02 Dec Meet the California Document Preparers Team: Ian and Corey
For December, California Document Preparers is profiling Oakland office co-owners Ian Duncan and Corey Priest. Ian’s a Bay Area native who went to San Francisco State University and majored in finance. In 2007, he got his paralegal degree, became a Legal Document Assistant (LDA) and took over management of Oakland’s Grand Lake office. The office has since grown to seven, and includes Corey Priest, who became a co-owner in 2011. Corey is also Ian’s spouse, and is studying to become an LDA.
Strong customer-service ethic from Whole Foods
Both Corey and Ian bring strong customer-service backgrounds to the business, which may have been developed at Whole Foods, where the couple met. Ian was the Cheese Buyer and Corey was in charge of the supplements and cosmetics department. “At Whole Foods we learned to become knowledgeable about our products and build rapport with our customers. In my department, we literally had hundreds of very high-end products, and we had to learn all of their technical attributes. I apply those skills to the very technical aspects of my job here at California Document Preparers. We also cultivated regular customers who’d come in to find out what was fresh and new. We think this carries over into what we do now. These days, more than 60% of our business comes from repeat business and referrals. This says a lot about the quality of our work and the way we treat our clients. It’s really the same ethic—product knowledge and service.” The door to their office is generally open. “It’s been a great way to meet our neighbors. Word of mouth has been tremendous for us, and we know that we’re making a positive impact in our community because we hear it every day.”
It’s been an important year for Ian and Corey
The couple bought a home in Oakland’s Maxwell Park neighborhood, which has dramatically improved their quality of life. “We were living in Concord, and we dreaded our bumper-to-bumper daily commute and the wasted time. We’re delighted to be part of the revitalized growth of our new city.” Ian loves to cook, so they enjoy the restaurants, the sense of community and the all the diversity that Oakland, and especially their neighborhood, have to offer. Another big change? A second car. Corey now loves the freedom of zipping around town in his electric Smart Car, a gift from Ian.
Look for expanded space in 2016
Watch for another big change for Ian and Corey: Anyone who’s visited their corner office lately has likely noticed that it’s become a bit cramped—they’ve clearly outgrown their space. Ian began looking for new space months ago, but hated the thought of leaving this strategic corner. Thankfully, they won’t have to move. They’re going to be able to knock out a few walls, expanding in several directions. The new space will provide a conference room where the California Document Preparers team will be able to meet privately with clients to discuss sensitive matters that are indigenous to many of the company’s services, including Living Trusts and Divorces. And the team loves the idea of having a proper break room!