What was your most interesting job before going into real estate? I worked for Expertise Star Entertainment, Inc. in Miami.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Naples, Florida.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I always wanted to be in real estate. My first job in high school was working as an administrative assistant for a brokerage called Platinum Properties in Naples.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? I like to work out go for runs, read and relax at the spa.
If you could meet any well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why? Anne Frank. If I had the chance to meet her, that she had a wonderful attitude toward life, and her bubbly personality was very pleasant and heart-warming to read about. I could not possibly put into words how thankful I am that Anne kept a diary. Without this direct record that she provided, much less would be known about the horrid time of the Holocaust and about how Jews were forced to live in fear in order to hide from Hitler’s sinful crimes. I learned important lessons from Anne Frank’s diary. I learned that having a positive attitude towards life is very important, even during the worst times. You should be confident about yourself and not let other people’s negativity bring you down or come in your way. She did an amazing job coping with the mountains and valleys her life presented to her at the time. Great job, Anne — you were phenomenal.
Where is Miami’s best-kept secret? The Café at Books & Books is every avid reader’s dream. This quaint bookstore doubles as a café that serves tasty breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They also have a regular happy hour and a coffee happy hour for everyone that needs a mid-afternoon pick me up. It’s the ideal place for brunch, but they also have a lot happening after hours. Every Saturday they offer free live music, in addition to numerous book signings throughout the month. Eat fresh food, read quietly, or meet up with friends.
What do you love most about the industry? It’s the people I meet, that I would otherwise not have known, and the life stories they share with me that I love, love, love the most about my job. Also, it gives me the chance to do good. Moving is high on the list of stressful things to do, so when I’m able to ease stress and burden for my clients and to help them get where they want to go, it feels good.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? Justifying my role — imagine a typical employee who collects a paycheck every two weeks. Now imagine a similar employee who is forced to renegotiate his paycheck each time it arrives. Being a real estate agent is a bit like this second employee. While the standard commission is six percent, there is no shortage of clients that think you are not worth that amount. And many are not afraid to say it. It’s not exactly fun to constantly have to defend your services.
What’s your best advice for generating new leads? My best advice for generating new leads is having a good website and creating your social media platform. Everything is becoming digital, so you have to make sure you have a great online presence.
What are you binge-watching/reading/listening to lately? I’ve been binge watching the show Hunters on Amazon — it’s truly amazing.
What’s your favorite meal in Miami? My favorite meal in Miami has to be a really good Peruvian ceviche.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Miami? One Thousand Museum by Zaha Hadid.
What’s the weirdest thing that’s ever happened to you on the job? I was showing a property in Miami Beach, and the listing agent said to go directly there. I rang the bell and knocked on the door. No one answered, so I used the lockbox and walked in with my buyer. As we are going to the second floor to see the bedrooms, two naked women walked by the hallway. I told them that that we were showing the house. They made their way to the kitchen still naked with no care in the world and said, ‘sorr,y no one told us you were showing today, but okay carry on.’ Note that they were still naked.
What’s one thing people might be surprised to learn about you? That I am truly a nerd at heart. I love reading and spend hours a week immersed in literature.
What’s your favorite vacation spot and why? My favorite vacation spot would be Madrid Spain. It has so much history and such amazing architecture. I am always fascinated by that city.
In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry? Find a mentor!