says. “Our main goal is to be a pillar of the community and a source for those in the real estate profession.”

McCall’s involvement in the community does not stop there. He has been on the board of the Suns Charities 88 since 2015, a network of business professionals that serve as the fundraising arm for Phoenix Suns Charities. Additionally, McCall is also a member and donor of the Organization of Chinese Americans, an organization aimed at advancing the well-being of Asian Pacific Americans.

With his prospective vision, McCall looks to keep his success on a high note.

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