What was your first job in the realty industry?
I got my license in 2003, and my first job was in Home Expo Real Estate LLC. They are no longer in business, but the office used to be by Milwaukee and Ogden in River West.
Where did you grow up?
I am originally from Lima, Peru. I used to live in San Borja and I went to school in the Barranco neighborhood. I came to the U.S. on Sept. 29, 2000 for my MBA at Loyola University Chicago.
What is your favorite free-time activity?
I like swimming and working out. I also enjoy reading quite a bit.
Growing up, what did you want to be?
I wanted to be an 80’s rock star. A soccer star was also a good option!
If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Ronald Reagan. I grew up in the 1980’s in Peru with socialism. It was horrible – there were long lines to buy sugar, bread, milk or fish. Freedom and opportunity were lacking, and there was corruption. The U.S., with Ronald Reagan, was a light of hope in many countries.
Where is your favorite place to hang out?
Cleo’s Chicago Bar, the official bar for the Chicago Fire, Bulls and Hawks games. As they said on “Cheers,” “Sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came.”
What do you love most about the industry?
Real estate is very competitive, challenging and constantly changing. No two days are the same. Never a client like the one before. You need to be alert and constantly pushing.
How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
Three things: 1. I know a lot about how credit, finance and loans work. I worked for 20 years in banks, so I get the whole picture with my clients. 2. I know, block-by-block, every Chicago neighborhood. 3. I try to focus in the Latino market, considering I was born and raised in Latin America; it is not just that I speak Spanish, but I truly understand the Latino culture.
What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
Trying to balance work and personal life.
Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
Chamber of Commerce and Latino events.
What has been your greatest accomplishment?
Work for two years to fix the credit of two families and help them to buy great homes.
What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
The last book that I read was Real Estate Development by the Urban Land Institute.
What is your favorite restaurant?
My favorite restaurant is Tanta Chicago in River North. Peruvian food is amazing.
Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Chicago?
The Tribune Tower, but also the Wrigley Building.
What kind of car do you drive?
I follow Warren Buffett and Sam Walton. I drive a Toyota Rav4. I appreciate value over fashion.
Smartphone or Paper?
What is your favorite city after Chicago?
Miami. I also hold a Florida real estate license.
Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
Richard Branson and Barbara Corocoran.