Jose and Claudia as featured in Broker Agent Magazine in 2007:
“It was destiny that brought us together”, says Claudia. Jose, a dashing young man from Villavicencio, Colombia (about 1.5 hours from Bogota), armed with a degree in Industrial Engineering, was in Murray, Kentucky, taking his MBA at Murray State University when he met the young and vibrant German/Mexican foreign exchange student of American Literature. How they both happened to be in the little historical town of 16,000 people at the same time, meeting and falling in love was in itself a fairy tale.
Coming from Colombia and Germany to the United States, both Jose and Claudia had the vision of living the American dream. Both had dreamed of coming to the United States since they were very young. Even before coming to the United States, they both knew they would succeed in anything they did because they are so driven to succeed.
Upon settling in Central Florida, Jose started in the real estate business with Claudia joining him in the business a year later. Jose and Claudia complement each other very well. Jose is an extrovert and does the prospecting and networking. Claudia, does the marketing and communications end of the business. Their approach to real estate is entirely refreshing. Even before going into real estate, their education and training prepared them for the business.
Jose’s MBA has taught him how to analyze, research and develop systems to make real estate transactions run very systematically and in an organized fashion. Claudia’s Associate Degree in Multimedia and Graphic Design as well as experience Internet marketing, has prepared her in the areas so vital to a successful real estate business. Their Web site is highly visited and has generated many referrals as well as relocation business. Claudia’s expertise in graphics allows her to produce high quality marketing pieces for their listings and attractive pieces for their buyers. This proper marketing is the key to moving their listings faster. They do realize however that although 80 percent of home buyers begin their search for homes on the Internet, it can never replace the personalized service a REALTOR can provide. Good representation is crucial on both the Seller’s side and the Buyer’s side. Still, the Internet will be a vital component of real estate marketing so Jose and Claudia are staying ahead of the competition by introducing advanced technology such as video streaming and podcasting. Claudia says, nowadays, even virtual tours are not enough. “We see ourselves as pioneers in marketing strategies and do all we can to truly showcase a home”.
For Jose and Claudia, real estate is not merely a hobby. They are so committed, they dream about it, they live it and breathe it everyday. In their very first year in business together, Jose and Claudia managed to make it to the top 5% of REALTORS in the Orlando Regional REALTOR Association (ORRA) and were awarded the Rookie of the Year Award. At Watson Realty, they had great success generating hundreds of leads from all over the world to develop Watson’s Relocation Business. Claudia and Jose are also members of the E-Business Team (the 2006 E-business Award, 2006 Rookie of the Year ,). They were also awarded the 2006 Silver Pinnacle Award and most recently, the 2006 President’s Award.
Jose and Claudia invest back into their business through education, marketing and hiring professionals and assistants. To improve themselves, they believe in the value of continuing education. Claudia has earned her E-Pro designation as well as the ALHS designation (Accredited Luxury Home Specialists). They are also working on becoming Accredited Home Staging Specialists to provide their home sellers with superior staging methods and ultimately increasing the net of their homes when selling.
Claudia is also working on getting the At Home with Diversity Certification that is personally important to her. She already studied this field as part of her BA in Germany. It has to do with the importance of intercultural communication (and about culture and cultural empathy.) Claudia says, “Very often, a wrong comment or gesture can ruin a business relationship. It is a delicate field and needs to be studied in depth.” Closely associated with this field is the Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) designation. Claudia’s ability to speak German, English and Spanish is a tremendous benefit when dealing with international customers.
Since Marketing plays a key role in their success, this progressive team invests heavily in new marketing methods for their customers’ properties. They consider themselves technologically advanced and offer their customers added benefits such as providing video slide shows of their listings on the Internet to make their listings stand out. “It requires a lot of research and time but in a fast-paced business, it is what you have to do to stay on top,” says Claudia.
Although they have customers all over Central Florida, their favorite area is West Sanford and they are constantly promoting this area to all of their customers. It is a natural for them as they live in the area as well. They are involved in the local community such as the Sanford Historic Welcome Center where they help in promoting historic Sanford as part of the area’s revitalization efforts. They also participate in monthly events such as “Alive after Five” every second Thursday where they have a booth to showcase their listings and provide information to those interested in real estate.
“We strive to always do the best job. Our marketing changes with the changes in the market. While others stick to the same old patterns, we adapt any marketing strategy to what is needed in the marketplace. In contrast to static methods, we consider ourselves dynamic.”
Aside from West Sanford, Jose and Claudia are developing a market share in Luxury Home communities such as Heathrow. “We have an excellent luxury marketing program and feel we have the resources needed to market luxury homes.”
Jose and Claudia are motivated by the loyalty of their customers and the challenges in the marketplace. “We love challenges because we know there is a creative solution to any problem. We never stop improving ourselves because there is always room to be better.”
When asked how they are different from other competitors, they provide a ready answer. “We do not give up easily. We are fighters and very ambitious. With every challenge we become thicker-skinned and become stronger as a result. In addition to that we have a huge advantage over many competitors with Claudia’s background in design and online marketing.” Jose goes on to say, “Another big advantage is our ability to fluently communicate in three languages. Since the Hispanic population in this area is growing rapidly, we have received some business from fellow REALTORS® that refer their customers to us.” Last but not least, Claudia adds, “Jose is an excellent negotiator. He has been in sales all his life and has amazing people skills. He knows how to negotiate a transaction and close a deal. Getting an offer is not hard. Taking this offer and converting it into a closing is the ‘big deal’.”
What has attributed to their success? Jose and Claudia concur that it is hard work, perseverance, openness, professionalism, and ambition. Claudia says, “Jose and I are very involved in our business and sometimes it is hard to set it aside. We enjoy it and envision our long-term goals. My mother always said, ‘Where there’s a will, there’s a way.’ That is so true. We will never forget how our very first sale fell through the night before closing. The only way to survive was to get up and keep running. Customers sometimes don’t realize how much we actually care. This is not just a business, but more of a passion.”
Aside from real estate, Jose and Claudia enjoy ballroom dancing, swimming, getting together with friends, watching movies and traveling whenever possible. As past World Reserve Champion, Jose is also an expert in Paso Fino horses and tries to make it to most of the local shows. They also enjoy the quaint restaurants and bars of historic Sanford. “We also try to make our customers our friends. At least half of them have become our close friends. We are interested in where they have come from and very often we share common experiences.”
As most fairy tales go, all indications show that Jose and Claudia are destined for continued success and “live happily ever after.”
Jose and Claudia (Jose Rodriguez and Claudia Mundlos), Realtors
Charles Rutenberg Realty
Jose & Claudia – Experience you can count on!
- Members of the National Association of Realtors (NAR), Florida Association of Realtors (FAR) and Orlando Regional Realtor Association
- Members of the International Council at ORRA
- Members of Home Builder’s Association of Metro Orlando
- Watson Realty President’s and Silver Pinnacle Awards
- GRI – Graduate Realtor Institute
- e-Pro Designation of NAR
- CDPE – Certified Distressed Property Expert
- Equator Platform Platinum, Short Sale Agent and REO Agent Certifications
- ALHS – Accredited Luxury Home Specialist
- ASP – Accredited Staging Professional
- Prudential Certified Relocation Specialist
- Leading Real Estate Companies of the World Relocation
- Member of the Young Professional Network of NAR
- New Home Specialists (Marketing inventory homes for builders like KB Homes, Ryland Homes and M/I Homes)
- Background: BA American Cultural Studies & Marketing, Internet Marketing Specialist, Graphic/Multimedia Designer (AIGA member)
- Languages: English, German, Spanish
- Blog: Sanford365 – Sanford FL Area Events and Life
- Background: MBA, BA Industrial Engineering
- Languages: English, Spanish
- Blog: Cafe con Jose – Tu Agente Inmobiliario en Orlando
Jose and Claudia are now expecting their second son, Lukas, in early April 2013.