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From Nothing To The Top 7% Percent In Real Estate With Joe And Lety Torres

What’s your backstory? 


(Lety) We both have parents who immigrated to the US from Mexico. We were fortunate to be born and raised in beautiful Lake Chelan, WA. Lake Chelan at that time was a small town with only a few Latinos.  Both sets of our parents worked really hard in apple orchards, pear orchards and packing sheds. In the summers we would both work with our parents to help them out. As kids we both experienced many hardships and traumas that come with growing up in poverty, being first gen Americans, cultural differences and racism to name a few. But even with that we both had happy lives.


(Joe) I was jumped into a gang at the age of 13 and that started a long list of illegal activity, violence, arrests and drug addiction. I was kicked out of school at 15 years old. At 16 I moved to California on a whim with some friends where I spent the next few years. While in Cali I was arrested and ended up in jail. When I was released I went back to Lake Chelan. My history in the gang is something I do not talk about often because I’ve worked so hard to overcome it and be better for my family.


(Lety) I grew up in a typical Mexican household. Dad and mom both worked really hard all of the time. My parents did not know English for a long time so I often found myself translating for them for different appointments and meetings. Many of my family members were illegal so in a way I lived a life in hiding because those around me had to. I grew up around family friends and family that were involved in drugs and weapons sales so I experienced the things that come with that at a young age. I was a shy kid, was not involved in any sports and had a small group of friends. I often refer to myself in that time as the invisible girl.


(Joe) We met when I came back to Lake Chelan from California. We dated for a few years and got married shortly after. We were married for about 6 months before we decided to pack up what we could fit into our car and took off to Arizona for an adventure of a lifetime.


(Lety) We had nothing. Living in a tiny studio apartment filled with cardboard boxes. Homeless people would fall asleep on the front porch. Gunshots were a frequent occurrence in the neighborhood. Joe was in a car accident caused by a semi-truck which totaled our car and injured his back. He was in excruciating pain for over a year. He was not able to work for a long time because of it. He could barely move. I remember when we literally only had $1.00 in the bank and I would pack a plain baked potato with a packet of mayo for my lunch break at work. I was working 3 jobs at one point to try and make ends meet. 1 full time and 2 part time jobs.


(Joe) We both worked really hard to obtain careers we enjoyed and grew professionally and personally. Lety started going to college to obtain her Bachelors degree and I attended a Music Engineering school. We both started advancing in our careers and things were looking great! We purchased a beautiful home directly across the street from an elementary school where we envisioned our future kids would be able to attend. That is when things changed quickly. The economy in Arizona crashed and both of us lost our jobs. Lety had a miscarriage which left us both devastated. The ripple continued and we lost our house and our only vehicle was repossessed.


(Lety) At that point we decided to move to Tri-Cities, WA with borrowed money. We found a room for rent and started working. We transformed our lives. We both grew tremendously and learned so much from the jobs we had. Joe spent 11 years with Amazon and I was with Career Path Services for almost 10 years. During this time we had 4 children, began volunteering and joined local boards to help make a difference in the community. When our oldest child was about 4 years old we decided to homeschool our children. And so our story of being a husband and wife team begins….


(Joe) The decision to homeschool our kids had us thinking about different career paths. I obtained my Real Estate License and it gave me the opportunity to spend more time with our kids. Lety began helping to keep me organized and later obtained her Real Estate License and joined me.


(Lety) We worked through some challenges in the beginning that come with the territory. Working with your spouse, working primarily from home, working odd days/hours. All of those things can cause friction but we worked through them and are now a kick ass husband and wife team that effectively balances homeschool, family life, volunteering, Board responsibilities and our real estate business. We do it so well that when people find out how much is on our plate they can’t believe it! I think this is because we do such a good job at balancing our responsibilities and we have our priorities straight. When we are with you we are with you! We are not distracted. We are 100% focused on you. We give our heart when serving our clients. We focus on efficiency, ongoing communication, organization and timeliness.


What made you decide to choose this career path? 


(Lety) We wanted to be able to have control of our schedules so that we can dedicate our time to things we are passionate about like homeschooling, spending time with our kids, volunteering and serving our community. We had a negative experience when we purchased our home a few years ago and had also heard from other people who felt underrepresented. They deserve better so we are here serving them with all of our hearts. We also feel that generational wealth can come from real estate investing and not many people talk about it. Our families did not talk about it because it was never anything that looked like it was even possible. We hope to educate and show our community that generational wealth is possible; we just have to start somewhere. One step at a time.


Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?


(Lety) When I first started I got locked out of a house my clients were purchasing. I left the house key on the counter in the kitchen. I tried breaking in 🙂 but did not succeed. I had to call a locksmith and pay him to unlock the home.

What do you think makes your company/personal brand stand out? 


(Joe) It is important to us that we be ourselves. We have grown as people and are proud of that. Lety manages our social media and she does a really good job of sharing our family life and business life in a way that represents what we are about. We share successes and challenges that we experience in our business, how homeschooling is going, our hiking adventures and also spotlights on local businesses and community events.


(Lety) We put a lot of heart into serving our clients as a team. Every client is part of our team. We work really hard at making sure our clients know exactly what is happening at all times and why. We make ourselves available to them 24/7 for any questions or conversations. We do not care if they call us late or on a weekend because we LOVE what we get to do for them! Buying or selling real estate is a big deal and we want to make sure our clients have all of the info they need to make informed and educated decisions.


What’s a quote that you live by? 

“Think without limits.”


(Lety) We do not remember what book we read that quote in, but it has stuck with us. When we think we are not deserving or capable of something we limit ourselves. We basically become our own road block. We have found that when we think without any limits we find creative ways to make things possible and make things work. 


Our 1st year as a team we stepped into our potential making it to the Top 10% in the BHHS nationwide network. Our 2nd year we made it to the Top 7%. We have now been featured in two real estate magazines and a nationwide podcast. We stopped limiting ourselves with our own thoughts. Everything is possible, you just need to take massive action. 

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