Real Estate Agent Magazine recently sat down with Las Vegas real estate agent and property manager Paul Pineda with ADG Realty. Prior to embarking on his very successful real estate career Pineda’s hands-on approach had more to do with the mechanics of automobiles. While this was a profitable career, he felt something was missing. He wanted a profession that not only allowed more flexibility and personal freedom but one where he would have the opportunity to meet people and explore his own entrepreneurial ambitions.
REAM: Tell us a little about your career prior to becoming a real estate agent.
PP: In 2002, after working as an automotive technician for Toyota for many years, I decided it was time for a career change which offered a more flexible work schedule and the opportunity to interact more with others. I enjoy meeting new people and that was definitely missing in my life at the time.
REAM: What prompted the transition to real estate?
PP: I’ve always been interested in real estate and thought becoming a real estate agent offered a more flexible schedule. Boy was I wrong! I don’t mind though; you never do mind long hours when you’re doing something you love. My parents bought and sold properties in California a long time ago and I saw how much money they made from those transactions and I really felt it was something I could be good at. I became a real estate agent on my own initiative. I wanted the exposure in the real estate industry and Las Vegas is an exciting place to be an agent.
REAM: What was your first year like?
PP: My first year was definitely tough and challenging. We’re told to reach out to our sphere of influence so I counted on family and friends for most of my transactions for education/experience. Looking back, I should have focused more on investing and property management, it’s an area I both enjoy and feel I serve my clients best. Building and maintaining that trust with my clients has been a crucial part in helping my business to grow and for me to enjoy the success I have. I know it sounds trite, but my clients become friends and they know I’ll always act in their best interest.
REAM: What do you enjoy most about your work?
PP: I enjoy meeting people from different parts of the country and the world. It’s truly amazing to me how many fascinating lives/stories are out there, you just need to reach out and connect with people. The world is filled with wonderful people and working in the real estate industry allows me the means and opportunity to meet so many of them.
REAM: What have been the greatest challenges?
PP: The most challenging aspect of this field, like many other fields I suppose, would be keeping up with technology that’s constantly changing. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. Especially given my background as a technician I find the innovations exciting and fascinating, it’s just a question of which products or tools will be most effective. I don’t want to jump on the band wagon and follow the “next big thing” unless I am convinced it’s something that will either directly benefit my clients or make my processes faster/more efficient to better serve them.
REAM: Have you encountered any strange or scary situations in your work?
PP: Being a property manager can be scary at times especially when you discover squatters in a vacant property. You either have to be very brave or a little crazy to be a PM. Fortunately, nothing has ever been life-threatening but just the fact that you never know what or who you might encounter at a vacant property can be a little stressful at times.
REAM: Is this what you expected it to be?
PP: Real estate is not exactly where I expected to end up. In order to survive and be successful, one must work very long hours – far more than the 40 Toyota required. I think I initially was a bit naïve about just how much I had to learn. From the outside looking in real estate seems pretty simple but there is so much to know about the market and that never stops. If you don’t stay current and well informed, you probably should choose another profession. My clients trust me to be the expert and give good advice, and I won’t let them down. Otherwise, with the advent of the internet, why would they need you?
REAM: If anything, what surprised you most about real estate?
PP: This probably isn’t the PC thing to admit, but honestly what surprised me most about being a real estate agent is the lack of professionalism in the industry. I take this profession and my responsibilities very seriously — not only to my clients but to my fellow agents. Knowing I am entrusted with handling one of the largest, most expensive asset a client has is humbling. It’s an honor to be given the privilege to sell someone’s home or investment.
REAM: What made you choose ADG Realty as your brokerage?
PP: My broker truly loves to share his knowledge and experience to help his agents not only become successful but better people as a whole whether it be a better father, brother or son. I feel ADG has offered me both the support and the independence to build and serve my business best.
REAM: What advice would you offer someone who, like you might want to switch careers?
PP: My advice to people considering the switch to real estate is be prepared to work long hours, be ethical and work your butt off! I would further suggest that they really research the industry and, if after seeing the actual effort and time that goes into it still want to pursue a real estate career, I would recommend finding a broker or other mentor. There is so much to learn and someone who has already walked the path can make it so much easier for a beginner.
REAM: Do you have a favorite quote?
PP: Yes, in fact I include it as part of my email signature: We don’t have to be smarter than the rest. We have to be more disciplined than the rest. — Warren Buffet
REAM: What do you do to relax?
PP: In my spare time, I like to watch sports like football or boxing, MMA. I like to spend time with my wife when she’s free. She’s as busy as I am so matching up schedules can be tricky. I also like working on my own cars and doing home improvements/projects like painting or landscaping. I like spending time with my children as well when they are available.
REAM: Do you ever miss your previous career or consider returning to it?
PP: That’s an easy and resounding NO. I do not miss my previous career, but I am grateful for all the friends I made along the way and experience I’ve learned working on cars.