Originally from Spain, Rafaela Nebreda chose Romania to build a business. She has 14 years of experience in real estate and is Managing Partner in her own consultancy company - Imoteca, the residential experts.
She inherited the dream of entrepreneurship from her father, a successful businessman in Spain and one of her key statements is the following:
I consider every challenge an opportunity to learn and develop personally and professionally.
In the light of this quotation, the fact that she headed to Romania to follow her dream does not seem unusual anymore.
When did your real-estate story start and what was the incentive behind that decision?
The real estate story has almost the same age as my life as Romanian. It started naturally from the need and request of some friends and business partners to help them look either for places to live or to invest. So it started human-to-human and it continued like that. I became very fast fascinated by this field which is a very complex domains having in its core the person/the human, be it a developer, an investor or the end user. For me the real estate industry represents the perfect mix of human contact, adrenaline, business skills, travel and understanding the people in front of you.
Tell us about your journey. What were the biggest 3 challenges you had to face to reach the level of expertise you’re at right now?
The biggest challenge in real estate is knowing to choose your people. The biggest 3 challenges are to choose the right people, to choose wisely the partners, to choose carefully your clients.
What were 3 key points in your experience you’ll never forget?
First showing I have made as a real estate agent. It helped me understand the business from A to Z. To have a overall view of it and to understand the challenges when such situation occurred.
Then, it was my first business failure 10 years ago, from which I've larned the importance of the people you're working with. And the last once, it was the first million euro I have made.
About real-estate, what are the key steps to follow for those who want to build up expertise in the field.
Find the right people, patiently build the right team, it takes some time for the people you're working with to understand your vision and make it happen. Be even more patiently build clients portfolio, always be one step ahead; don't be afraid to pioneer. Be organized, creative and patient.
How important is your personal brand when it comes to working in real-estate industry?
It is extremely important. But Imoteca does not mean Rafaela Nebreda. Imoteca is an eco-system where each cell brings its value.
Born to sale? There are people who are born with natural skills when it comes to persuasive features and there are those who have to work harder to enhance them. In your opinion, what’s the proportion of inherited skills vs. gained skills for a sales expert? How can you enhance the 2nd category?
I personally consider that the sales skills nowadays are more likely to be translated in empathy and emotional intelligence. Of course it is important to be persuasive but in an non-invasive manner. I think everything can be educated, but this is not only a matter of trainings but also of introspection and inner restauration.
Imoteca is one of the reference companies in Romania when it comes to real-estate. What makes it different? What are you guys doing to maintain your leading position on the market?
We have approached the market differently – human-to-human. This means a more complex process but also more solid and more durable in time. More openness. We are evolving more towards a working platform, a hub where the best in class real estate players (buyers and vendors meet) and they benefit of the expertise and mitigation of Imoteca experts.
We are so much more than a real estate agency. We are a long term partner. Alongside with this we are trying to be up to date with the technological developments as this influences a lot the mindset and we are also bringing a more relaxed approach – we are professionals but not in a rigid manner.
A take-away advice for those who want to penetrate the business and build up a career in sales?
I will give further on a wise saying that belongs to my grandmother:
Be strong in purpose yet gentle in the means.