Hispanic Heritage Month Highlight: Raquel Benguiat

In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we invited Douglas Elliman brokers to share their experiences and speak concerning the function their heritage has performed of their actual property profession.

Raquel Benguiat, San Diego Real Estate Agent

Raquel Benguiat

How do you like to determine your self throughout the umbrella of “Hispanic Heritage”?

I determine as Mexican American, however my cultural heritage extends past Mexico to Turkey, Greece and Spain. My grandparents’ final cease earlier than immigrating to the U.S. within the Nineteen Sixties was Mexico, so I’ve a powerful connection to that tradition. However my identification is extra than simply my nationality. My Jewish upbringing can also be an vital a part of who I’m. All of those cultures have formed me, and I really feel a deep bond with their languages, music, meals and historical past. I additionally really feel a kinship with their folks each inside and out of doors the U.S.

It’s exhausting to elucidate my heritage to somebody who asks, “The place are you from?” It’s a query I get requested on a regular basis. I was uncertain why folks have been asking, and I used to be apprehensive that my English wasn’t good as a result of Spanish was my major language. However a smart buddy jogged my memory that my intonation is simply totally different. My statements generally sound like questions, which could be amusing, and I now embrace as a singular a part of my character I’m a singular fusion of my experiences rising up in California and the wealthy cultural traditions that I inherited from my household.

What facets of your identification are most significant for you? Are there cultural traditions or historic moments or different parts which are a selected supply of delight?

I’m so happy with my household’s historical past and cherish the traditions which have been handed down by way of the generations. I’m additionally grateful for the chance to stay in a rustic the place we’re free to apply our faith and embrace our tradition. My grandparents fled hazard and oppression, discovering security and freedom in Mexico and America. I’ll by no means take that with no consideration.

I really like passing on our wealthy heritage to my three daughters. They assist me once I cook dinner my grandmother’s particular meals and pay attention thoughtfully when my Argentinean husband tells them tales of his household’s immigration from Europe to South America. My house is a melting pot of cultures, and I really feel fortunate to share this with the following era.

One custom that could be very significant and brings collectively the perfect of all my cultures is internet hosting a Friday night time household dinner. It’s transferring to see a stupendous desk set with our favourite Mediterranean dishes, alongside a braided challah and freshly made stone-ground salsa. I do know my grandparents are proudly watching over us, understanding that their dream survived.

How did you discover your path to success in actual property?

Having a powerful work ethic is the cornerstone of my success. Actual property could be difficult, however I draw inspiration from my grandparents, who fled World Warfare II to return to Mexico. They arrived alone, not talking the language and with out a dime. Then they saved up sufficient to maneuver to the states, the place they needed to adapt to a brand new tradition and language once more. Their dedication and braveness have formed my view on overcoming challenges. I’m extremely happy with my household’s accomplishments and the contributions they’ve made to this nation that I really like a lot. At any time when I really feel annoyed, I remind myself of my household’s historical past, one which has repeatedly shattered boundaries. This comforts me, understanding I carry the identical power and resilience inside me. It’s reassuring to know that I’ve all of the instruments I must succeed. My success relies upon solely on me.

What values or parts of your heritage do you draw power from in your work as an agent?

Empathy has at all times been an enormous a part of my service. My various background has given me the flexibility to place myself in my shopper’s sneakers and perceive the rollercoaster of feelings that include dealing with an actual property transaction. There’s a very emotional facet of actual property that most individuals don’t see.

I lived in Argentina for 3 years after getting married and realized a complete new method to talk. Latin folks converse with a lot emotion and depth that it will probably typically be misunderstood. I realized to pay attention rigorously and search for the that means behind the phrases. This has been invaluable in my work as an actual property agent.

My tradition values relationships and group, so I’ve at all times realized to construct robust connections with my shoppers and colleagues. I earn their belief by being there for them once they want me, earlier than, throughout, and after the transaction. I care about what I do, and it reveals. It’s heartwarming to see my shoppers worth it too once they refer me to their household and buddies.

What affect, if any, has your identification had in your expertise in the actual property trade? Are there particular moments or episodes from over time that illustrate that have?

My identification has helped me in the actual property trade in a number of methods. My expertise residing and touring overseas has been important when working with shoppers from totally different cultures. Moreover, my background in psychology has given me a deep understanding of human habits, which is crucial for navigating troublesome folks or conditions that may come up in a transaction.

One particular instance that stands out is the primary time I helped a household who was transferring to america from Mexico. They didn’t converse English nicely and have been overwhelmed by the house shopping for course of. I acknowledged their vulnerability and was decided to assist. I defined the contract and escrow course of to them in Spanish, and so they instantly felt reassured and have been grateful that I took the time to elucidate issues that nobody else had.

It’s my obligation as an actual property agent to assist shoppers perceive what they’re signing, particularly if they aren’t fluent in English. I take the time to elucidate the authorized contract and reply any questions they could have. I always remember that I’m signing that contract with them too, and I take that accountability very significantly. If any points come up post-closing, I can have peace of thoughts that my shoppers have been totally knowledgeable of the dangers and duties related to their buy.

Placing my shopper’s wants first and going the additional mile is my means of exhibiting worth and care to the folks I signify.

What would you want your trade colleagues to know about your expertise and what can they do to be higher allies of your group?

As an actual property agent with a various background, I understand how vital it’s to really feel welcome and understood. That’s why I encourage my colleagues to study concerning the international locations, faiths, and customs of individuals from totally different cultures. This helps us construct robust rapport and belief early on and can even assist us keep away from by chance offending them. It’s additionally important to pay attention to the challenges that our shoppers could face, corresponding to language boundaries or discrimination, and to be conscious of their particular holidays and observances.

Being an ally to various communities additionally means recognizing our personal limitations. If there’s an agent who can higher serve a shopper on account of their experience in an space or language, companion up and work collectively to make sure that our shoppers really feel revered and supported.

How do you assume brokerages like Elliman will help foster higher variety within the trade?

Douglas Elliman is a frontrunner in variety and inclusion in the actual property trade. I’ve but to see one other firm that’s extra conscious, and I applaud the efforts that they’ve made to assist everybody really feel included, no matter race, faith or sexual orientation.

Different brokerages can study from Douglas Elliman’s instance and take steps to foster higher variety and inclusion within the trade. I’ve skilled firsthand the corporate’s dedication to making a welcoming surroundings for everybody by making a tradition of respect, inclusion and supporting a variety of causes and communities.

I’m proud to work for a corporation main the way in which on this vital work. My household historical past has taught me the significance of getting a house the place you’re welcome, cherished and protected. I’m grateful to Douglas Elliman for giving me a house away from house the place I really feel the identical means.

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