We had the good fortune of connecting with Ericka Contreras and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Ericka, is there something you can share with us that those outside of the industry might not be aware of?
This could be true for many industries, but the real estate industry, in particular, comes off as being easy and super luxurious.
Most people think that we spend our days in beautiful homes, closing deals left and right, and while that is part of it, most people don’t realize that there are many steps in between and so much work that goes into every deal we close.
That belief is why there is such a high failure rate within the industry. Social media is the main contributor to this perception because people see us dressed up, showing beautiful homes, going to events, and think that is all it takes. They don’t see all the work that goes behind hosting an open house, following up on leads, writing contracts, studying the market, staying up to date with changes in mortgage lending/rates, creating an offer, listing a home, pricing a home, the list goes on…
That is why a renter, buyer, seller must make sure to work with a knowledgeable realtor. There is so much to navigate in a real estate transaction, and you want a trusted realtor working on your behalf.
I also don’t say this to deter anyone from becoming a realtor. Instead, it is to prepare you for what you don’t see on social media.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
Currently, I am a real estate agent in Houston, but before that, I had a career in Human Resources (HR) and worked for a range of start-ups and Fortune 500s. I started at the administrative level and worked my way up to the manager level. I enjoyed my time in HR, but after a while, I felt like I wanted MORE. I was not sure what “more” looked like, but I knew I wanted to help others and myself at a level that HR did not allow me. After a lot of thought and research, I decided to give real estate a shot.
The journey has not been easy, but that has made it 100X more rewarding than anything I have ever done. One of the biggest lessons that I have learned since starting real estate is that your success will only be as great as the effort you put in. Business doesn’t just naturally appear, you have to hustle every day to create it, and no one will be there to motivate you but you. The most rewarding part of this journey has been helping the clients that have trusted me with their real estate needs, regardless of the transaction amount. Every client is special to me and deserves someone on their side who will go to bat for them.
I am not only a realtor but also your guide to Houston. I love exploring and taking part in all that the city has to offer and always make sure to share it with everyone I can – client or not.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Let’s start with what Houston is known for, the food. I would make sure to take my friends to Truth BBQ for their barbeque fix. If you plan to go to Truth BBQ, you have to make sure to get there early, so this would be a great weekend brunch option. My other go-tos for food are the many food halls in Houston, as they cater to various pallets. Railway Heights is one of the newer food halls in Houston, and my two favorite food vendors there are Peaky Grinder and Sandos. I would also be sure to take my guests to China-Town in Bellaire, which has a ton of great food options. For coffee, my new favorite spot to take friends is Sunday Press in Garden Oaks or a Heights staple; EQ Heights.
Anytime I have friends in town, I make sure to show off our beautiful skyline, and my favorite ways to do that are a bike ride along buffalo bayou and grabbing a beer (or two) at Buff Brew. On the topic of drinks, I also enjoy taking friends to Truck Yard Houston or one of the many patio restaurants/bars like Bungalow Heights.
Lastly, I couldn’t miss taking friends to the Museum of Fine Arts and exploring the Museum District, including Cloud Column and Herman Park.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Many people in my life deserve a shoutout, and I can’t pick just one, so I will choose a book instead: You are a Badass, by Jen Sincero.
It is a self-help book, but the fun kind. It is light, funny, and includes actionable items (my favorite part). It is one of the books that helped me take the leap to leave my 9-5 to start a career in real estate. For anyone needing that extra push to realize how much of a badass they are, I highly recommend this easy read.
Martin Framez – Instagram: martin_framez Yash – Instagram: banaveunuephotog