Luis Rodriguez (provided by Coldwell Banker Realty)
Mystic ― Born and raised in Puerto Rico, Luis Rodriguez joined his American mother in Windham when he was 16 years old.
He recalls visiting Windham High School and being amazed that it had a swimming pool and gymnasium, features he raved about when talking to family and friends in Puerto Rico. . At Windham High, he learned to speak English without the benefit of bilingual lessons. His mother insisted that he only enroll in classes where English was exclusively spoken.
“Needless to say, the first year wasn’t too productive, but it forced me to learn,” Rodriguez said.
Decades later, 54-year-old Rodriguez, who finally found his calling as a real estate agent, was recognized for his productivity. In June, the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals ranked him No. 82 among the Top 100 Latino Realtors in the Northeast, a 10-state region encompassing all six New England states as well as the Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania.
The 2022 honor was based on Rodriguez’s 23 residential deals in 2021, which weren’t even his best year. In 2020, he said, he closed 35 deals.
According to colleagues in the Coldwell Banker office at Mystic, Rodriguez is reluctant to draw attention to his success.
“He’s not defending himself. He’s so good, I think he should make sure everyone knows he’s so good,” Lynne Hubbard, the bureau’s head of brokerage, said recently, highlighting Rodriguez’s reviews on the bulletin board of the desk.
“I’d like to think I’m humble,” Rodriguez said. “As a real estate agent, I should brag more, but I don’t.”
Considered self-employed despite his affiliation with Coldwell Banker, Rodriguez lives in West Hartford and chooses to commute to and from the agency’s office at 80 Stonington Road and proudly considers himself “a product of Windham”. Licensed to sell real estate anywhere in Connecticut, its territory largely includes Hartford, New London, and Windham counties.
“Love the management, the region, the location,” he said of Coldwell Banker’s Mystic office and the market it serves.
Rodriguez did not pursue a career in real estate until 1999. After graduating from high school, he began studying civil engineering at Three Rivers Community College in Norwich, but left after a year. He attributes the brevity of his stay to a language barrier.
“It was technical, a different level of English,” he said of the material. “It was my fault. I didn’t ask for help.
Rodriguez went haywire for a time, working in carpentry and construction, then became a salesman for a frozen food distributor. When a manager left there to start his own business, Rodriguez accepted an offer to follow him and became manager himself, then regional manager.
Given the experience he has acquired in sales, his mother suggests that he go into real estate, a job that has interested him for a long time. He took the required course, got his real estate license, and quickly noticed that Latinos weren’t represented enough in the home buying process.
“I saw I had a niche,” Rodriguez said. “The Windham and Norwich areas were growth markets at that time. Latino buyers would look for a Latino agent. I am able to start quickly.
He said his Puerto Rican background tends to put Latino shoppers at ease.
“It gives them a level of comfort knowing that the person they’re telling about one of the biggest purchases of their life has already gone through the same process and overcome the hurdles thrown at you, whether deliberately or not. “, did he declare. said.
Rodriguez, a realtor by virtue of his membership in the National Association of Realtors and a commitment to adhere to its code of ethics, said it’s important for realtors and real estate agents to develop a network of professionals – lenders, lawyers, paralegals, appraisers, inspectors – who can earn a buyer’s trust. If one of the professionals fails to do their job, they can torpedo a sale.
“Successful agents have that network in place,” Rodriguez said.
During his 23 years with the company, he heard stories of discrimination against Latinos, but said he never witnessed it.
“I assure them the likelihood of that happening is not high,” he said, referring to those he represents. “I don’t pay attention to it. When I make an offer, I make sure I’ve done everything I could. If a seller declines an offer, I don’t even know why.
Probably the biggest reason for Rodriguez’s success is his work ethic.
“My thing is, I’m a hustler,” he said. “I’m known in my office for being a great producer. If I have to drive an hour to show a property, I drive an hour. Whatever the needs of a client, I try to satisfy them. Some Latino buyers want Latino lawyers, lenders, inspectors, appraisers. I make sure that language is not an obstacle.
If he can’t broker a deal, it’s not for lack of access to resources, he said. And that’s his approach with everyone, not just Latinos.
While some real estate agents pursue the profession as a second job or side business, Rodriguez does it full time. Only the activities of his family ― his wife Ivana and his sons Luka, 10, and Milan, 4 ― take precedence.
“That’s why you only see 23 transactions,” he said.