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Your Home Our Mission

What does it mean to be home?

For some of us our home is actually our "home away from home."

I was in my first year of real estate when I had the opportunity to take part in a birth family search in Seoul, South Korea.

Sponsored by the Global Overseas Adoptee’s Link (GOA’L) and Shinhan Bank, a free trip to Korea sounded great. There would be 12 of us experiencing Korea for the first time and looking for our birth families.

I had no expectations with the birth family search. When I was 18, I received a letter from the orphanage confirming that "no one ever came back looking for me."

November 8th, 2011 Seoul South Korea

Eastern Social Welfare Society sent a telegram to the last known address in my social services file.

My family still lived in the same house 33 years later. Mom hesitated answering the telegram. No one else except my father and grandmother knew I existed. ⠀When my parents got home from the hospital they told my 3 sisters I had died during birth.⠀⠀

He said, "Your mother and father will be here at 2pm if you'd like to meet them."

I had found my home away from home.

I learned many things that day. I had three older sisters, a younger sister, and a brother. I was the only sibling given away.

I was the fourth daughter given away because I was not a boy. 

None of us were prepared for that unexpected reunification.

It took me 8 years to find unconditional acceptance.
Mom has cancer now. 

I just went back home this past Christmas for the first time to tell her I forgive her. ⠀

I work each day in real estate to help my clients find their perfect place. Everything in life happens for a reason. And selling homes in San Diego is where I'm supposed to be!

I originated mortgages in the Twin Cities for ten years. I specialized in affordable lending and emerging markets. In 2009 and 2010, I was the #1 lender for the MN State Housing Finance Agency. Moving to San Diego in 2010 was a dream and the perfect opportunity to transition into real estate.

I met my husband and business partner in 2011 at broker caravan. He grew up in a real estate family. His mother was selling oceanfronts in the 1980's on the island of Oahu. We’ve lived and officed in the Village of La Jolla for over 10 years right down by the cove. Early mornings you'll see us walking our King Charles Cavalier - Colby James.

Helping families is personal for me. We want to help you find the right space for yours.

Your family is unique and has its own story. Behind the doors to your home is an opportunity to live your best life.

Our commitment is to help you find the perfect neighborhood and the best schools. We'll leave no stone unturned seeking a better layout, features you love, and a dreamy backyard.

And, if it's your home away from home, let's bring you as close to home as possible.

As top San Diego real estate agents with Compass San Diego we take great pride in using our expertise, resources, & global connections to perfectly unite the lifestyle requirements of discerning clientele with extraordinary property in a variety of lifestyle categories & price points. 

Our resume of significant sales & experience managing high profile real estate transactions has earned us a reputation over the last nine years as one of the top real estate agents in San Diego's luxury real estate market.  The Aumann Bender & Associates team has participated in multiple significant sales over the years inclusive of five oceanfront trades.  In 2015, REAL trends published in the Wall Street Journal ranked Joy Bender as one of the top REALTORS® nationwide, #49 out of 1,100,000 licensed agents for average sales price.

Even though Compass is recognized as a luxury brand, it's important to highlight that luxury is an experience, not a price point. We provide the same elevated experience to every client. 

We specialize in working with buyers searching for a second home and buyer's relocating to San Diego with a commitment to unparalleled customer service, a 24/7 work ethic, & our client's best interests in mind at all times.  Our real estate marketing for sellers is designed to create lasting first impressions with every touch point and moment.  In 2012 we both earned the Realtor® designation Certified Negotiation Expert & maintains the highest level of emotional intelligence when navigating communication with buyers, sellers, & local real estate agent colleagues. 

There are two Compass company initiatives that are of great value to our buyer and seller clients, Compass Concierge and Compass Cares.  Compass Concierge pays for staging, landscaping, deep cleaning, painting, and cosmetic remodeling upfront allowing our sellers to get a premium on price.  There are no fees and no interest; our sellers just reimburse us when the property sells.  Giving back & community involvement is one of our team’s core values and we are happy to partner with Compass Cares.  Compass Cares has committed to contributing $10M in funds nationwide for 2019 with 100% of real estate transactions resulting in a donation to the community.  In 2019, we launched a La Jolla BNI chapter - BNI Ranch and Coast, and Joy is the 2019 president.   

As the #1 San Diego luxury real estate agent digital marketer with over two decades of google search engine marketing & google page one rankings, our traffic and visibility with both PPC and organic efforts helps our seller clients dominate online search.  By using "AI" we directly target potential buyers for our seller clients using both retargeting and remarketing.  Joy’s prior 12 years of mortgage origination experience is tremendously insightful when reviewing offers with sellers & helping buyers begin the pre-approval process. 

 Helping everyone find their place in the world! Let us guide you home.

Let's Work Together

the Compass Private Client Team coast to coast nationwide

Compass Private Client Team

Deploying a “high-touch meets high-tech” approach to luxury residential brokerage, Aumann Bender & Associates are the San Diego partner for the coast to coast super team, The Private Client Network.  With a professional network that extends to architecture, design, construction, financing, legal representation and more, we are a full-service nationwide team that is second to none.  Recognizing real estate has become a global asset class - and that many of our core clients now own multiple properties in several markets, we’re positioned to deliver a seamless experience across our clients’ entire real estate portfolio, including strategic advice and consultation. Because real estate is so dynamic and hyper-local, we are building a unique nationwide team of high-performing and like-minded associates to service the needs of our clients – wherever they might be in 31 markets nationwide.  This high-level collaboration brings tremendous marketing exposure for our seller clients and their properties.

Our Agents

La Jolla real estate agents Joy Bender was honored in the Wall Street Journal as a top California real estate agent.  For the past seven years, Joy has lived in the epicenter of coastal luxury— the Village of La Jolla. She is the proud mom of three boys and a King Charles Cavalier. Joy has tremendous gratitude for each client and looks forward to new friendships as they settle into their new home.  Joy Bender specializes in new families moving to San Diego, La Jolla condos for sale, and  La Jolla homes for sale!

Robert Aumann

A natural conversationalist, Rob Aumann has people walking away feeling like they have known him forever after their first meeting with him.  But he knows that the true secret to being an effective conversationalist is also being an exceptional listener.  Previously, Rob worked for a decade as a marketing executive, honing his skills in customer service, creative problem solving, and effective negotiation. Rob specializes in Rancho Santa Fe homes for saleSolana Beach homes for sale, and Del Mar homes for sale.

San Diego real estate agents

David's prior experience with both commercial real estate and mortgage financing offers a unique advantage for his clients, when evaluating when, how and why to buy and sell property. David is a certified Military Relocation Professional (MRP) and specializes in working with current and former military service members to find housing solutions that best suit their needs, while taking full advantage of military benefits and support that our service-members have earned. Additionally, David is an Accredited Buyers Representative (ABR) and loves working with First Time Homebuyers.

Outside of his love for real estate, David enjoys spending time with his English Bulldog Calvin, exploring the various neighborhoods of San Diego, visiting new restaurants, skiing in the winter, the occasional glass of bourbon and face-timing with his nephew Sebastian.  David specializes in North Park homes for sale, homes for sale South Park San Diego, houses for sale in Carlsbad CA, and Downtown San Diego condos for sale.

Josh is wildly energetic and passionate about the needs and goals of his clients and specializes in bringing peace of mind and simplicity to the process of selling or buying a home. Exuding charisma and a thirst for a good challenge, Josh quickly built a strong reputation in the San Diego real estate market. With an extensive background in luxury fitness serving some of North County’s most prominent executives, business owners, and esteemed professionals, Josh understands what it takes to deliver the ultimate client experience. He holds himself to the highest standards of ethics, integrity, teamwork, and transparency to ensure no detail is missed on your real estate transaction. Dedicated to growth, he made a commitment to his real estate education, being mentored and coached by several of the most highly acclaimed real estate agents in the industry. In his spare time, you will find Josh surfing, playing beach volleyball, working out, practicing yoga, or traveling.

Kurt Branstetter San Diego Mortgage LenderFor over 25 years Kurt has ranked consistently as one of the top 200 mortgage originators in the United States. Kurt approaches each transaction with an individualized long-term financial plan based on his experience studying Finance and Economics at Iowa State University with the intent of becoming a financial planner. Kurt's team consistently delivers the highest level of customer satisfaction and the majority of his business is referral based. NOVA Home Loans is an independent mortgage bank. Because they lend their own money, they are not limited to the guidelines of any one particular bank. Nova Home Loans also has strategic relationships with several other banks on a wholesale basis so they have the ability to offer additional programs for “outside the box” loan options. Kurt specializes in 21 day loan closings, Purchase, Refinance, Jumbo loans, Conventional, FHA/VA, Home Equity, Portfolio loans, New Construction, and Medical Professional loans.

San Diego home inspectors

Eric Martinez owner & home inspector for The Inspectors Company specializes in residential and commercial properties. The Inspectors Company are InterNACHI certified offering addtional inspections to the general inspection such as mold, roof, thermal imaging, sewer line inspections, septic, and pool and spa inspections.
Sue Graham Lawyers TitleSue Graham has been in the title insurance industry in San Diego for over 30 years. Being in this business is a passion for her. She is happily married to her husband Brent, and they have three Irish Setters. Her Irish Setter, Penny, is an AKC Silver Grand Champion. Penny has mothered many champion puppies, one of which has competed in the Westminster Dog Show! When she is not at work, you can find her enjoying all the great weather and outdoor things that San Diego has to offer. She services the territories of Carmel Valley, Solana Beach, Del Mar, and Rancho Santa Fe. Sue prides herself on being a strong communicator, and a problem solver for her clients. Just like her dogs are champions, she wants her clients to be champions too.

Client Success Stories

Aumann Bender & Associates yelp reviews         Aumann Bender & Associates zillow reviews         Aumann Bender & Associates google reviews     Aumann Bender & Associates Houzz reviews

Saltiel PhD Director UCSD Diabetes Center
It was an absolute pleasure and we will be singing your praises to anyone who can listen having picked you out as “The One” by internet. I feel so fortunate that you were “our” team for our Santaluz purchase!
CEO Founder of K1 Speed
Joy has been a great agent to work with she is very aggressive never sleeps always on the go looking to help us find the right house. Even though she shows you 20 and you say no she wont stop until you find what you are looking for! It was a pleasure and will choose her again for the next house.
Tamlyn Schusterman Radio City Rockette & Joe Orlando Retired
Joy & Rob not only did an exceptional job as the listing agents for our new home, but also proved to be extremely professional, resourceful and critical to the process of us obtaining it. We fell in love with La Jolla and quickly learned that the real estate market is incredibly competitive. Being from out of town, we were very cautious who to trust with this large purchase. It was a tremendous fortune that Joy & Rob were on the selling side of the one we ended up choosing. Joy, who showed us the home, immediately impressed us with her professionalism & we were sold on the house within minutes. She also demonstrated a rare ability to serve her sellers interests and ours at the same time helping us craft our offer on the spot. Her problem solving & negotiating skills were swift and second to none. With a quick closing and several moving factors, Joy & Rob together designed a win/win arrangement and worked with our agent seamlessly. They both would answer questions within minutes (sometimes seconds) and made a potentially stressful situation smooth, pain free and actually pleasant. The execution of the entire process was precise, accurate and professional. Timing was critical and without Joy & Rob’s good work, we may not have acquired the house. During our closing it was obvious that the seller was also pleased. They are clearly as respected by their long term clients as they are by us. When it comes to Real Estate, where a lot of funds are at stake, timing is everything and the devil is in the details, we recommend Joy & Rob if you want to be in the best of hands. We are grateful they were there for us.
Tal Zemer Principal ALOR International LTD./Charriol N.A. & Z Luxe Group Inc
Joy is a very professional and sharp agent. She listens to the needs of her client and acts on them quickly. She is a wonderful communicator and will always try to steer her client in the right direction. She has an amazing attention to detail and she will work diligently until the job is done.
President of Nielsen Perishables
Joy Bender is a hardworking and dedicated realtor and we strongly recommend her. We highly value her responsiveness and appreciated the number of hours she spent with us in person, and by phone and email, keeping us informed and updated throughout the process. She showed extraordinary professionalism and we could not have had better support. The personal attention and direction she provided over several months resulted in finding the perfect home for us.
Tom Duffy Wealth Management
Both Tina and myself wanted to let you both know how invaluable your advice and guidance has been with both the purchase of 5614 Dolphin Place and the sale of our home at 423 Westbourne Street in La Jolla. Your negotiating skills are spectacular, particularly with the unusual way in which we structured the purchase contract. Your people skills allowed us to work with the listing agent at Dolphin Place and ultimately convince the sellers to accept our terms of an extended settlement which allowed us time to sell and settle Westbourne. With regard to the sale of Westbourne, your marketing skills were literally the most impressive I have ever seen. Not only did you arrange for various contractors to come into Westbourne over a 48 hour period to get the home into mint show condition, but you also brought in one of the top videographers to put together a stunningly beautiful photographic representation of the home on the internet listing. The photographer also put together a sixty photo slide show that created total buzz and excitement for the home that brought us a first day contract for $90K over the listing price as well as over 100 people at the open house the following day. When the first contract fell out of escrow for a financing technicality that the buyers(who were pre-qualified)had no control over, you very quickly produced a full cash buyer that was willing to close in five days with no contingencies whatsoever. You also kept the buyers believing that the property was “hot” and would sell quickly if they faltered in any way. There is no doubt in my mind that you are both going to be the top producers in California in the future. Your dogged persistence, superb people skills and phenomenal work ethic insure a very successful future for both of you. I will refer you to as many individuals as possible. Many thanks to both of you for your incredible advice, skill and ultimate successful results on both Westbourne and Dolphin Place.


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