Navigating Connecticut’s hot real estate market is challenging enough, but imagine trying to do so without fully understanding the language.
One local agent sees a huge demand for bilingual realtors from Spanish-speaking homebuyers.
At Keller Williams in Wallingford, Leticia Rodriguez speaks with many of her clients in Spanish.
“Hola, how is this? Buenas tardes, ”she said while answering a call.
Rodriguez said she is meeting a need in the real estate market.
Every day, I do this every day, ”she said. “I get Spanish buyers all the time.”
Rodriguez said in a typical year she sells about 45 houses to Spanish-speaking homebuyers. She gets several inquiries every week.
“I get like 15 calls from different buyers that want to buy,” she said.
She is fielding these calls from all across the state, because there aren’t many realtors that are bilingual, Rodriguez said.
“To be honest, I think it’s not enough for all the demand that we have,” Rodriguez said. “We have a very strong community that wants to invest in real estate, while not enough realtors.”
Rodriguez works with both sellers and buyers, helping clients secure loans and translate contracts. She also navigates bidding wars, something all the more common now with skyrocketing demand in Connecticut in the light of the pandemic.
“I think it’s very important because it’s the biggest purchase in their lives,” she said. “It’s important that they know what they’re really doing and what they’re paying for, so you don’t have any surprises at the end.”
She is helping people like Maria Cristina Rodriguez and her niece who is also a client. She bought a house in Wallingford in 2019, relying on Rodriguez to close the deal.
Maria Cristina Rodriguez said negotiating in the language she feels most comfortable speaking was a good experience.
“Because she’s bilingual,” she said about her aunt in Spanish. “It’s important that she works with the two languages.”
According to the annual State of Hispanic Homeownership Report, nationwide the home ownership rate for Latinos has consistently increased for the past 7 years, reaching 48.4 percent in 2021.
In that timeframe, between 2015 and 2021, Latinos bought more than 1.3 million households.
Now with a red-hot housing market, Rodriguez said it is even more crucial for people to partner with a realtor they can rely on.
“It’s very important to find those not just a realtor that speaks your own language, it’s important to find also a realtor that you trust,” she said.
The National Association of Realtors also has online resource for Spanish-speakers in the market, on its website NAR en Espanol.