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Making Good on Your Real Estate Aspirations!
Omer Kreso, B.A. Political Science, University of Arizona, Class of 1997
During the height of the Cold War in the late-1950’s, from the former communist county of Yugoslavia, Omer Kreso’s uncle, Ilyas Rustempasic, bicycled all the way from Sarajevo to the Italian border only to find a heavily guarded border, maned with soldiers, cocked machine guns, and fortified with barbed wire. This innovative and determined entrepreneur, however, would not be caged in, could not be subjected to authoritarian rule, and risked everything for the rights of mankind: Freedom. So Ilyas (pronounced “E-lee-es”) sought out the weakest link on a long border and started to dig. Omer’s uncle dug his way to the West from under a barbed wire fence.
Eventually, Ilyas made his way to Paris, where, according to an article in the Tucson Daily Star, “he worked as an artist for four years in France before coming to the United States in 1962.” This much-celebrated man procured the necessary “papers” for U.S. citizenship and boarded a plane to Chicago where “he opened a business that made precision tools and instruments,” which were later sold to NASA. Ilyas sister (Omer’s mom) and her husband soon followed and the Kreso family settled on Chicago’s Northwest Side where the young Omer was raised until the whole family moved their business to Tucson in 1981 to be closer to their client’s in the Mexican state of Sonora. “Ilyas was the un-proclaimed leader of the Bosnian community in Tucson,” said Dr. Mohammed Haider Nomaan, his longtime friend. "He was a very warm, congenial individual who always had wonderful jokes and marvelous stories," said another friend. "He was always there to help people, and he's helped hundreds of thousands of people."
The Kreso family bought a new home at the farthest reaches of civilization in the Tucson valley: Oracle and Magee. From the age of eight, Omer lived a adventurists life; he and his friends would escape into the Canada del Oro Wash on dune-buggies and dirt bikes and head off to shoot guns and pretend their own escapes from behind the “Iron Curtain.” He then graduated to playing guitars and shooting photography, artistic hobbies that still factor today. His band, in fact, was good enough to play the Hotel Congress club scene; and his photography has been published. After graduating from CDO High and then the University of Arizona in the year the Wildcats won the Final Four, Omer took off like his uncle for the west, selling electronic components in the Bay Area of California. He did well here too, flourishing in the land of Berkley and the Golden Bears.
Returning to Tucson, Omer found a cause celebre’ at Lutheran Social Services, a conduit for immigrant families moving to Tucson. Here he solicited apartment complexes to provide housing and local churches to donate furniture, clothing, pots and pans, and diapers for the ~800 refugee families that come to Tucson annually. His relationship-building skills were so keen that many of these apartment complex owners asked for his advice on selling their commercial properties after Omer filled every unit with tenants. And the church congregations called on him to help with fundraising ideas to replenish what Omer had donated.
Herein lies a turning point in the young, former Bosnian’s life: Instead of referring his business contacts to real estate agents, Omer now represents many of these multi-family dwelling owners, many of whom are local doctors and investors.
After starting with RE/MAX Excalibur, Mr. Kreso decided to jump the wall to Realty Executives Tucson Elite where he has already befriended a cadre of like-minded colleagues. For example, Jeff Murtaugh, RETE’s broker and CEO, was so impressed with Omer’s art that he enrolled him into an upcoming CCIM class, the highest designation for a commercial real estate broker in the land.
Like his uncle, mother, and father before him, Omer is an eternal optimist, gregarious, and full of verve. Please give a warm RETE welcome to our new real estate artist with a bloodline that cannot be suppressed!
Realty Executives Tucson Elite – Oracle
6760 N. Oracle Road, Suite 130
Tucson, AZ 85704