Not everyone has what it takes to make it in the complex real estate industry. Some would even say that it’s a cutthroat industry requiring vast knowledge, problem-solving skills, and the drive to get things done, even when it’s hard to do so. And, while there are many challenges involved in real estate, Sofia Estrada Castro never let that hold her back.
Known as the Real Estate Queen throughout Florida, she continues to make her mark on the industry because of her drive, passion, knowledge, and experience. As a successful self-made entrepreneur, she knows what it’s like to start from the bottom and have to work your way up from there.
“I wasn’t always successful. I dropped out of high school and later found out that I had undiagnosed dyslexia. I worked different jobs here and there, but nothing was as meaningful to me as the thought of having my own business,” says Sofia Estrada Castro. “When I met my husband Bobby, he asked if I’d join his business venture, so I decided to give it a go. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out, but we didn’t give up hope that we’d eventually have a business of our own.”
Instead of giving up, the couple remained motivated and eventually came across an experienced entrepreneur selling a how-to manual that provided details on building a leasing brokerage. The couple would need to borrow roughly $1800 from their parents to afford the cost of the manual but truly believed it would be worth it in the long run.
“We knew that it was risky, but sometimes, when you’re starting a business, you need to take risks. So, we borrowed the money from our parents, knowing that this meant we had to go all in to build a successful business,” she says. “I kept my job and would work the business at night. Not only were we going through the how-to manual, but we also built a close relationship with the owner of the manual, who’d eventually teach us even more valuable information to use while building our business. All the effort we put into things paid off because the business grew within a year.” The same business that grew within a year is the one that Sofia and Bobby were able to successfully exit at a $1 Billion dollar valuation. They currently focus on building generational wealth through their multifamily real estate portfolio valued at $600 million dollars.
In addition to this venture, Sofia’s spent plenty of time getting more involved in the real estate industry and has even invested in condo conversions while taking on many flip and fix projects over the years. The length of time spent in real estate has allowed her to learn from her mistakes and gain valuable knowledge to help others succeed in this industry. With hopes of seeing other women like herself succeed in the male-dominated real estate industry, Sofia started Queen Ventures and looks forward to empowering hundreds of women over the next several years. The goal is to show other women what it takes to succeed in such a challenging industry.