The world of real estate today is one where anyone in the world can see a local property for sale.
It’s a world of visuals, said one of Brownsville’s young and aspiring realtors. Hector Cardoza believes he is in a good position to seize the opportunities of a growing market. The 29-year-old Cardoza grew up locally, a graduate of Los Fresnos High School and the University of Texas-Brownsville. He started out working at the university in the business office before realizing he had other ambitions.
“Sometimes Millennials just really want to fly,” he said.
He found a professional outlet for his energies and love of community in real estate. For nearly the last five years, he learned from local longtime realtor Bruno Zavaletta, acquiring knowledge and certifications and learning the market. He also became active in the community through the United Way, participating in a program to help local residents do their taxes. Cardoze earned a volunteer of the year award in 2016 for those efforts.
Cardoza is setting off on his own, gaining his brokerage license. With his fiancé, Nora Caballero, he is setting up his own company, the Altus Real Estate Group. His new office is along Expressway 77/83 near the intersection with Boca Chica Boulevard, a thoroughfare synonymous with Brownsville. Cardoza, however, wants to go beyond the local market and have a reach throughout the Rio Grande Valley.
“I wanted to create my own brand,” he said. “I want to grow market share in the Valley. We’re all seeing how the Valley is growing into one metro area like Dallas-Fort Worth and you want to be in the middle of those opportunities.”
Young Professionals Emerging
Cardoza is among the younger generation of business and community leaders emerging in Brownsville. He sees real estate as a way to guide and influence his age peers to find properties that match their interests plus working in all aspects of the local market. The visual and technological sensibilities of his generation are a good fit for how the real estate industry has changed.
“You do need experience,” Cardoza said. “You also need to bring to the table the visual aspects like video, Instagram, Facebook, all those elements that improve visual presentation.”
It also helps to understand what a customer is looking for and find that aspiration rather than just offering a generic answer. He cited a recent example of a young couple moving to Brownsville from Austin. He gave them an overall presentation of the market but knew the couple had an interest in older homes. In Brownsville, there’s a number of historic homes to be found.
Cardoza helped his clients find a beautiful historic home on Palm Boulevard. In earlier Brownsville eras, it was a high profile area for some of the city’s most affluent residents. The attraction of Palm Boulevard waned for years, but it has made a comeback of sorts in recent years as younger residents are drawn to historic parts of the city as good places to live.
“I see it as being part of the overall experience of the (real estate) process,” he said. “The experience is not only the transaction, but also helping learn about local schools, services, activities and local restaurants. You give a full spectrum of what’s going on.”
In Brownsville today, there’s plenty to offer, with new professionals with SpaceX moving in along with federal government employees in U.S. Customs and other agencies locating in the local market, he said.
“There’s a lot of diversity coming into Brownsville and you want to tap into it,” Cardoza said.