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Hispanic Real Estate Organization Makes Its Way to Western Oregon

Written by Luis Ramirez on Nov. 12th, 2023
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The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals officially made its debut in Oregon this month after jumping through some hoops to become a full-fledged chapter.

The organization is a national one, but several Real Estate members in the community wanted to spearhead a chapter in Oregon to focus on real issues and information that goes on in their own communities.

Lilliana Barron, Ismael Zuniga, and Hector Garcia, prominent Salem real estate agents specializing in the Latino cultural market, played pivotal roles in establishing the association in our region. 

The Oregon-based chapter had its ribbon cutting and first official meeting and settled on the name NAHREP (National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals) Western Oregon as they’ll be helping serve the communities up and down the I-5 corridor. 

“Our goal would be to help the Hispanic community achieve wealth through home ownership,” NAHREP secretary Lilliana Barron said. “We want to help the community have access and be able to buy houses. We don’t close our doors to other professionals involved in Real Estate and welcome everyone.”

This has been a two-year process, but in that time, the support has been overwhelming. The organization originally needed 45-50 members to become a chapter, yet they currently stand at 112 members and counting. This group includes 13 board members who have helped spearhead the movement.

The Oregon Association of Realtors helped give the group some pointers on how to start communicating and forming the group with nationals. Becoming a chapter was long and arduous, but they stuck with it and achieved their goal.

“Felicity Cortese from our board was very involved with Nationals and was talking to them constantly to help guide us on what we needed to do since it was a very long process,” Barron said. “It was tough at the beginning, and it required a lot of work and effort. The first question we asked was who was willing to commit for two years?” 

The group will be a boon for the community as it’ll help the Hispanic population with any housing questions they may have.

“We want to help the community and support them in any way we can,” Barron said. Our purpose is to educate the professionals so they can serve the community properly. Anybody involved in real estate can be a member. If there’s an agent that really serves the community and really sees value in the Hispanic community to help them or be open to helping them purchase homes.”

Salem City Councilman Jose Gonzalez is a huge advocate for the group. He is currently the President of Tu Casa Real Estate and helped co-found the Latino Business Alliance.

“In my opinion, there are some extra challenges that need to be overcome,” Gonzalez said. “Part of it is advocacy and culture. It brings realtors and lenders that serve that community together to support each other, get to know each other, share best practices, and really build trust amongst themselves.”

The organization will impact everybody involved in the home-buying process. 

“At a high level, it’s important because it gives us policymakers a one-stop shop to go in and learn quickly from a group of people that are committed to the same effort,” Gonzalez said. “We’re able to bounce ideas off each other and look for them for solutions. If people are able to trust each other and work together, folks can single out the bad players.”

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