Monday, March 5, 2012

Informational Interview with a Realtor

Interview with Krista Huerta
 By Moses Menchaca

            Many of us have fond memories of the house that we grew up in. These memories could be the scratches on a door frame that measured how tall we grew every week or running around in the front yard with our family dog. What most people neglect when thinking about their home is the person who helped them purchase it. I recently had the privilege of interviewing someone who helps families purchase houses and start this dream. Krista Huerta, a realtor since 2004, has had helped many families turn their dreams into realities.
            Krista said that a realtor is someone people contact when they are interested in buying or selling a property. She noted that they act as middlemen between the buyer and seller, acting in the best interest of their client. She mentioned that realtors handle all the paperwork, answer phone calls, present the final contract to clients, and submit the contract to a title officer. As a realtor, Krista would go into her office to check messages and emails. She would plan the following day by scheduling appointments with buyers and sellers to show homes or list properties. She would then attend a couple appointments she had scheduled the previous day and usually have lunch with a title officer. She would then have to meet with other clients until she went back to her office, usually around 4. Krista would look over files for homes going into or currently in escrow. This was usually followed by any phone calls that she had to make. Even though she would pack up and leave the office by 6, her job was never really over. She mentioned that her phone would always be ringing and there was rarely a day off. She has even shown homes on Christmas Eve and answered phone calls up until midnight. When she wasn’t showing homes, Krista had to attend functions to stay connected and build relationships with various parties such as title officers and escrow officers. Despite the stressful work environment that being a realtor entails, Krista loves her job.
            Her passion for her occupation began at an early age. She remembers checking out model homes with her parents when she was a kid and found it very interesting. Her interest for homes sparked the idea of becoming a realtor. After looking into it, she found that being a realtor was not only something fun and exciting, but it also paid well. When I asked Krista what kind of skills and personalities it takes to become a successful realtor she immediately responded with, “You have to be a people person.” She says you are meeting and talking to people all day long. In order to be a realtor you must also have good problem solving skills. She chuckled and said, “And you must have the ability to calm people down when something goes not as planned. There is always something that comes up.” It was apparent the Krista really enjoys selling houses and so I asked her what she loves about her job. She said the best thing to see is when she gets to meet with a client at their new house and give them the keys. She also said that, at times, the job can be very difficult. The most difficult thing she had to deal with was constantly doing damage control while houses were in escrow. Unfortunately, Krista’s love for people and making their dreams come true has experienced some strain due to the current housing crisis.
            Krista’s success as a realtor began to slow down as the housing market collapsed; however, her passion did not. She said she was significantly affected and had to stop advertising, which used to spend thousands of dollars a year to do. She was only able to make a quarter of what she used to and all aspects of the business had to be cut back. Her eyes lit up when I brought up the idea about other students pursuing a career in real estate. Her advice is to research the company (broker) you want to get a job with because they are your partner and you need to make the correct choice for you. I asked Krista if she could go back in time and choose to become a realtor would she. She did not hesitate to say, “Absolutely! It is something I will always love to do even if it is not my primary job. The rewards are worth it.”
            After conducting this interview it is apparent that Krista loves people, loves her job, and loves making dreams become realities. It was amazing to see things that we have learned about in our Finance class in practice. Many things we have read about in the text book echo exactly what Krista has said. Being a realtor is a people business, does require a lot of time and effort, and making relationships with other people involved in the real estate market is very important. I would like to thank Krista for her help and her time and wish her the best of luck in her future endeavors. I hope one day the housing market will pick up so Krista can fulfill her dream by making other peoples’ dreams come true.

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