History and Honor

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By Tracy Gillette Ricci  |  Photo by Manny Espinoza

The son of the legendary Bud Allen, who moved to the Monterey Peninsula with his wife, Charlotte, in the late ‘50s, Tim Allen was raised with freedoms but also responsibilities and accountability. It was these principles of hard work, perseverance, kindness, and teamwork that form the underlying theme of Tim’s life journey.

His first experience with “work” was at the family-owned La Playa Hotel. “I never got allowance but I always had a job,” says Tim. He was one of the regular employees. He started at the bottom, literally, in the basement laundry room, and worked through the ranks to dishwasher and then to the coveted bellhop. “Bell hop was the best job,” explains Tim. “Bus tours would come in. We would take 120 bags up the stairs—there was no elevator—for 60 cents a bag. That was great money.” During his tenure, there was a string of cat burglaries. He and his friend, armed with two-way radios, hid in the bushes on the property in hopes of catching the thief. The night was quiet, and they decided to break for dinner together. They were met by the police as they emerged from the dining room. The cat burglar had struck again in their absence!

After completing his college education at University of California Santa Barbara, he returned to the Monterey Peninsula. His friend’s father, Chris Bock, was in real estate, and Tim was attracted to the business. After passing his real estate exam, he joined the Bock team. He remembers his first sale. It was a little house in Cachagua, deep in Carmel Valley. “I’d do things a little differently and would take advantage of opportunities.” He would hold three open houses in a single day, which landed his name in the paper at no cost. “I learned early on that business, like life, is about relationships. The goal was always to do the work and do it right. It’s not about selling houses,” says Tim. He is passionate about creating something that stands the test of time, which goes back 33 years to his first investment property, a Pacific Grove fixer upper, where he did all the work himself. “I find really unique things, and if they are older, I keep the theme of the house, work with it, and make it special,” he says.

Despite the demands of his work, he was able to attend his sons’ lacrosse games, a sport that has been an integral part of Tim’s life and one he prides for its tenant that one honors their opponent. He was first exposed to the sport in high school, at the Stevenson School. He continued in college, playing on a self-coached team. “We were a team on and off the field,” says Tim. He believes boys and girls can learn as much from being on teams as from academics. Following his dedication to promoting the sport to youth, he put together a travel team, combining athletes from different high schools. Like real estate, lacrosse is a combination of cooperation and competition. He explains: “In real estate, you may not get a listing, but later, you may bring in a buyer. So you start with competition, but then cooperate to complete the sale. In lacrosse, these kids would be competing against each other playing on school teams, then cooperating, playing together on the travel team.”  

As has been his customary for years, Tim starts his day with a cup of coffee followed by a walk on Carmel Beach with his dogs. Like everything else in his life, even his morning routine “is transformational.”

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