What was your most interesting job before going into real estate?
I worked in marketing in a dental office. Most people don’t associate dental offices with large marketing needs, but this was a celebrity cosmetic dentistry that marketed everywhere from Sky Magazine, TV/radio, podcasts and photoshoots. It definitely had its job perks. I also did a short stint at Sonic in high school (No, I didn’t rollerblade).
Where did you grow up?
I was born in Guadalajara, Mexico, and raised there until about 5 years old. My father’s job brought us to Marietta, where we put down roots in East Cobb, and I spent the next 25 years of my life there.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
It was a toss up between a private investigator and an attorney. Turns our real estate lets me do a little bit of both.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I volunteer at the Cobb Animal Control walking dogs and run a dog rescue. While I wouldn’t say it’s relaxing, being around animals and being in rescue can be super rewarding. Also, it’s hard to think straight when a 90-pound dog is dragging you across the yard, so it’s kind of a forced relaxation.
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Robin Williams. He was such a staple in my child hood and growing up, and he’s someone who seems to have so many layers and so much complexity. He used his fame and resources to give back to his communities and I think made a huge impact on generations of people.
What is Atlanta’s best-kept secret?
It depends who’s looking, but I am a big Buford highway fan. The amount of diversity in food and culture is incredible. It’s like visiting a little pocket of each country.
What do you love most about the industry?
The utter and complete lack of ceilings. The fact that some agents take the “norm” or what’s expected and completely blow the ceiling off. One year, I think it’s incredible that someone was able to close 100 deals individually, and the next year, I hear someone else closed 250. It’s the fact that it evolves and grows, and those who are innovative and willing to work hard the challenge status quo daily.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
It’s a little cheesy, but I consider my main job as a connector. Whatever my clients need — whether it is a landscaper, painter, dog sitter, new job — they know if I don’t have a connection, I’ll find it for them. I also advise my clients on the way I would make decisions. I’m so heavily past client and referral business because I work so hard on creating those lifelong relationships.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
All of the things I can’t control! Real estate has so many moving pieces and things that can go wrong that you could do your job at the highest level and still have the transaction be a mess. I try to control as much as I can and keep drama out of the equation.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads?
Figure out what you can provide to people. Someone may be in the “just thinking about it” phase for YEARS before ever wanting to look at a home. Talk to everyone, bring them value, even if it’s outside of real estate, and keep in touch. If they don’t buy/sell, they know someone who will.
What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately?
The Bear on FX. It’s chaos and comfort in bite-size 20 minute episodes. I recently read “The Gap and The Gain: The High Achievers’ Guide to Happiness, Confidence, and Success”, and that caused such a pivotal change in perspective for me.
What’s your favorite meal in Atlanta?
Rumi’s Kitchen. I’m a sucker for flavor and good presentation.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Atlanta?
The High Museum. It’s just such an incredibly cool and unique building, both inside and out. Doesn’t hurt that it’s filled with extra-cool things.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job?
I had a client viewing a newly renovated and listed home and the neighbor came over to say hello. He proceeded to ask us to come help him list his home, as he no longer wanted to live next to “the murder house.” Turns out there was a murder/suicide in the house a short 7 months prior.
What’s one thing people are surprised to learn about you?
Outside of real estate, my whole heart is in the dog rescue I run with my mom and sister. It’s like real estate in the sense that it is both incredibly challenging, as well as incredibly rewarding.
What is your favorite vacation spot and why?
Travel is a huge passion of mine, and of all the places I’ve been to, Vietnam keeps a special place in my heart. From the incredible food, to the kind people, to the awesome amount of culture and UNBELIEVABLE beaches.
What is your favorite city after Atlanta?
Chicago. Great music scene, hot dogs and weather. Did I mention hot dogs?
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Take every single opportunity presented to you.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app?
Homesnap. It was my secret for getting open house leads to give me their real phone numbers.
Who are your favorite people to follow on social media?
I really enjoy Barbara Corcoran. I just think she’s such a powerhouse and has such a colorful personality. I follow a good bit of psychology accounts, as well as dog trainers.