A panelist at Bisnow’s 2019 Power Women event July 11, OneWorld Properties President and CEO Peggy Olin shared how the connections she’s made with people helped her break through.
Twenty-five years ago, she arrived in Miami from her native Peru and began pursuing a career in banking.
The bank president and banker handling trusts and estates were both women who served as mentors.
“The most important skill I learned is building relationships and value in the relationships with your clients, with your coworkers,” Peggy says.
“I’ll never forget the first day that I was curious enough to look at a file and review a HUD statement. It was the best day of my life,” says Peggy, who had just handed the keys to the agent who handled the sale.
“I turned to the second page and I realized that they had made double my yearly salary on a real estate transaction. Of course, it piqued my interest. At the time, my daughter, who is sitting here today, was 2 years old. I said to myself, ‘There’s no way. I have to learn this business.’”
She worked on obtaining her real estate license on the weekends.
After she proudly announced at the bank she had earned her real estate license, she was told she couldn’t do both because of confidentiality reasons.
She chose real estate. But she wasn’t allowed to return to her desk.
“They met me downstairs with my box, and I walked out of there without a job as a single mom,” she recalls.
“And then it goes back to relationships. I had built great relationships.”
Three weeks later, after joining a realty company, a contact she had made at the bank helped her land her first client.
She sold a $3 million home on Key Biscayne.
“I realized very quickly that I had a passion for that business. It continued to help me grow relationships,” says Peggy, adding luxury real estate was her niche.
WCI Communities asked her to join its team. She had a successful career there for six years until the downturn in 2008, when she boldly started her own brokerage, OneWorld Properties, which has grown to have a real estate portfolio of over $1 billion.
“When you’re passionate about something, it’s so contagious and people see it,” she says, adding she lives by the credo: “The harder I work, the luckier I get.”
She says taking the time to connect with her staff, checking in on how they are, how their family is, is important. “They will be more motivated when they know you care about your team,” she says. “A couple of minutes makes a huge difference in how they feel.”
She says it’s also important to get feedback from the people you work with closely on how to improve.
When asked what she likes to read, Peggy said she starts her day with The Wall Street Journal sidebar and listens to business podcasts during her drives.
“One of my favorite books of all time has always been The Alchemist (by Paulo Coelho),” she says. “It changed a lot of my path at some point in my life.”
On mentoring, she recommends reaching out to people in real estate. “Remember people in our own industry will always give you a hand. I know all of us will,” she says.
To someone who wants to work with her: “When you’re giving value to someone, they’re more receptive. You really stand out. I’m showing you beforehand what I can do for you, what my resources are.”