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Erika Basurto

How Latina entrepreneur Erika Basurto found success in real estate

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.

Erika Basurto

Erika Basurto, Bravo Investments, at Houston Hispanic ERA (Photo courtesy of Erika Basurto)

 

 

 

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.

real estate

Erika Basurto teaches Hispanic families in Houston and surrounding areas to invest in real estate. (Photo courtesy of Erika Basurto)

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.

real estate

Erika Basurto, overcoming barriers to achieve success as a real estate investor (Photo courtesy of Erika Basurto)

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.

 

You might be interested: Latina Career Coach Bonnie Negron gives advice for achieving career goals

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.

Houston HCC electoral commitment to boost Latino economic power

Dr, Laura Murillo, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO

Dr. Laura Murillo, Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce President and CEO

A major announcement regarding the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce (HHCC) commitment to encourage and support Latino participation in next year’s electoral process will take place at their 22nd Annual Luncheon & Business Expo this coming Thursday April 9 at the Hilton Americas Downtown 1600 Lamar Street in Houston.

The sold-out event, which will welcome 70 exhibitors and over 1600 visitors, is the largest business luncheon in the region, and its influence goes beyond the confines of promoting and advocating for Hispanic businesses.

“This year, marked as an electoral year for Presidential and Mayoral electoral campaigns, the Houston Hispanic Chamber of Commerce has positioned itself to support the electoral process motivating and encouraging people to register to vote,” said Dr. Laura Murillo, President and CEO of the chamber.

According to The City of Houston demographics, Latinos in the Houston area account for almost 1 million, representing 44 percent of the local population; however, said Dr Murillo, only 10 percent of Hispanics show up to vote during election years.

“We are launching our effort through our chamber’s media platform, which covers both the Spanish and English-speaking Latino population. This is not a partisan move; it is a concerted effort to propel Latinos to exercise their right to vote,” Dr. Murillo said toLIBizus.

Dr Laura Murillo hosting the HHCC's CBS TV show interviewing Texans President, Jamey Rootes.

Dr Laura Murillo hosting the HHCC’s CBS TV show interviewing Texans President, Jamey Rootes.

The chamber’s media platform is Dr. Murillo’s own initiative that includes radio and television shows on CBS and Univision. With a background in Communications and Public Administration, Dr. Murillo understood the role media plays in promoting the business organization’s activities. She is the founding host/producer for the chamber’s television program on CBS Channel 11 and for the radio program on Univision. Additionally, she is the founding host/producer for the chamber’s radio program on six CBS radio stations.

“It took us a long time to convince mainstream media to become our strategic partners but now they recognize the power of Latinos in the regional economic development,” she said. “Hispanics are a very diverse population, from country of origin to socio-economic status. We need to reach them all, and my commitment as the HHCC President and CEO is to encourage Latinos to be treated with the respect and professionalism we deserve,” she added.

As much as this effort seems necessary, it might also seem distant from the chamber’s traditional objectives, which is to promote and advocate for the 90,000 Hispanic businesses in the region.

“Not al all,” Dr. Murillo said, “Everything is related to business. For instance, the approval of the Export-Import Bank charter, now due in July, might greatly jeopardize the livelihood of many businesses –and the jobs they create– that depend on the agencies’ funding,” she explained.

The vision of this influential Latina, who has been recognized as “Most Powerful & Influential Women in Texas” by the National Diversity Council; “Woman of the Year” by Success Magazine; and the International Leadership Award by Texas Women’s Empowerment Foundation, is simple.

“Without the due political clout and representation, Latinos cannot find economic opportunities. Latinos are a silent voice and we need to empower our community in topics from comprehensive immigration reform and tax reform to energy policies, all topics important to the United States of America because they all relate to business,” she explained.

HHCC supports immigration reform

HHCC supports comprehensive immigration reform

During the Annual Luncheon and Business Expo, the chamber creates networking opportunities by connecting business owners to the corporate world. Seminars and workshops will be offered throughout the day by sponsors such as Port of Houston Authority, which will explain how to conduct business to and with potential vendors.

“The event has grown from a small luncheon to a full-day activity and business expo, very well-attended by large corporations’ CEOs, elected officials, business owners and also emerging leaders we recruit and prepare through our Foundation’s Emerging Leaders program,” Dr. Murillo said.

She has been the HHCC President and CEO for eight years but was previously involved with the chamber for 20 as board member and community leader. The organization has grown from a small group of members to the largest Hispanic chamber in the country, Dr. Murillo added.

“As the daughter of immigrants, it has been a personal privilege to help develop a strong Latino community in Houston and its region. Many important goals have been accomplished but certainly there is room to do more,” she concluded.

Emerging Leaders Institute graduates 2014

Emerging Leaders Institute graduates 2014