What was your first job in the realty industry? The first property I sold was a church! A pastor trusted that I could do the job and blessed me with the opportunity. It was quite a big endeavor for a rookie, but it was the experience of a lifetime; after that, I figured I could sell anything.
Where did you grow up? The Freedom Flights brought me to Miami in 1970. I settled in Little Havana and then moved to the Westchester area. I attended local public schools and then the University of Miami. I’m a Hurricane.
What is your favorite free-time activity? If I could spend my days traveling and exploring new places, I’d be elated. I love photography, boating and trying new things.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Find a spot near the ocean; my troubles seem to go away with the tide.
Growing up, what did you want to be? As a kid I wanted to be a dentist; in later years I wanted to be in communications. I knew I had to be dealing with people.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? I’d love to sit and chat with Pope Francis. I love his simplicity, how he is bringing the Vatican down to the people. He is setting an example for the world, not just the Catholic Church.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? Juno Beach! Locally, however, I’d have to say anywhere they shake a good margarita.
What do you love most about the industry? I love that every transaction is unique, every buyer and seller is a world and the properties are usually their greatest asset. No matter which aspect you look at, there is always excitement to be had.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? I like to build relationships one deal at a time. I offer a very personal approach to real estate. For the duration of the transaction we are friends, and that usually carries over and I become the Realtor for entire families. I have several clients that I have worked for the mother, the daughter, the grandparents and the in-laws and then the neighbors. I have worked for three generations of one family.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Keeping it professional. If I could just raise the expectations and the standards of some realtors, I think our entire industry would benefit.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? Every day is an opportunity to meet new prospects. I have met them at Publix, the playground and the YMCA. My daughter has played travel softball from her early years, and the softball parks have always been a great networking venue. It’s about connecting every day, everywhere.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? My greatest accomplishment has to be my three amazing children. They give me purpose and satisfaction. They make me look forward to the future.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I am Malala, a book by an amazing young lady about extraordinary courage and vision. I love non-fiction.
What is your favorite restaurant? Joe’s Stone Crabs – with a side of fried green tomatoes, of course!
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Miami? I still call it the Sun-trust Building. I love how it is a focal point in our downtown skyline and it was the start of modern Miami. The Freedom Tower reminds me of the early days.
What kind of car do you drive? Cadillac Escalade.
Smartphone or paper? Smartphone. Paper is still for wrapping beautiful gifts.
What is your favorite city after Miami? In the United States, I’d have to say I love Seattle or San Francisco.
My all-time favorite would have to be Rome.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Commit yourself to be the best and give your best.
What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/Android app? Truly? FLASHLIGHT! It has come in handy many times opening lock-boxes and showing properties.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter? I use twitter minimally; I prefer Facebook.
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