My family valued hard work and home ownership. When I was 18 my mother gave me and my sister a down payment to buy a home together. We were both working full time at the Price Club (what is now Costco) and we shouldered the added responsibility of home ownership because we knew how important it was to our mom. We trusted that she knew it would be good for us to start with this type of investment at a young age. Instead of throwing rent money out the window each month, our hard earned money would be earning us equity in something real; it would be our investment in the future. So barely out of my teens, I learned firsthand how great real estate investing could be.
It was a long time before I came to real estate as a career though. After working in retail for many years, I went into radio sales and management. It was during a golf tournament where a client of mine told me, “You would be good as a real estate agent.” It clicked. All of my professional experience led me to this career as I had become very skilled in working with customers to get them what they needed and in managing the details of large, complex projects. In 2003 I started working in real estate lending, and by 2004 I was a licensed real estate agent.
Since then, it hasn’t been the monetary success of real estate that’s motivated me. It’s been the ability to be an advisor to people in need. I’ve had situations where I’ve gotten calls from clients who experienced negativity from other agents and their money wasn’t being used properly. I was able to advocate for them and advise them on how to get their deposits back from unscrupulous agents. In this way I have taken on the role of counselor at times. Being fully bilingual has enabled me to guide and educate my Hispanic community members about the best path for them. The joy of handing the keys to a family who never thought they’d own a home is unbelievable. It’s these moments that drive me to keep working with people from a place of genuine service. It is rewarding to help connect people with a home and community that will become the backbone of their lives for years to come.