Garcia characterizes herself as a “REALTOR® with rentals.” She began buying and managing apartment buildings at the age of 22 to earn income while her husband, Ivan, was finishing a master’s degree in animal behavior. When friends started asking for help in buying properties, she earned her broker’s license and started Garcia Properties. Today, in addition to closing 50 transaction sides in 2006, she and Ivan lease 250 units in 40 buildings they own.
Rent to own: Garcia uses her two businesses to create synergy. Although her apartment tenants all sign 12-month leases, she gives them the option to break their leases at any time if they buy a home through her company. To prepare her tenants to become owners, she offers to show would-be buyers how to check and, if need be, improve their credit.
Heavenly influence: A networker through such organizations as the River City Professionals, a group of local young entrepreneurs, Garcia says her father’s example taught her how to relate to people and formed the basis of her business plan: “My dad was a minister. I saw how great he was in connecting with and helping people. That’s something I try to bring to my sales team and clients.”