Welcome to the newest installment of Agent Spotlight—the innovative segment of our blog where we highlight the outstanding agents here at Housing Scout.
In this installment, I sat down with Joe Maldonado, one of Housing Scout’s most experienced Real Estate Agents. Joe has consistently been a leader for Housing Scout—distinguishing himself with his impressive real estate knowledge and his warm, amiable personality.
Here is our Q&A:
Joe, thank you so much for agreeing to meet. I guess let’s just jump right into it! Why don’t you tell our readers a little bit about yourself? Where are you from?
No problem, Juan! Happy to help out. I’m originally from Lake Jackson; it’s a small town about an hour south of Houston. There is almost nothing to do out there, sadly. It’s nothing compared to Austin. When I moved to Austin seven years ago it was a huge eye-opener for me. I didn’t know what to do with myself when I first came up.
What did you study in college?
I actually studied Real Estate Finance. (Finance with a concentration in Real Estate.) I originally started with Finance, but that is primarily focused on corporate or investment finance. Those always seemed a little boring and repetitive to me, so I was looking for a way to break the monotony. When I tried Real Estate it was a much more dynamic field. It was exciting and interesting, so I decided to go more that route.
Very cool! So I’m assuming that you got involved with Real Estate through your classes?
Well, my end goal was to get involved in Real Estate. But my first job out of school was actually with a music licensing company. I did that for a while, but I always knew that I wanted to pursue something more Real Estate-focused. When I got in touch with Richie, I knew Housing Scout was a good fit. I think that leasing is a great way to start getting involved with Real Estate investments. You will definitely learn a lot.
What is something that you’ve learned after working in Real Estate?
You have no idea how much you can do in one day. I can do so much more in 7-8 hours now than what I used to think possible. I work with 5-6 people every day now—setting up tours, researching properties, handling paperwork, etc. It is super important to manage your time well, or it can get out of hand very quickly. Also, I have found that I really love working with people. I really enjoy the face-to-face interaction with my clients, and it fills me with joy to help find people a great place to live. I know that—living in Austin—it can be difficult sometimes. But yeah…I like it!
Alright, shifting gears here: do you have any hobbies or interests (outside of Real Estate)?
I love the outdoors. Hiking, biking, running—all of it. I also love being out on the lake. Summer is hands-down my favorite season. It definitely helps that there is so much to do in Austin. I’m also a big fan of road trips!
That’s interesting. Any memorable road trips?
The last shuttle launch. I called up a few friends and we drove (6 of us) in the middle of the night for 16 hours to make it to Cape Canaveral, Florida. That was intense! We had to take turns driving all night, and we had three in the back sleeping at any given time. We made it just in time for the launch. But it almost got canceled because of bad weather! Thankfully, though, the weather cleared up and the launch happened. It was one of the coolest things I’ve ever seen.
Okay, just some random questions now. Favorite movies?
Gone in Sixty Seconds. That’s the movie that brought back the ’67 Shelby Mustang GT. I actually just watched it over the weekend. Every time it comes on, I don’t leave until that car chase scene is over.
Favorite TV shows?
Arrow definitely. And also The Flash. I’d say those two are probably my favorites right now.
Ooh, that’s a little tougher! I recently read The Passage by Justin Cronin. That was an interesting twist on the whole “vampire” thing. I tend to gravitate more toward sci-fi. But I also like historical fiction. I recently read The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini and loved it.
Oh, man. That’s one of my favorites too. How about music? Any bands in particular that you like?
I’m not huge on live music—despite living in the live music capital of the world. I’ve never been the one to go find stuff myself. I do love classic rock, though. The Spazmatics are a favorite. Who knows, though. Maybe I’ll change my mind when SXSW rolls around. We’ll see what happens.
Alright, last question. Any tips for newcomers to Austin looking for their first place to live?
Definitely get a real estate agent. Before I got my license I tried searching on my own and it was impossible. You think you find all these great deals online, only to find out later that you’re getting screwed. It definitely helps to find a good real estate agent to help you out with the search. We are here to help!
See you next time on the next installment of Agent Spotlight.
Happy hunting, y’all!