Jacksonville Five Star award winner

Realtor Spotlight: William Vasana

Source: NEFAR News, Northeast Florida Association of Realtor, May 2009


William Vasana’s many talents span across multicultural boundaries. Originally from Bangkok, Thailand, he studies several foreign languages and - as a child - he won numerous awards for his watercolors and paintings in Southeast Asia. In addition to martial arts training, he also participates in ballroom dancing every Friday and is a gourmet cook.

Vasana even has connections to royalty. His great grandfather migrated to Thailand from China during the reign of King Rama IV and his maternal family served as royal courtiers under King Rama IV, Rama V and Rama VI.

His parents - firm believers in education - encouraged his lifelong pursuit of learning. “They sacrificed to ensure their children have the best education money can afford. They told us that learning is a never-ending process and it’s never too late to learn about anything,” said Vasana, who grew up aspiring to be like his parents - successful entrepreneurs.

His father manufactures menswear and fashion accessories and his mother is a real estate broker and landlord who owns apartment buildings. After completing his bachelor of business administration (BBA) degree in marketing from Assumption University in Bangkok, he moved to the United States, where he graduated from the University of Tampa in Florida with dual master of business administration (MBA) degrees in marketing and finance.

Before beginning his real estate career, Vasana - currently an agent with Watson Realty Corporation’s Southside Boulevard office - served as director of marketing, IT (Internet technology) and e-commerce for Fortune 100 Companies, including Time Warner and Comcast. As a result, he has extensive experience in cable television, radio, Internet marketing, book and software publishing and consulting in South Florida. Frequently moving around, his career took him from Tampa to Clearwater to West Palm Beach to Boca Raton to Boynton Beach to Lake Worth.

Vasana moved to Jacksonville in 2002 after his spouse moved here to pursue a career in academia. The couple worked in separate cities for six months before he relocated to be with his wife, Susan - a native of Shanghai, China. She is currently a professor of electrical engineering at the University of North Florida. The couple have two daughters, Danica and Anna.

At first working as a stay-at-home dad, Vasana began investing in real estate upon relocating to Jacksonville and got his real estate license in 2003. He has been with Watson since that time and credits his marketing and technology background with influencing his success in the industry. Vasana’s peers took notice of his talents and he was selected as NEFAR’s 2004 Newcomer of the Year.

His reasons for getting in the business are simple. “I find it rewarding to be in a position to help people reach their goals, whether they want to own their first home or advance their financial standing by purchasing a second home or other rental property,” he said.

An early interest in Chinese classical literature led to his two-decade study of feng shui, the ancient Chinese art of living in harmony with one’s environment. “I continue to work as a real estate professional, as well as carrying out feng shui consultations for a range of high-profile professional clients,” said Vasana. “I also offer feng shui advice to homebuyers and sellers as far as how to best work within their surroundings to maximize positive energy, improved health and happiness.”

Outside of his professional interests, Vasana also enjoys traveling, reading, meditation, music, photography and computers. He is currently studying Mandarin Chinese. “It’s a very complex language, especially the writing part. A person needs to know at least 1,000 Chinese characters to be able to read proficiently,” he says. “It will take me at least two more years to be able to learn it. My youngest daughter, Anna, and I go to class together each Sunday at UNF.” Vasana and his family usually take a couple of months out of the summer to vacation to China and Thailand to visit family. When he’s on extended trips, he also tries to make time for volunteer work.

“Last year when we were in Asia, I helped out with the Myanmar cyclone relief and Sichuan earthquake relief through the Thai Red Cross. I am proud to mention that the local Chinese community here in Jacksonville helped raise more than $100,000 last May for China earthquake relief,” he says. Although Vasana doesn’t volunteer for the recognition, his peers once again honored him and applauded his generous nature by naming him one of NEFAR’s 2006 Humanitarians of the Year for his volunteer work in South Thailand in the wake of the 2004 tsunami. Working in the hardest-hit areas, he counseled traumatized children and helped displaced families with temporary shelters, food, medical supplies, clothing, equipment and financial aid.

Vasana also donated personal time and resources to assist local organizations with helping find foster care for children affected by the tsunami, along with helping find permanent homes for them through adoptions. While he is flattered by the recognition, the humble Vasana prefers to shine the spotlight in another direction. “I am most proud of my family and what they have accomplished,” he says.

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