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Celebrating Hispanic Heritage Month at MAR Tags: Community

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, we spoke with some of our Hispanic members about their work in their communities, advice for buyers, the importance of cultural understanding, and more.

Estefania Borns, Vice President NAHREP Twin Cities

Are you affiliated with any professional associations (e.g. NAHREP)? If so, how has being a member inspired your work?

Yes, as soon as I became a Realtor in 2019 I was looking for an organization that represented hispanics to connect with my roots. As soon as I found out about NAHREP I decided to get involved. I started as a member and I was hooked right away. The mission of the organization and my mission went hand in hand to advance sustainable hispanic homeownership. This year I get the honor to serve on the board as the vice-president. NAHREP has inspired me as a person and helped me grow as a professional in ways that I could not imagine. I admire watching so many professionals (hispanic or not) care about our community, the masterminds, and so much more. I found my FAMILIA away from home.

I also try to participate in other organizations such as Latino Lead and Latino Chamber.

What impact can Realtors® have in increasing homeownership opportunities in the Hispanic community?

Education is key. We can either make or break a dream come true. Homeownership is the symbol of the American dream and as Realtors we have the responsibility to educate our community through the process to become a homeowner. One of the most important steps is to make sure clients understand the responsibility of owning a home, understand the contracts they are signing and if lenders say no to access a loan it doesn’t mean it’s a forever NO. I always tell my clients it’s a “no-yet” . There are steps they can follow that in the future that no will become a yes, many of them are impressed they qualify 6 to 9 months later.

Also, realtors need to be more educated in programs that serve our community such as Minnesota Housing, learn about ITIN loans, the benefits and the disadvantages.

What does your heritage mean to you personally? For your career?

My heritage is who I am, I am very proud about sharing about my roots, teaching about my country and my heritage. I have a very culturally diverse family and each culture is unique. Learning the importance of my clients’ culture and customs has helped me create a difference in the search process, I like to adapt the way we search properties to their needs, sometimes there are some more challenging than others, but all of them are beautiful in their own way, it’s so fulfilling to know you helped a family find their new home.

I feel very proud to serve our diverse community here in Minnesota no matter where you come from finding a house to call home is magical.

 

Guille Garza, Government Affairs Director NAHREP Twin Cities

Are you affiliated with any professional associations (e.g. NAHREP)? If so, how has being a member inspired your work?

For me it was a privilege to be the one of founders of NAHREP Twin Cities. I was the president of nahrep for 2 years, 1 year as past president and this year I am the Governmental Affairs Director. As a board member and past president I collaborate really closely with AREAA, NAREB, LGBTQ Real Alliance. I’m a strong believer that education is fundamental for first time home buyers and having a mission of sustainable homeownership is enough for me to keep working for the community. As a NAHREP member and founder our mission is clear, immigration, access to credit and sustainable homeownership. These three points have significant work to do in my career as a real estate agent. As a Governmental Affairs Director is even better, I have the opportunity to talk to representatives, senators, congressmen  and that’s where we need to be, advocating for our community.

What impact can Realtors® have in increasing homeownership opportunities in the Hispanic community?

Many people in our community do not understand the language and it is our responsibility to teach and guide them to have a reliable and successful transaction. We have a moral and professional responsibility to help them build their dream of having a decent property.   As the nation’s second-largest demographic, Latinos, comprise 18.7 percent of the U.S. population, totaling 62.1 million. Between 2010 and 2020, Latinos accounted for more than half (51 percent) of total U.S. population growth. In 2021, the Latino homeownership rate reached 48.4 percent, up from 47.5 percent in 2019. Hispanic homeownership has been on a steady upward trajectory since 2014, with an average increase of nearly one percentage point every two years. At this rate, Latinos could reach a 50 percent homeownership rate by 2025.  As a Latino Realtor®, we need to keep advocating for our community, I would like to see more Latino Realtors involved in all Governmental Affairs meetings where we can make a difference.

What does your heritage mean to you personally? For your career?

Heritage involves many things. It’s about my ethnic roots, of course, but it’s also my cultural teachings and personal experiences. It’s about who I’m and where I have come from to get to where I’m today. For me, my heritage has shaped my values, my personality, my goals, and my passion for what I do in another country that is hard to belong to 100%. For my career, I have always tried to do the best I can in what I do. I have a background in Technology and my goal has always been to move forward, learn and give my best, and now in real estate it is the same, I prepare myself by obtaining certifications and I learn from people who have experience. I like to surround myself with people who are passionate about their work.

 

Marina Aguirre-Anthony, Director of Education NAHREP Twin Cities

Are you affiliated with any professional associations (e.g. NAHREP)? If so, how has being a member inspired your work?

I am a member of the Board of Directors at NAHREP Twin Cities. This association has the goal of sustainable Hispanic homeownership at the forefront. Being part of this national organization has inspired me to learn more and help with their cause.

Soy miembro de la Junta Directiva de NAHREP Twin Cities. Esta asociación tiene como objetivo principal la adquisición de viviendas por familias hispanas. Ser parte de esta organización nacional me ha inspirado a aprender más y ayudar con su causa.

What advice would you give to individuals who may feel discouraged about owning a home?

The first step is to get informed, and reach out to an experienced professional that can guide you in the right direction; we are seeing more creative lending solutions in the last few years. The right professional will give you options to start acting now and prepare to buy a house.

El primer paso es informarse, comunicarse con un profesional experimentado que pueda guiarlo en la dirección correcta; estamos viendo soluciones de préstamos más creativas en los últimos años. El profesional adecuado le dará opciones para que pueda empezar a actuar ahora y prepararse para comprar una casa.

Marcelo Monasi, Realtor®

What impact can Realtors® have in increasing homeownership opportunities in the Hispanic community?

Realtors® can have a great impact on increasing Hispanic homeownership. We have the tools and knowledge to educate and guide this community and let them understand that owning their own house is completely attainable. The fact that there is a language barrier should not stop Realtors® from directing them to the right resources. Networking and partnering up with a Spanish-speaking fellow Realtor® should be common practice so not only they can benefit from a nice referral fee but also make it a win-win situation for everyone.

What advice would you give to individuals who may feel discouraged about owning a home?

I always tell my clients that a goal without a plan is just a dream. When they feel discouraged I make a bigger effort to listen and understand their particular situation so I can make a custom plan for their needs. The advice I give them is always to be patient and stick to the plan as well as point out all the benefits that homeownership has. I make sure to tell them that it’s just a matter of time and to be focused on that goal. I also share with them my personal experience, as well as other clients that have been in the same situation. More often than not they just want to be heard and know that you have their best interest at heart and that you will be there for them.

What does your heritage mean to you personally? For your career?

My heritage is not only a part of me but also of my children. I’m proud of where I come from and where I’m at now. For more than half of my life I have lived in this great country, but I never forget where I came from.

As for my career, coming where I come from puts me in a position where I understand my client’s needs and struggles as well as have a lot of empathy towards them. This allows me to connect better with them.