As a Charlotte native who grew up in Colombia, I am happy to once again call the Queen City home and to be part of its exciting real estate/home building/renovating community.
The transition back to the states, however, was not without its challenges. My sister followed me back to Charlotte and after a year was tragically killed in a car accident involving a drunk driver. At the time I was a 20-year old student at UNCC working part-time while pursuing a degree in International Business. Being my sister’s only relative in the U.S., the burden of dealing with the criminal, legal and financial details of her death fell on my shoulders. This tough situation and the resulting settlement affected me profoundly as I strove to educate myself in how to honor my sister’s life while becoming a responsible steward of her legacy.
I have always been very close to my grandfather in Colombia, an entrepreneur who owns and manages many real estate investments. After I graduated and started a family I had many discussions with him about my own desire to work independently rather than be someone’s employee. By this time my younger brother, Juan, had also returned to Charlotte and was attending UNCC.
In 2008 my grandfather made a proposition that changed my life: He would lend me the money to start a business as long as Juan and I agreed to work as partners. I was extremely grateful for both his generosity and for his confidence in my abilities and my future. While Juan and I looked forward to working together, he was younger than me and still in college. I took some time off to study the residential real estate market in Charlotte, and in 2010 Juan and I were ready to undertake our first real estate investment project, a $120,000 home renovation. We continued buying and updating residential properties in the neighborhoods near Uptown where we saw the greatest potential.
Today my brother and I own Property Redevelopment Group, a general contracting business, working as equal partners, making all the major decisions together. To streamline the real estate transactions process, I became a licensed realtor/broker in 2012 and now work as my own buyers and sellers agent through Savvy + Company Real Estate. I handle accounting and all the transactions, executing contracts and fostering relationships with lenders and third parties. Juan, now a licensed contractor, is on site every day managing multiple construction projects. To date we have been involved in over 30 residential projects.
We approach our business as a people-first enterprise, regarding our investors and contractors as partners who share in our successes. By welcoming our contractors to invest in our properties, they become as motivated as we are to complete the project on time, on budget, and to the highest possible standard. If they experience problems we are in their court finding solutions. We also foster positive relationships with the people in the communities we work in, getting to know neighbors and finding ways to help them.
The future of our business is directed toward new construction, both of single-family homes and multi-family properties. Trusted third parties have become our investors, our friends, and our partners as we continually move forward with new projects.
We respected the faith our grandfather showed in us with his initial investment and worked hard to prove ourselves worthy of his confidence. As our business network has expanded, we treat our extended family of clients, contractors, and partners with the same respect we have for our own grandfather.