Santiago Arana didn’t go from busboy to the Number 7 ranked real estate agent in the country without learning to weather a few storms along the way. He brings positive energy and an uplifting spirit to everyone he comes in contact with, both personally and professionally. Now, he’s focusing his efforts on helping his fellow agents, clients and friends, at The Agency and beyond, navigate the latest storm, which is affecting every single one of us in one way or another.
Originally from Bolivia, Santiago arrived in the U.S. with $125 in his pocket and a degree in business administration and marketing. He moved to Santa Barbara, where he had an aunt he’d met only once before and some cousins, finding a job as a busboy and waiter while taking night classes and working on his English language skills. On the recommendation of his cousin, he obtained his real estate license in 2004 and relocated to be near his wife in Los Angeles.
His business was just starting to pick up when the 2008 economic crash struck, pulling the rug out from underneath his big plans and lofty ambitions. After considering a return to the restaurant industry to hold him over, Santiago took a leap of faith. He decided to focus all of his efforts on his real estate career, hosting open houses, borrowing money for ads, posting signs himself and creating the perception that he was the busiest guy in the biz. His efforts paid off in 2012 when the market recovered, and his phone began ringing off the hook.
In 2014, he joined The Agency as Principal and Partner, soon rising in the ranks to become the Number 7 agent in the U.S., Number 3 in California and Number 1 west of the 405, with nearly $3 billion in sales under his belt. His high-profile clients include LeBron James, Lady Gaga, Larry David, Brad Falchuk and Tom Barrack, to name a few. His rise has been documented across the media, making his name synonymous with success, passion, determination and most importantly, kindness.
Santiago recently held a webinar that he opened to his fellow agents and social media followers to offer his personal insight and advice on how to move forward in a time of crisis. Calling the real estate business a marathon not a sprint, he says patience is key, as is staying healthy, productive and positive. Among his recommendations.
1. Create a daily routine and fill your schedule. Start the day without glancing at your phone, rather taking a pause to meditate, pray, listen to music or an audiobook. Be flexible and adjust your schedule where needed. Take advantage of this time to improve yourself. Map out your main responsibilities to help envision what your day will look like, and be sure getting a good night’s sleep is part of the plan.
2. Write down five things that you’re grateful for to take your attention away from the things you can’t control. Putting your mind in a state of gratitude will immediately help you feel more positive.
3. Focus on what you can control—your thoughts and your mind, which in turn helps you control your emotions. Use visualization to make this possible, both when you wake up and before you go to bed. Visualization generates energy and helps you to focus on positive feelings and thoughts.
4. Exercise—a healthy body and a healthy mind help ease anxiety and stress. Schedule breaks throughout the day, such as a walk, a stretch at your desk, or gentle breathing.
5. Connect. Our business is about people. We are used to interacting daily with our clients and fellow agents. It’s hard to adjust to that lack of contact. Reach out when you can.
Watch Santiago’s inspiring webinar here.