Agent Snapshot: Carlos Ibarra, Realtor, Keller Williams Metropolitan, Houston


Carlos Ibarra is a Realtor with Keller Williams Metropolitan in Houston.

What was your first job in the realty industry?
At the age of 19, I was the office administrator for Fouchek Realty in McAllen, Texas. For a time I was the one of the youngest agents in Texas.

Where did you grow up?
McAllen, Texas – The Rio Grande Valley

What is your favorite free-time activity?
Performing music with my band, Factor of 9, which was started with one of my clients. He is an oil and gas engineer specializing is riser design named Adam Szucs. My business is great for the friendships and not just the money.

I am also a single-engine private pilot and have flown throughout Texas for recreation. I hope to implement this activity for business in the near future.

What do you do to relax when you’re stressed?
Since I am about to turn 40, the honest answer is “working on my business.” Working ON my business is getting all my systems fine tuned and making sure that all forms, plans, campaigns, social media platforms, etc. are ready to roll. Working IN my business is the showing of, listing of and dealing with the transactions, which is what causes the stress!

Growing up, what did you want to be?
A rock star, and The Beatles was the only band I wanted to emulate. Thankfully, although I’m not touring worldwide, I did have the good fortune to record an album of original music with my band, Factor of 9.

If you could have lunch with a well-known figure (living or not), who would it be and why?
Sir Paul McCartney without a doubt. I would want to tell him how my mother played “Penny Lane” for me when I was four and danced with me. She introduced me to the love of music and The Beatles. I would go on to tell him how, when I was 33 in 2005 and my mother was fighting cancer, I called her one night when I went to the McCartney Houston concert at the Toyota Center, and when he played “Penny Lane,” I told her, “I’m sending it back to you and I love you.” The following year she passed.

Where is your favorite place to hang out?
Anywhere my daughters, Tori age 13, and Maria age 5, are.  We spend most of our time together, and we joke around a lot, eat and hang out.

What do you love most about the industry?
The ability to make a powerful impact in the life of my clients. It is very rewarding when you see the a buyer get their keys at the closing table and know that you have helped them “find their way home.” That statement means a lot to me!

How do you distinguish yourself from the crowd of agents?
I am absolutely not the “Average Frustrated Agent” (AFA). I have passion about serving my clients way above and beyond the typical agent, who on average doesn’t invest the proper time, money or resources to hone their craft effectively.

My efforts are established to attract – not chase – business, and in making this effort, it takes the proper coaching, mind-set and dedication to the profession. Some of my clients have become lifelong friends, and as I mentioned, having an engineer client as a songwriting partner and band mate is not replicated easily by others in my business.

What is the most difficult aspect of your job?
The greatest difficulty at present is that I have nearly 10 major projects to implement in order to capture new business, and I am a one-man office at the moment.  I have had assistants in the past, but because of the downturn in recent years, I had to scale back. Although I am excited in getting all my campaigns started, I have to take one step at a time and invest the proper time on it to see it applied correctly.

Where do you go to network and meet new clients?
I have to be very careful with my time in going out to network for clients. For clients, I have email campaigns, FSBO/expired campaigns and use my website to reach out for new business.

Many networking events that I have been to in the past are primarily industry gatherings that have very little value for making new client contacts. I can have a drink with my colleagues without a problem, but when it comes to gathering clients, I have to be very careful not to waste time on happy hours and such.

What has been your greatest accomplishment?

Personally: My two daughters, and being there every step of the way during my mother’s illness.

Professionally: Having a buyer couple (engineer and attorney) say to me that they are so grateful that I was there to make their deal happen when there were numerous roadblocks right down to the date of closing.

Also, having been able to make the sort of money that I always dreamed of when I was a kid.

What was the last good movie you saw or book you read?
I don’t watch movies much. The last book I read is called “The Ultimate Sales Machine” by Chet Holmes, which I finished two weeks ago. This is my business bible and I recommend you reading it if you haven’t already. It is AWESOME from cover to cover. I read two books a month about my business.

What is your favorite restaurant?
At the moment it’s RA Sushi Bar Restaurant on Westheimer. I take my daughters there on Saturdays and the atmosphere with the music and great food is awesome.

Architecturally speaking, what is your favorite building in Houston?
The former Enron Building. It has a very clean and sleek look to it.

What kind of car do you drive?
Black Mercedes Benz E320.

Smartphone or Paper?
For my appointments, nothing beats a Paper Daytimer for me!  Smartphones have their great benefit, but I like putting pen to paper too.

What is your favorite city after Houston?
New York City. That place is the modern day Rome! I love NYC!

In 10 words or less, what is your advice for someone new to the industry?
Get the proper coaching that a broker will not provide.

What’s your favorite Real Estate iPhone/ Blackberry app?
PDF Reader without a doubt!

Who are your favorite people to follow on Twitter?
Any Victoria Secret model works for me!

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