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Meet Gabriela Bermudez of Las Lomas Realty

Today we’d like to introduce you to Gabriela Bermudez.

Gabriela, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I was born and raised in San Luis Potosi, Mexico, and I’m the second youngest of six brothers and five sisters. I grew up in a very traditional Family in which our Parents’ main priority was teaching us about religion and family values. At the age of 17 years of age, I moved to California to live with my siblings.

In life, everyone ends up at many crossroads where you need to make a decision. Twenty years ago I arrived at one of this crossroads. I was a junior at Cal State long beach and I was working full time as a waitress in order to support myself and pay for my college education. At that time my intentions were to get my bachelor’s degree in accounting and eventually become a CPA. I was working 6 to 7 days a week and barely making enough money to cover all my expenses. It got to the point where I couldn’t afford college anymore and I had to drop out. Then I was looking for a higher paying job that would allow me to go back to college.

My husband, boyfriend at the time, suggested that I look into real estate. He told me that his roommate who was a Realtor was making $10,000 a month. That caught my attention. I was tired of working evenings, weekends and holidays and still not making enough money to buy the things I needed. I decided to give real estate a try and that turned out to be one of the best decisions I have ever made.

How did I get here? Once I decided I would give real estate a try I enrolled in the required real estate classes to prepare me for the state exam and was able to get a second job as a real estate assistant for a top producing Broker who took the time to train me and show me the ropes. I was eager to learn everything about real estate and especially how to make a six-figure income.

In 2001, I got my real estate license and now it was time for me to get my own clients and start making real money. When my Broker told me that in order to get new clients I needed to go around the neighborhood, knock on doors and solicit business I wanted to quit and I nearly did. I was very afraid of failure and rejection. I also was struggling with anxiety and that made it very difficult for me to talk to people in general. However, my husband kept encouraging and supporting me through my emotional breakdowns and I kept moving forward.

I can still remember the very first day I went out prospecting on my own. It was a Friday afternoon and I stood outside the Wells Fargo Bank and started to hand out flyers of a home For Sale. At first, I was so afraid and embarrassed to be there. As people began asking me questions it got easier. This was the first step of overcoming my anxiety and getting a new start and I was on my way…. from that day I got my first client and sold my first home…. that was the start of my real estate career.

Today, I’m Real Estate broker and I own my own Real Estate and Escrow Company and manage 7 real estate agents and I enjoy being a real estate investor renovating homes with my partners since 2009. In 2011, I took the risk to open my own real estate company and have built a team of professionals; together we have added specialized services and knowledge that have contributed to the success of Las Lomas Realty, Inc., such as escrow services, property management, and notary services. We specialize in working with distress homeowners to help them avoid foreclosure as well as working with buyers and sellers in the south bay area.

Don’t get me wrong, being a real estate broker is not easy, it’s a lot of hard work and it’s very common for me to work long hours, often on the weekends, and I’m constantly under a lot of stress due to many things that can easily go wrong with any transaction if not properly handled. The real estate industry has had many ups and downs in the past 10 years and so have I. Taking the risk to start my own company and getting out of my comfort zone to deal with the constant rejection and uncertainty that real estate can bring has not been easy. Many times I have been close to quitting real estate.

I believe my passion and commitment for what I do is what has kept me going in this profession and I can honestly tell you that I love what I do because of the satisfaction I get every time I help a first time buyer get the keys to their new home and the strong relationships I have formed along the way. Today, aside from feeling proud of having my own real estate brokerage and being a successful real estate broker, I’m most proud of stepping out of my comfort zone and facing my fears which have paid off in a way I wasn’t expecting.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
Being a business woman that owns her own brokerage means having responsibility and overheads that many people don’t see such as rent, salaries, insurance, marketing, dues, etc. etc., and these bills need to get paid regardless if there is income coming in or not.

One of the main challenges in keeping up with the permanent changing market conditions and new competitors every day and keeping up to date with technology and new ways of doing business. Continuing education is a must in order to be informed of the new laws and regulations from city to a federal level affecting our industry. As well as understanding the best way to communicate with our clients whether it is texting, Facebook or in person.

Owning your own company requires leadership, hard work, sacrifices, accountability and mainly self-motivation. It’s very common for me to work long hours, often on the weekends, and I’m constantly under a lot of stress due to that many things can easily go wrong with any transaction.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Las Lomas Realty, Inc. – what should we know?
We are a real estate company offering the full range of real estate services representing buyers and sellers as well as investors specializing in residential real estate in the South Bay Area.

We are known for our loyal client base, for our personal and strong communication style, for going the extra mile for our clients even after we have closed the transaction and supporting our clients and partners in every aspect of the transaction.

As a company, we are very proud about every transaction we close successfully where both the seller and buyer are happy. Of course, we are especially proud of our recurring clients and the high referral rate that has made a job a success throughout the years. This is and will be always the best indicator for us that we have done our job in a good way.

Personally, I am very proud of what I have achieved as a Latino Business Woman in a very tough and competitive industry while at the same time keeping my family values and always having had the time to look after my own family.

Any shoutouts? Who else deserves credit in this story – who has played a meaningful role?
My Husband has been with me in every step of the way and without him, I wouldn’t be here as well as my extended Family and especially my sister who offer me their constant unconditional support and understanding.

My husband and sister both now have a real estate license and my sister has started working for me full time since a couple of years ago and has become my right hand. I consider myself blessed to have met very supportive brokers, lenders and service providers who mentored and trained me along the way. My partners with whom I learned and shared the risk of Real estate investments.

Credit goes to my team of agents who share my client approach and values.

My friends and especially my best friend who is also running her own brokerage. She was always there for me privately and for any questions I would have in regard to business…. she was supportive in every step of my company development.

Last but least the biggest credit goes to my clients for their loyal support and understanding that I am not perfect.

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