The real estate industry is one which uniquely serves communities across the country with one common goal, to help Americans achieve the dream of homeownership. From differences in gender to ethnicity to sexual orientation, the diverse makeup of home buyers and sellers has never been more prominent. And when it comes to delivering the extraordinary for these unique groups, the power of representation has never been more important than it is right now. As we celebrate Hispanic Heritage month, Century 21 Real Estate is proud to honor the communities we serve and the relentless professionals who represent us on the front lines.
Did you know that the number of Latino business owners in the United States has surged by 34 percent over the past decade? In an industry where 10% of Realtors® identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino, the number of brokers/owners leading the way continues to grow. This month we sat down with three of our top-performing Latina business leaders and 2020 NAHREP Top 250 honorees, Peggy Clemente of CENTURY 21 Keystone Realty, Paulina Hurtado of CENTURY 21 Global Connections Realty, and Peggy Pratt Calle of CENTURY 21 North East, to learn what drives them and how they’re breaking barriers for future generations of Hispanic real estate entrepreneurs.
In the world of entrepreneurship, we know that mentorship is a critical factor in driving success, especially among the Hispanic community. How has this played a role in your career?
PRATT CALLE: Throughout my career, I have learned that you can find mentors in many places. From my first broker to a loan officer I worked with earlier on, inspiration came from both within and outside my office. Today, I am proud to mentor fellow Latinas looking to make their way in business including the admins in my office and a high school intern who worked with us last year. It is so important to pay it forward.
HURTADO: Mentorship and having a support system are critical to succeeding in any career. I was lucky to have an extremely supportive father who encouraged me to get my real estate license after a few years working in the banking and mortgage industry. He had his license as well and I had the chance to work side-by-side with him in the same office learning from the ground up. I owe a lot of my success to him and the support of other great agents that I worked with throughout my career. Now I make it a part of my mission to mentor the agents in my office and truly commit to their success.
CLEMENTE: My first broker taught me to do the right thing and always put the interests of our clients’ ahead of our own. When I started my own brokerage, I wanted to be able to pass on the knowledge and experience I had gained over the years to my agents. I’m also a huge supporter of the Century 21 Empowering Latinas scholarship program. When I first heard about it, I was so proud to hear that C21 was giving opportunities to talented, smart and hard-working Latinas who wouldn’t typically have the resources to become licensed and the support to start their own business with a globally recognized brand.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever got and what’s your advice to other Hispanic real estate entrepreneurs just starting out in this industry?
HURTADO: My father once told me to “always work hard and push yourself, even when things feel like they will fall apart – you will find a way to make it happen.” My advice to others is to never stop seeking ways to grow. Pursue your dream and use your passion to fuel your desire for success. Real estate is not easy but determination and hard work will get you there.
CLEMENTE: The best advice I received was preparation meets opportunity and failing to plan is planning to fail. A few pieces of advice from me: believe in yourself, never give up and never stop learning; be honest and do for your clients what you would do for yourself and surround yourself with likeminded people that help you rise.
PRATT CALLE: The best advice I got was simple: Stay true to yourself. For those starting out, I’d say always help your client to do what’s best for them and their family. Even if it means, in that moment that you’re not making money, trust me it will come back to you tenfold.
What key things can today’s real estate agents do to drive growth within the Hispanic market?
CLEMENTE: The top three things you should do are: understand the culture and what drives them, provide value by educating your clients and most importantly become involved in the Hispanic community as much as you can.
HURTADO: One of the most important things that agents can do is to gain the trust of the Hispanic community by being supportive, knowledgeable and available. Many members of the community are faced with language barriers, lack of knowledge of the laws related to real estate and loan qualification requirements. As agents, it’s up to you to provide this information in a way that is relevant to the client and serve as their guide as we help them achieve their dream of home ownership.
PRATT CALLE: The first thing you should do is educate yourself, whether it’s taking advantage of online classes right now or joining organizations such as NAHREP, to gain that understanding of both the industry and the culture. Then, most importantly, really listen to your clients. Learn what worries them, what drives them and put their needs first.
As Century 21 gets ready to celebrate its 50-year milestone, what do you envision for the future of your own business?
CLEMENTE: My goal is to grow a multicultural brokerage of highly skilled and educated professionals that goes above and beyond to meet their clients’ and community’s needs, goals and expectations.
PRATT CALLE: I run a small team. My vision is for them to grow and learn as much from me as possible so that they can prosper in their own businesses. Building a team that is empowered and self-sufficient also allows me to free up my own time to focus on growth.
HURTADO: My vision is to create an environment where my agents can grow and become successful, not just professionally but on the personal side as well. My desire as a leader is to influence those around me, instill the desire to achieve and provide the tools necessary to do that. My ultimate vision is to achieve greatness as a team!
To learn more about the CENTURY 21 Empowering Latinas program, visit: C21EmpoweringLatinas.com
If you have questions related to the CENTURY 21 Brand and Franchising,
please visit century21.com/about-us/franchise.
 Stanford Graduate School of Business Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative, 2019 State of Latino Entrepreneurship Report, https://www.gsb.stanford.edu/sites/default/files/publication-pdf/report-slei-state-latino-entrepreneurship-2019.pdf
 2020 National Association of Realtors Member Profile, https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/nar-member-profile-realtors-used-more-technology-cited-inventory-constraints