By Steve Mayo
If Realtor Valeria Lugo’s left hand wants to keep up with her right, it has a pretty tough act to follow. After a year on the job as Lugo’s assistant, Elvia Arquez appears to have a tight grip on that position.
“I see her as my right hand,” says Lugo regarding the important role Arquez has played in helping her become a top Miami producer. “I’ve had other assistants who were pretty good,” Lugo says. “But she’s on top of everything, all the time. I wouldn’t [be where I am] without her.”
While Lugo, a sales associate with Related Cervera Realty Services, was putting the real estate license she received in 2001 to use, learning to effectively manage real estate transactions in Miami from tour to close, Elvia Arquez was on a different path, studying optometry in Colombia. But opportunities to apply her knowledge were scarce in her home country. So the college educated, professionally trained optometrist had to look elsewhere and spotted an opportunity in Miami.
After moving to Miami in 2004, she began working as a real estate assistant. It was during her first job that the two first worked together, Lugo as an agent on the rise and Arquez as a different agent’s assistant. Both were part of the final stages of One Miami, a Related Group development. And it was after that project was completed that Lugo says she made her move.
“The agent Elvia worked with didn’t need her after the project was over,” explains Lugo. “So I grabbed her. There was no way I was going to let her get away.”
Good thing she didn’t, because according to Lugo’s sales figures, which reach just over $100 million in the past three years, general sales totals show a 112 percent increase from 2005 to 2006, which was right around the time that she and Arquez began working as a team.
Lugo says Arquez demonstrates an attention to detail, multi-tasking ability and problem-solving skill set that really sets her apart. Arquez focuses on the necessary and often time-consuming administrative work in the office that frees up Lugo to close deals. But Arquez also handles all aspects of Lugo’s workload and is accessible even when her boss can’t be. On a typical day, Arquez writes contracts, puts together listings, goes to shows and distributes materials to clients.
“She knows the answers to all questions,” says Lugo of her assistant. “She is a good problem solver.”