Snatching Success from Near Defeat

Eleven months into a failing business, Kip Bradley ’84 sat down with his wife, Patti Smith Bradley ’82, and drew a line in the sand. They gave themselves 30 days to succeed. If nothing happened in a month, they were throwing in the towel and starting over. Three anxious weeks later, several large contracts closed, and Daketta Pacific narrowly avoided its own end. Eight years later, the real estate services group is a thriving part of the Santa Barbara business community, and Kip can look back and laugh at how close he came to bottoming out.

Starting from scratch was nothing new for Kip. Immediately after graduating from Westmont, he went to work for a local developer. His job title? Well, he didn’t really have one, but his duties included everything from emptying the trash cans to making coffee. By the time he left, nearly 10 years later, he had become vice president of the company. As he learned the business and grew in his position, he developed a desire to start his own company.

During his time with the developer, he discovered a niche not being filled by development companies in the Santa Barbara area: services for commercial, industrial, and retail real estate. He saw that most real estate companies tried to combine private with commercial and retail clients, and thought the latter were getting brushed over in that broad coverage.

Armed only with an idea , Kip ventured out on his own, with no groundwork in place. Prospects were so poor in the beginning, he told his former suitemate from Westmont, who planned to join him in the business, to stay with the firm that currently employed him. In the face of the deadline for closing down the shop, enough contracts came to fruition to keep Daketta Pacific alive. The company manages 11 properties and over 700,000 square feet, all in the Santa Barbara area. Even more rewarding, says Kip, is the good relationships he has developed with all his tenants and owners.

Daketta Pacific provides comprehensive real estate and property management and consulting services. In addition to managing commercial property, the company conducts feasibility studies, helps clients gain all the necessary municipal approvals, and manages the construction of the project. Another service is investigating prospective real estate investments. More information about Daketta Pacific is available on the Web at dakettapacific.com.

Kip and Patti live in Santa Barbara with their two daughters. They are active members of the new Ocean Hills Covenant Church in Santa Barbara and stay busy keeping up with their kids’ activities.

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