SBAOR REALTOR® Success Story: Mina Semenza

DSCF1007Mina Semenza is a REALTOR® associate at Ken Nakaoka Real Estate Company and a member of the SBAOR Board of Directors. Here, she shares a bit about her journey in real estate and how she got involved in SBAOR!

How long have you been working in real estate? Where do you work currently?

I have been working in real estate for 10 years. I work at a small brokerage called Ken Nakaoka Real Estate Company that’s been in the city of Gardena for 60 years.

Have all your years in real estate been here in the South Bay?

Yes, and all at this brokerage!

When did you become involved with SBAOR?

I became involved about a year into my real estate career. One of the broker associates at Ken Nakaoka was a gentleman who was in the Board of Directors, and encouraged me to get involved in something of interest. I decided that I would like to get involved in Government Affairs at SBAOR. That’s how I got started, probably about 9 years ago. At that time, Government Affairs was a lot smaller, and I also got involved with what is now called the Global Committee. I’m also a member of the Board of Directors, and a director for California Association of REALTORS®.

What tools have you found useful at SBAOR?

My association has given me value. I’ve taken a lot of classes there, and found them very valuable. The designation courses are very good, and I took the negotiation expert course recently and learned a lot. It’s great to have them offered at our association. Our staff does a great job with what they offer. It’s been a great place to network and build relationships with other REALTORS®!

What have you found about yourself that has surprised you due to your career in real estate?

I never realized how much of an impact I would have on my clients’ lives. Being able to be there for them and being their REALTOR® for life. Being able to help them get a home, because it’s such a big deal for people when they buy homes today. I’ve had a wide variety of ages of people I’ve worked with, and I have seen them go from single to married, married to babies, or on their second baby and needing a bigger house. I recently got a call from a client that asked for advice because he got a job offer in Japan, and he didn’t know what to do about his house. I was able to help provide resources to help him make a decision. I love that we can become good friends with clients. I love what I do–it’s a great career.

What type of advice would you give someone who is just starting out?

I would tell them they need to be very patient. You have to be very diligent about what you’re doing, and have perseverance and high ethics.

If someone is on the fence about joining SBAOR, what would you tell them?

They should try it, and talk to me in a couple of months. Many people may be resistant to volunteering because they think it’s just giving up time, but it can actually be enriching to us as individuals. You’re also helping the industry, and it’s a great way to learn and network!

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