South Seattle Couple Dedicated to Building Community

South Seattle Couple Dedicated to Building Community

Damon and Licica Benefield have only been in South Seattle for three years but they wasted no time jumping in and getting involved in their Pritchard Beach neighborhood.

The husband and wife real estate team has organized community clean up days to help preserve the beauty of the beach, fed hungry neighbors at the holidays, helped place abandoned pets with loving families and hosted community socials to build relationships among neighbors and discuss issues effecting the community.

“We enjoy creating opportunities to bring people together,” they said. The Benefields also support several South Seattle organizations, such as the Northwest African American Museum, Atlantic Street Center, Senior Services and the YWCA.

When asked what motivates them to do this work, they say it’s really very simple.

“We all need a helping hand at some point in our lives. We care about where we live and believe that a sense of community is important.”

Fam pic 1

Damon and Licica with their son Damon, Jr.

The two full-time real estate brokers have been married 24 years with three children, Arielle, 26, Damon, 24 and Nathalia, 18. They became grandparents for the first time last November.

Damon was born and raised in Los Angeles. His mother hails from Puerto Rico and his late father was African American and raised in Arizona. Licica is originally from Brazil.

“My wife and I come from very humble beginnings and have always believed that hard work and having a positive attitude in life is what will get you through,” said Damon.

Brenda Tenes-Bruce has known Licica and Damon for more than 30 and 25 years respectively.

“They are both loyal, honest and diligent to whatever they set out to accomplish, personally and in their professional lives,” she said.

Nancy Nicoloro has been friends with the couple for nearly two decades and says they’re like family to her.

“I know I could depend on them if I need to,” she said.

She says whenever the two make a trip back to California, they make an effort to visit every one of their friends and family even if it means spending half the time in the car.

But their friends and family aren’t the only ones that speak highly of Damon and Licica. Former clients Lance and Ashley Leasure couldn’t say enough good things about the two. They even told us a story about a nightmare sale the Benefields helped them through and how the two were able to save the deal at the eleventh hour through their own hard work and tenacious dedication to the process.

“Damon and Licica have an unwavering commitment to exceeding their own high expectations for customer service and somehow, despite bumps in the road, always have smiles on their faces,” they said. “We love this about them!”

“Every time we showed up at the house, regardless of the time of day, it seemed Damon or Licica was either there or had just been there and more often than not they were checking on the quality of someone’s work, planting flowers in the flowerbed, moving paving stones to just the right place in the backyard, or bringing in tarps, heaters and extra hands to personally do work in the rain that contractors had bailed on. Seriously, who does that?!”

“Several times we found ourselves looking at one another shaking our heads in disbelief, asking how it was possible that this experience was so vastly different from every other real estate transaction we had been party to. In most real estate transactions, we’ve felt that the fees paid to the agents were out of line with the effort and certainly with the service delivered. In this case, we also felt that the fees were out of line, but in the opposite direction! So we tried to give them a not-insignificant cash tip. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that they graciously rejected the offer, and once again we were blown away.”

This week, the Benefields were kind enough to answer a few questions for our People In Your Neighborhood column – a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and engaging neighbors.

Names:
Damon & Licica Benefield

Coldwell Banker Gen Blue Convention

A serious moment with Damon and Licica

Ages:
LB: 45
DB: 47

Neighborhood:
Rainier Beach

How long in South Seattle?
3 years

GSS: Where are you from originally?
LB: Brazil, but I lived most of my life in Los Angeles, California.
DB: Originally from Los Angeles.

GSS: What gets you out of bed in the morning?  
LB: My dogs.
DB: Life. I’m truly grateful to have opportunity to be better.

GSS: What are you passionate about?
LB: Doing the right thing unquestionably.
DB: Living life to the fullest, my wife.

GSS: What are your hobbies?
LB: Traveling, dogs and exploring life with my husband.
DB: Traveling, working out, skiing, dogs.

GSS: What do you like most about your day job?
LB: Educating and facilitating clients through the home buying process. Helping them establish a plan to get there despite the obstacles.
DB: Bringing the dream of home ownership to reality.

Safeway

For the Benefields, giving back is a family affair.

GSS: What’s your most favorite thing about South Seattle?
LB: The diversity. We feel at home here.
DB: The people. Diversity.

GSS: What’s your least favorite thing about South Seattle?
LB: The negative perception.
DB: Crime

GSS: Where is your favorite place to go in South Seattle?
LB: Kubota Gardens is beautiful year round.
DB: Geraldine’s Counter

GSS: If you could live anywhere besides South Seattle, where would it be?  
LB: My home Country of Brazil.
DB: Rio De Janeiro

GSS: If there was one thing you could change about South Seattle, what would it be?
LB: I’m working daily on changing the negative perception.
DB: Perception

GSS: Who inspires you?
LB: My 90-year-old grandma that is still sharp as a tack and walks up and down three flights of stairs and carries her groceries home.
DB: My first grandchild, Silas Gray Daniels.

GSS: What was the last thing you read?
LB: “The Promise of a Pencil: How an Ordinary Person Can Create Extraordinary Change” by Adam Braun
DB: “The Amazing Secrets of the Masters of the Far East” by Robert Collier

GSS: Tell us something about you that not many people know:
LB: I’m Brazilian. I came to the USA when I was 12, and I speak three languages.
DB: I am a Grandfather.

GSS: What is your idea of perfect happiness?
LB: Enjoying your life to the fullest regardless of your current circumstances. The best is yet to be!
DB: Growing and healthy family

Cleaning Day at Pritchard Beach

Cleaning Day at Pritchard Beach

GSS: What is your greatest fear?
LB: Dying in a car accident.
DB: Failure

GSS: What is the trait you most deplore in yourself?
LB: I can be easily annoyed.
DB: Procrastination

GSS: What is the trait you most deplore in others?
LB: Lack of character, pettiness.
DB: Laziness

GSS: What is your greatest regret?
LB: My philosophy is to live my life without regrets.
DB: Yolo #noregrets

GSS: What or who is the greatest love of your life?
LB: My grandma and my husband.
DB: My wife Licica Benefield.

GSS: What is your current state of mind?  
LB: Appreciative and hopeful.
DB: Curious and alive.

GSS: What do you consider your greatest achievement?
LB: My marriage of 24 years and my family that we both created without a blueprint since we were both products of divorced parents.
DB: My family

T-Day

A truckload of Thanksgiving donations to help feed hungry South Seattle neighbors

GSS: What is your most treasured possession?
LB: My family
DB: Memories

GSS: What do you most value in your friends?
LB: Good character
DB: Loyalty

GSS: Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
LB: Wonder Woman
DB: Iron Man

GSS: Who are your heroes in real life?
LB: Everyday people
DB: Moms

GSS: What is it that you most dislike?
LB: Cruelty to animals, children and seniors. Any injustice to innocent people.
DB: Negativity

GSS: What else should we know about you?
LB: I was in an abusive relationship in my teens that resulted in a teen pregnancy. My education took a back seat but I was able to break free and change the trajectory of my life. The journey was well worth the struggle.
DB: I just want to be of value to others.

Our People In Your Neighborhood column is a series of interviews with some of South Seattle’s most interesting and engaging people. Who do you want to know more about? Let us know.

Top photo/Damon and Licica with daughters Arielle and Nathalia.

 

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