By Jason Alberty, Quad Cities Edition Real Producers
Patty Casas saw a need in the Quad Cities. The real estate scene was buzzing, but it was difficult to find REALTORS® fluent in Spanish.
“I’m very proud to have been born in Mexico,” says Patty. “My parents brought me and my siblings here when I was about 5 years old. I became an American citizen in the early ‘80s, attended Blackhawk College, and became a travel agent for a few years.”
After working for the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), she saw that need and decided it was the right move for her to make. “I am fluent in Spanish, and I saw a need for that in the QC community and surrounding areas.”
It was a good transition, but not without the usual struggles. “When I first started in real estate,” she says, “my main problem was that I didn’t know what I didn’t know.” But her persistence and love for helping clients, Spanish speaking or not, really helped to smooth out that learning curve.
“Also, I thought I would never be able to have a career in sales because I was very shy and thought I could never sell anything,” Patty continues. “Then I came to understand that real estate is not about ‘selling’ anything; it’s more about building a relationship with that client and providing them with the information so they can make an informed decision.”
Referrals and return clients are a great barometer of an agent’s success. And those have really helped Patty gauge her work. She has even worked with a client who loved her so much that the client wanted Patty to help her sell her business in Mexico. “Of course,” Patty says, “I couldn’t do that — for legal reasons — but I did put her in touch with a great agent that handled the transaction. That client still keeps in touch with me.”
Learning the ins and outs of real estate has produced some unexpected benefits. “Real estate has taught me how to better invest my money,” says Patty. “Having several properties is the best thing I could have done for my family.”
Last year she and her sister invested in their first property in Riviera Maya near Cancun, and the investment bug has really bitten them. Now, Patty is hoping to pass this bug on to her kids, Gerry, a Chicago Fire Department paramedic, and Aleks, a psychologist.
“Success,” Patty says, “is seeing my husband and children happy — making sure that I have a big part in helping them live fulfilled and happy lives.”
Which is how she feels about her clients. “I love to help people get into a home when they never thought they could become homeowners. I just love being part of making someone’s dream come true.”
Before COVID, her work with the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the ELLA (Empowering Latina Leadership Alliance) really helped her focus on networking and opening up her client base.
“Real estate is really about relationships,” she says. “It doesn’t matter what language my client speaks. You have to care about people, make them feel at home in the transaction. That’s why my motto has always been, ‘Mi Casa es Su Casa.’”