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Anyone who has emigrated knows how difficult it is to arrive in a country without having anyone to guide you. You don’t know the addresses, which supermarkets have the best prices, how heavy the state bureaucracy is or in which school it is convenient to enroll the children. A minimum of advice is always necessary.
As time goes by, once stable and after reaching a certain economic level, another problem a migrant faces is how and where to buy a house. That first property that every worker dreams of is usually a headache because, basically, one does not know where and how to take that first step.
Yadira Bello, a Colombian who has been in the United States for 19 years and has been working as a real estate agent for 16 years, is one of those people who has simplified the lives of many buyers who had no idea of the benefits they were missing out on because they were unfamiliar with the art of buying a home.
“At this moment I have already completed 16 years of working in Real Estate, I handle a lot of counseling regarding the purchase and sale of properties for Hispanics,” Yadira Bello, who has become an emblem for the Latino community in Florida in the real estate business, told El American.
“When people start to do the first steps of how to buy their property, they miss out on a lot of benefits because they don’t know the system. So, that’s what I’ve been responsible for throughout my career, to give a little knowledge when people are thinking about buying a property. I do that through the radio. I have a segment on Wednesdays where I talk about each of the processes and how are the procedures to buy or sell a house, what benefits they can access and what they need to get them. There, people can call me and ask questions.”
Yadira’s company is called YB Properties, it is allied to the broker Agent Trust Realty and was the Colombian’s first venture in the USA. Her radio segment on real estate has been aired on the program Las Mañanitas con Lucimar, which has been broadcast for 10 years from 7:30 to 8:00 a.m. on 1440 am every Wednesday. There Yadira explains all the secrets she knows about buying and selling properties.
Before being on the radio, by the way, Yadira also had a television segment on the program “De todo un poco.” There she was also in charge of educating the audience about real estate issues after the great financial crisis in 2007.
Yadira’s experience in the real estate business is extensive. She started in Colombia more than 20 years ago and decided to migrate to the United States because she wanted her son to have the opportunity to study and be educated in the United States.
“I have been working in Real State for 16 years and I started in Colombia. I had an office in Medellin at the Dann Carlton and I sold properties in the Orlando area for investors. So, what I did was to give them capitations and explain to the investors what the projects were like. People would separate the properties with $1,000 and they would come and look at the project with a full explanation beforehand,” Yadira said. “That’s how it all started, in Colombia. Then I came to the United States in 2002”.
She says she overcame many difficulties in her early days in the United States. The training to enter the real estate business was especially complex because she had to overcome one of the main barriers that Latino immigrants have: language. Part of this training was very difficult because Yadira suffered an accident: she fractured her femur, which left her disabled for a couple of years. The Colombian took advantage of this time to improve her English and her studies.
Sixteen years ago, says Yadira, “all training and studies related to the business were in English”. Fortunately for Latinos who want to immerse themselves in the world of buying and selling property, in Florida there is already the possibility of receiving all that learning in Spanish. However, many people in the real estate business, such as title companies, are still not fluent in Spanish, so English is still an essential part of the real estate business, even in Florida.
More than just buying and selling properties
Yadira not only works in the real estate business, but also promotes two other ventures. One of them is in the gastronomic area, related to the import of Colombian products to the United States.
The company is called All Green Food and, according to its bio on Instagram, it is a Colombian company that manufactures and exports “banana snacks in the shape of tornadoes”, a refreshing Colombian drink called panela water that has two presentations, lemon and passion fruit, and another product called tostones.
“The company was born a year ago from a conversation I had with my partner, Andrés Caicedo,” said Yadira, “it came about because I was needing to bring merchandise from a family business, a ceramics company in Carmen de Viboral, and I contacted him because I knew he was bringing some products he was selling in the United States and they told me he could help me bring merchandise by container.”
From there, Yadira and Andrés devised All Green Food, a company that, so far, targets the Latin public, but in the medium term also wants to focus on the American market.
On the company’s website you can see the “tornaditos”, crunchy snacks made of plantain – reminiscent of Mexican nachos. These snacks are manufactured in Colombia, in a factory in Pereira.
Regarding the difficulties of starting a business in the gastronomic area, Yadira commented that, “initially, one of the biggest problems at a personal level was understanding how to work with cents. Being able to understand how products or food work with very small margins, especially if you work with large volumes.
He explained that in his work selling or buying houses, the figures that are handled are very high, so “it is a bit complex” because you go from selling houses for “300,000 dollars to a box of patacones or snacks for about 5 dollars. Understanding profit margins by volume has been a challenge.
She also told us that another “shock” as a gastronomic entrepreneur is that, sometimes, there is the problem of the “idealization of our products.”
“You want to see your products in the largest chains, such as Walmart, that is our dream, but sometimes there are a series of difficulties that prevent that from happening immediately and force us to look for other markets that are more in line with our capacity.”
However, Yadira’s efforts are beginning to bear fruit, as All Green Food products are already being distributed in Latino businesses in New York, New Jersey, Florida and other states. In addition, she said, she is in negotiations to enter larger markets in the near future, but cannot yet disclose details.
The other business that Yadira helps manage is Cerámicas El Dorado. It is a family business that manufactures handmade decorated ceramics. It is located in Colombia in Carmen del Viboral, in the department of Antioquia, but also imports its products to the United States.
Right now Cerámicas El Dorado is supplying up to 8 cafés in the United States with plates and bowls. So, periodically, it has to take orders of up to 1,000 plates and bowls from Colombia to the USA. In one way or another, Yadira has been a fundamental part of the expansion of the family business.
The beauty of the United States as a country is the opportunities it provides. Yadira Bello, who had just a year working in Colombia as a real estate agent, came to the United States with the dream of seeing her son grow and develop in the land of opportunities, having a successful career in the real estate sector and going into businesses that she is passionate about. She is accomplishing her goals one step at a time.
Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón is a journalist at El American specializing in the areas of American politics and media analysis // Emmanuel Alejandro Rondón es periodista de El American especializado en las áreas de política americana y análisis de medios de comunicación.
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