What was your first job in the realty industry? My first job was with Century 21 in 2004 in Carmel, IN, but I was only an assistant and sold nothing; my first sales position was with RE/MAX Preferred in Fishers, IN.
Where did you grow up? I grew up in Burbank, Calif. Go Bulldogs!
What is your favorite free-time activity? Singing, checking out live music, watching movies, reading and going out to eat with friends and family.
What do you do to relax when you’re stressed? Read, talk to a friend or sing – pretty much the same things I do during my free time.
Growing up, what did you want to be? I wanted to be a doctor.
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not) who would it be and why? With someone who is still alive, I would love to have lunch with Mariah Carey. I’ve always admired her voice. I might make her sing for her lunch. With someone who is not alive, my grandfather. He passed away over 15 years ago, and I still think about him a lot.
Where is your favorite place to hang out? I love going to Alhambra Palace on salsa nights. The music is great and they sometimes have live salsa bands (and sometimes I even get to perform there). I also love exploring all the amazing restaurants Chicago has to offer.
What do you love most about the industry? I love the fast pace of the market, and knowing I am helping someone achieve their dream of homeownership. I’m a workaholic, so this industry suits me perfectly.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents? When I started in Indianapolis, the fact that I was bilingual (Spanish) really set me apart, and the clients poured in. In Chicago, the Spanish thing doesn’t really fly here. It’s like Los Angeles – everyone speaks Spanish. Instead, I distinguish myself from the crowd by continuing to be completely honest and knowledgeable with clients, and by explaining and teaching buyers and sellers about the entire homebuying process. I come with 11 years of experience and sell about 75 homes per year, so they can feel confident that what is possibly their largest investment is in good hands.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job? The most difficult aspect of my job is finding time to myself. When you are a workaholic, you tend to be a bit unbalanced, and my scales are definitely tipped towards working. It doesn’t help that I really enjoy my job.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read? I believe Stephen King is a god. I have been on this kick of reading all of his books and, honestly, each one has been amazing. I am almost done with his books and I am starting to get depressed at the thought.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients? When I perform (I am a salsa singer), I get to meet a lot of great people. I have two-sided business cards. One side is real estate and one side is music. If someone asks about music, they also find out about real estate, and vice versa. I also like to attend professional networking events, such as the events put on by ALPFA, SHPE and NSHMBA.
What has been your greatest accomplishment? I have a few: raising a son; winning the 2013 Chicago Music Awards; performing with the Cincinnati Pops im December 2014; landing in the top 20 of over 5,000 agents in Central Indiana for units sold consistently; and when I was with RE/MAX, I received various awards from them for sales.
What is your favorite restaurant? My favorite restaurant so far (and this is very difficult in Chicago) is Maude’s Liquor Bar. They have such a great menu.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago? When I first moved here (and even when I would come visit) I thought the Marina City (corn cob) buildings were so cool.
What kind of car do you drive? A 2012 black Honda Accord four-door.
What is your favorite city after Chicago? Los Angeles.
What is your advice for someone new to the industry? Tell everyone about you being in real estate and give out business cards as much as you can.
What’s your favorite real estate iPhone/Android app? Google Maps is a lifesaver.