In celebration of National Hispanic Heritage Month, we invited Douglas Elliman agents to share their experiences and talk about the role their heritage has played in their real estate career.
Raphael Barragan, California Real Estate Agent
How do you prefer to identify yourself within the umbrella of “Hispanic Heritage”?
What aspects of your identity are most meaningful for you? Are there cultural traditions or historic moments or other elements that are a particular source of pride?
Mexican American families, like mine, place a strong emphasis on family and community bonds. Growing up, my family nurtured these bonds through regular traditions like Sunday mass, having dinners together every evening and making our grandparents a central part of our lives. My family is especially passionate about the arts so, we would regularly watch folklórico and Aztec dancing, as well as listen to the local Mariachis.
How did you find your path to success in real estate?
Within my own family, on the Mexican side, my grandparents, despite lacking access to higher education themselves, harbored a profound understanding of the transformative power it held. Their foresight led them to instill a deep appreciation for a quality education in my father, who, along with my mother, imparted to me the paramount importance of diligent study and self-improvement.
This unwavering commitment to education culminated in the opportunity for me to receive my degree in architecture from the University of California, Berkeley. The doors that have consistently swung open for me are opportunities I believe would have remained out of reach had I not been encouraged to prioritize my academic pursuits.
What values or elements of your heritage do you draw strength from in your work as an agent?
Mexican Americans have a history of overcoming challenges and adversity, which has fostered resilience and determination. This resilience has been a significant asset for me when facing professional obstacles.
How do you think brokerages like Elliman can help foster greater diversity in the industry?
Elliman has done an outstanding job as an industry leader in diversity, equity and inclusion. I believe our industry could continue to organize events and panels that feature diverse leaders and experts. We could also engage with diverse communities through philanthropy, partnerships and community service showing our commitment to being responsible members of our communities. It also would be wonderful to see mechanisms for our real estate community to be able to provide feedback to our leadership on diversity and inclusion efforts and then have the feedback acted upon to continuously improve our initiatives.