Maria Elena Porto, Realtor, Coldwell Banker, Miami Lakes/Miami Beach


Maria Elena Porto is a Realtor with Coldwell Banker in Miami.

What was your first job in the realty industry?
Mortgage Loan Processor in 2000 with Mortgage Miami in Miami Lakes. Then I transitioned to selling real estate in 2003 with Keyes Co., Miami Lakes Main Street.

Where did you grow up?
I was born in New Jersey and moved to Miami in 1973. I moved to Hialeah in 1979.

What is your favorite free-time activity?
I am a foodie, so I spend my free-time is either trying a new restaurant or cooking my own creation.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
I like to jog; it relaxes me. My favorite place to jog is Biscayne bridge. It has beautiful scenery and interesting people.

Growing up, what did you want to be?
A chef. However, as a child, my parents used to love going on Sunday drives and visiting new developments to see the model homes. It was weird, but I found it fascinating and loved it! I guess that is why I enjoy showing homes.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Oprah Winfrey. She is an amazing woman who accomplished so much in her life; she’s a true inspiration.

Where is your favorite place to hang out?
My daughter’s place. We usually cook dinners together and hang out. I like to go out dining with friends, too.

What do you love most about the industry?
Meeting and connecting with new people from all walks of life, as well as networking with other agents and earning about all the new developments in our city and the overall change it has endured.

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I always wear my name badge. I am bilingual. I’m honest and patient with people. I also have an ability to make people comfortable around me, therefore making it easy for them to open up.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
When I can’t find the perfect home or the right price, or working with unprofessional agents. I am Cuban, but I do not go by Cuban time. I believe in being on time or even arriving early to an appointment.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
Restaurants and my local gym. When I am showing condos in the Beach, the best people I network with are the valet attendants and concierge service personnel – and the residents.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Transitioning to Miami Beach. My goal is to become a luxury home specialist.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
Woody Allen’s “Annie Hall”. It’s an oldie, but I had never watched it before.

What is your favorite restaurant?
Prima Pasta Italian in Normandy shores, or El Pimiento Spanish in Miami Lakes.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Miami?
The Akoya in Miami Beach.

What kind of car do you drive?
White Honda Pilot.

Smartphone or paper?
Both. I need to put things in writing; doing this has a productive effect. I carry a small notebook with me in my purse.

What is your favorite city after Miami?
Los Angeles. I am in love with the mountains and weather, as well as the culture the city has to offer.

What is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Be organized, get up, get out! Self-motivation is key. No matter how bad your day seems, there is always a story to tell and there is never a dull moment in real estate.

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