Real estate Latina entrepreneur Erika Basurto found her strengths around her “weaknesses” as a Spanish-speaking immigrant. Since she lived the struggle of overcoming language barriers and learning a profession that would eventually open doors for her, she decided to give back to her community by creating investment opportunities for other Hispanic families in Texas.
Real estate is a tough business to break into, and that’s probably an understatement. And once you’re in, you still have to deal with the long hours and working on commission, among other challenges, to achieve success in the world of real estate.
That’s what makes Erika Basurto’s accomplishments so impressive. She founded two Real Estate Investors Associations (REIA), one of which is the Houston Hispanic REIA. She has also been hosting the Invierte en Bienes Raíces con Erika Basurto (Invest in Real Estate with Erika Basurto) radio show since 2016, where she talks about real estate aimed at the Hispanic community.
But before her success in such a competitive real estate industry, the challenges were doubly hard for Basurto because of the language barrier. Before moving to Houston, she lived in Mexico where she worked in logistics and didn’t speak much English. In an interview with Voyage Houston, she said that a chance encounter sparked her dream of finding success in the real estate industry. While working as a logistics store clerk, one of her customers asked her help in translating a real estate contract from English to Spanish, resulting in months of work.
The single mother earning $10 an hour was introduced to the possibility of making a lot more in less time. For Basurto, the choice was clear, albeit not easy to achieve.
During a guest appearance on The Landlord Survival Show (video above), she recounted how she started with a $500 class on wholesaling. Then she took another class worth $6,000, for which she had to borrow the money, and a few other classes that would help her gain the knowledge and skills — the tools she needed to find success in real estate. She also read books on subjects like attracting investors, watched free YouTube tutorials, and attended many networking events to foster connections with others in her field.
One of the main challenges she experienced was that there were no classes taught in Spanish. She admits that she struggled a lot with jargon and often felt disconnected from fellow realtors and clients. It’s what prompted her to establish the first REIA in Houston that caters specifically for the Hispanic community. They regularly host bilingual events on a variety of topics in real estate.
Considering that the Hispanic population in Texas is almost as big as the white population, and there are a lot more Spanish-speakers in the state, she realized that these initiatives would help a lot of people who are interested in finding real estate success, whether as an investor or career person.
As relayed above, Basurto wasn’t handed her title and reputation on a silver platter. She had to rise through the ranks starting with translating contracts. She also needed to get familiar with the hierarchy in the industry, and what to do to get to the next level.
A featured post on Yoreevo details the differences between a real estate agent and a broker — essentially, you have to gain a few years of experience as a real estate agent and reach a minimum number of deals before you can become a broker. Basurto is now a business partner at Bravo Investors, which allows her to harness her brokerage and entrepreneurial skills.
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In a competitive business such as real estate, ask yourself what it is that you can offer to the industry. Basurto knew that she wasn’t the only one who struggled with the language and she wanted to help others fill that gap. Her real estate success story tells us that even the toughest barriers can be broken with determination.
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