'I wouldn’t be in Rochester if it wasn’t for the kindness of the folks here'

Get to Know … Shawn San, realtor at RE/MAX Results with the Compass Real Estate Group.

Shawn San .jpeg
Shawn San.
Contributed / Eric Ronning

Are you originally from the Rochester area? If not, what led you here?

My family came from a refugee camp in Thailand in March 1987. The camp was named Khao-I-Dang

What do you like best about Rochester?

The people. I wouldn’t be in Rochester if it wasn’t for the kindness of the folks here. Especially Pastor Woods and Mrs. Woods from the church of the Nazarene.

What changes do you think still need to be made?


I see this happening already, but we need more folks to build bridges in a metaphorical sense with open dialogue and understand that we won’t always agree with one another.

What do you do for a living? Why did you choose that for your career?

I am a realtor at RE/MAX Results with the Compass Real Estate Group here in town. I was in the auto industry for the last 8 years, and just recently became a realtor. I chose this for a career because growing up my parents had made so many sacrifices to always make sure we had a roof over our heads. If it wasn’t for the war in my homeland, I would most likely still be in South Sudan, but with my parents being first generation immigrants and watching them do whatever it took to provide for myself and my other 5 siblings I always knew I wanted a career that would help families. Being a realtor really allows me to assist all types of families, not only to find their dream home but to find them a home that allows them to create everlasting memories. My wife and I are first home buyers as of last summer, and we were blessed to start a family around the same time, so seeing our son being raised in a home and creating these memories is something I would like everyone to experience. This career allows me to be a part of something special for families, and that’s what I love the most about what I do.

What one piece of advice would you give someone looking to pursue the same career?

My advice is to be consistent. This career is tricky because you don’t have anyone telling you what to do or when to do it, but you have to tell yourself that daily. Being consistent to me doesn’t mean neglecting other things in your life, but it does mean whether it’s an hour or 6 hours a day you just need to devote some time to your craft daily. Embrace being a student, and always look for ways to grow and learn. Being consistent will allow you to do that.

What do you consider your greatest accomplishment and what has been your greatest challenge you've had to overcome?

My greatest accomplishment is being a father. I truly mean that because once I became a father so much changed. I’ve been told by so many that it will happen, but nothing compares to when it actually happens to you. Knowing that someone is always depending on you, and that you can’t let them down was what solidified it for me. My greatest challenge that I’ve had to overcome is asking for help. My wife has changed my life so much, and I am so blessed that she is my wife and the mother to our child. I’ve always been self-dependent, so asking her for help is still something that is challenging to me, but I’ve gotten much better at it.

What is one thing most people don't know about you?


One thing most people don’t know about me is that I am an introvert. It’s going to shock many people who know me, but I truly enjoy being alone, and I am always in deep thought about how to perform better in all aspects of life. I do enjoy being in public settings, and when I’m around a big group of people I understand that I need to be engaged, but once I’m home I really just enjoy spending time with my Nela gang.

Get to know ... is a feature in Rochester In Color, a special section within the Post Bulletin's website that profiles people of color in our community. Find it at . If you know of someone who should be featured, send us an email at

Roch In Color Banner

What To Read Next
Get Local