For Christian Fuentes, co-owner of RE/MAX Top Producers in Diamond Bar, Calif.—and president of NAHREP’s LA-San Gabriel Valley chapter—education is key when it comes to working toward NAHREP’s mission of achieving sustainable Latino homeownership.
Here, Fuentes discusses just how important education is to achieving the American Dream, and his plans for continuing to grow the chapter.
Paige Tepping: How did you get involved with NAHREP?
Christian Fuentes: I got involved with NAHREP about four years ago when I was named to the NAHREP Top 250 list. At the time, I knew about NAHREP and their mission of achieving sustainable Latino homeownership, but it wasn’t until after I attended my first convention that I truly realized just how incredible NAHREP was—from the type of people involved in the organization to the networking that takes place, the speakers they bring in for their events all the way down to the information they provide. After attending the convention, I was approached to become more involved, and I haven’t looked back since.
PT: What’s involved in your role as president of the LA-San Gabriel Valley chapter?
CF: As president, I’m the leader or image of the chapter. While the LA-San Gabriel Valley chapter has been in place for three years, it’s important to note that we came in very strong, with the goal of becoming one of the top chapters nationwide. One of my main goals as president is to ensure that we’re bringing value to our events so that each and every member that attends is inspired to grow their business by trying something different.
PT: How do you act upon your commitment to NAHREP’s mission of achieving sustainable Latino homeownership?
CF: First and foremost, through education. If you can sit down with a client and take the time to educate them, understand their financials, confirm that they have a consistent income and that they’re responsible and committed to owning home, you’re ultimately helping them achieve the American Dream. This is also setting them up to be able to afford a house long-term or pay it off and buy a bigger house when they’re ready to move-up. There are always going to be people who could qualify to buy a home, but they’re not educated enough to understand what they’re getting into. By focusing on education, we’re helping Latinos understand the process and protecting them throughout so that no one takes advantage of them.
PT: What milestones did you hit this past year?
CF: One of our most significant milestones is the growth we’ve experienced over the last three years. We started with 200 members, and today, we’re well over 500…and the year isn’t over yet. My goal is to take our membership to 1,000, and I’m still pushing for that. Another important milestone centers around our chapter being the first in California to sell 100 registrations to the NAHREP National Convention & Latin Music Festival, which took place last month. And last but not least, I would have to point to my president installation as being another chapter milestone. The event, which featured Brian Tracy as the keynote speaker, attracted over 400 people.
PT: What makes your events so successful?
CF: It’s all about bringing in the right speakers to make sure agents or lenders are getting something of value that will help them think bigger. We’ve also altered the way we conduct panels. Rather than having panelists speak about themselves, we’re focusing more on having them share information that attendees can take back to their offices and implement immediately. Whether it’s sharing five things new agents need to focus on to be successful or a struggle they went through when they were a new agent, we’re committed to providing attendees with the step-by-step tools they need to be successful. We’re also constantly thinking outside the box in order to create events that attract people from outside the real estate industry, as this is how we can continue to grow.
For more information, visit www.nahrep.org.