We had the good fortune of connecting with Federico Rolon and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Federico, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success in real estate has been passion. Passion is contagious and comes from a place of authenticity, warmth, and openness. People want to be in business with passionate people. Who doesn’t love doing business with someone who is excited and enthusiastic about what they are doing? Handling some of my clients’ biggest transactions, as an advisor, my clients want to feel they are working with someone confident, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic going into a transaction. I love the process of negotiating, finding the right homes for my clients, and being of service. Passion is contagious and brings great energy to carry a deal through.
I always thought having an obsession towards goals was the best way to get things accomplished. It worked for me as I developed into an elite tennis player when I was younger but I constantly kept finding myself losing balance in life. Through obsession, I abandoned myself in the process of accomplishing goals many times. Even though I usually got what I wanted, it always felt like a grind and an uphill battle to get there. When I started in real estate, I applied the same approach to my career and got off to a great start but knew that approach was not sustainable. There had to be a better way. To operate obsessively is to operate from a place of survival and struggle. Everything was a grind and I had to power through with force to put deals together which took a lot out of my personal life.
I invested time with a Growth Coach who helped me shift from an obsessed mindset to a passionate mindset. From survival to abundance. I quickly modified and dropped old habits and behaviors that were not serving me. With that came some tough decisions to let go of clients and activities that were draining me. That quickly paid dividends not only in my business, but in finding life balance and being happier. When you are happy, centered, and at peace with yourself everything flows smoother. And when you step into the business arena, it’s almost like having a cheat code. You become magnetic and business flows with ease. Challenges can still be present but it becomes easier to find solutions from an elevated perspective. When adversity hits, you can bounce back quicker.
Before I created my ideal business, I first identified who the ideal client was and what kind of properties i was passionate about selling or developing. I started eliminating energy sucking clients and deals from my daily interactions. When a client interviewed me for a listing, I also interviewed them. If it wasn’t a good fit I let the client and deal go. It seemed crazy at the time letting business go as I was not in a financial position to pick and choose clients but I stuck with my gut and it paid off. I created space for ideal clients. I was operating from a more vibrant place as I was so excited to potentially work with dream clients and meaningful homes. Real estate became my lifestyle instead of a weekly grind.
With time, I started attracting higher quality clients, less complicated deals, amazing homes and projects. I am very excited to work with the people i get to call clients. My energy tank rarely rans out as I have so much fun doing business. It’s easier to persevere and bounce back when you are passionate about what you do. The more I operate from an abundant and open state, the more I attract the right people to work with. I found strength in being more vulnerable, and power in having quiet confidence. I have stamina to see goals through and am going further than I have ever gone. I also developed an investment wing of my business where I invest and develop properties i’m passionate about. I love creating, developing, designing, and bringing back distress properties to their glory days. I work passionately towards my goals with my team and things flow with ease. Every morning you get to choose your attitude and set the tone and I choose PASION every day which has made all the difference.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I feel extremely fortunate to have found real estate. I was coaching tennis prior to real estate throughout Los Angeles and would go anywhere in my beat up Mustang to give lessons. My fitness, tan, and long hair were sexier back then but I do sleep much better and don’t stress about finances anymore. I used to coach out of private estates and public parks, and I was driving every day from Malibu to Beverly Hills to Los Feliz and anywhere in between giving tennis lessons. Little did I know years later i’d be selling some of those estates. I ended up building quite a profitable coaching business and mentored multiple competitive junior players who have played at the top collegiate level. The mentorship part was extremely gratifying but I knew I could do more with my skillset and ambitions.
I felt stuck and knew i was not operating to my business and intellectual capabilities. There were only so many hours I could coach and be on court for and what attracted me to real estate was that there was no actual ceiling. Endless possibilities. There are millions of homes out there, some at stratospheric prices, and there is always a strong demand for homes. Someone was selling those homes, why not me? I knew LA like the palm of my hand as I was coaching everywhere and knew elite pockets and communities from my high end tennis clients whom I coached at their homes. I was sensitive to different cultural needs as well from traveling the world competing in tennis which gave me an upper hand as I believe not enough people adjust or understand cultural differences in business. Many people have the “my way or the highway” attitude which creates a disconnect among agent to client relationships or investor to contractor dynamics. I approach and communicate differently with my clients from different backgrounds while customizing a specific approach to their needs. Every day I’m dealing with sub contractors to a multi million dollar clientele, and though my communication approach varies, everyone gets the same level of respect. There’s a big disconnect in class and I see many people put others on a pedestal because of their financial or celebrity status later to treat contractors or workers unfairly which grosses me out. I am a human first and a business man second.
Now a days my business consists in helping clients buy and sell luxury homes. I’m also an active real estate investor in the Los Angeles and Desert markets. I gained a major competitive advantage in my business when I joined my brokerage, COMPASS, whose a leader in technology and forward thinking real estate methods. The tech heavy tools and platform I have accessible complemented my old school customer service ways which has made my business grow tenfold. I bring a very unique value proposition which was developed by having such a unique background. From my elite athletic background stems my work ethic, resilience, hunger, focus, and discipline to see any goal through. My commitment to my clients is unparalleled. From my cultural background I bring a unique cultural perspective, language, flavor, and sensitivity to cultures and different backgrounds. From my investment background I recognize value add strategies and ways to improve a property. I’ve trained my eye on how to find value, reconfigure floor plans, design properties, deal with architects & contractors, and project manage a construction. I have skin in the game and am in the trenches which gives me a big advantage in understanding the possibilities of positioning a property in the best light to maximize value in the market. Blend all that with some elite level charm and you get me 🙂
I didn’t know a thing about real estate 10 years ago and this journey has not been easy. I’ve had hard times and i’ve had major break throughs but I never doubted things would work out at the end. My story is about resilience and dreams which those dreams became tangible through a relentless work ethic, discipline, never ending growth, and an incredible support system. I love what I do and have to force myself to take time off as my work has become my lifestyle. I’m having a lot of fun seeing many of my friends and clients build wealth through real estate and have entered a beautiful stage in life and my career where I’m a young veteran in the game. I’m really enjoying the process.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
The perfect week would be a combination of East Side and West Side activities. A day on the East Side would start very early with a latte from MARU coffee in Los Feliz. Then going on a nice run or bike ride at Griffith Park or at the Silver Lake Reservoir. Then I would have lunch at Ceviche Project in Silver Lake. After I would relax at home and have dinner/drinks at Stella Cafe. If there was a concert that day, I would go to the Greek Theatre to catch a show and probably get some drinks at Tenant of the Trees or go to West Hollywood to Ysabel, SoHo House, or Laurel Hardware.
If I decided to go West, then I would start with some tennis at Rancho Park or play at UCLA. Get a delicious juice or acai bowl from Kreation, grab lunch from Honor Bar in Beverly Hills, then grab my old truck put some country jams head to Temescal Canyon in the Palisades for a hike in the afternoon. I would then grab drinks at Bungalow or have dinner/drinks at Nobu in Malibu. I could also make it a Venice day and grab dinner at Gjelina and hit the bars on Abbot Kinney or any events they have going on there.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’ve been extremely fortunate to have a great support system throughout my journey and grow along with many of my like-minded friends. Without their support, i would’ve not broken through the adversity bumps i’ve had. Since day 1, my great friends Paul Schon and Artem Tepler, who’ve become a powerhouse in multi-family investments got me started on this real estate journey. We keep pushing each other and growing together which has been a ton of fun. Office Manager Nick Cacarnakis and Luxury Veteran Agent Ed Solorzano from Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices in Beverly Hills mentored me early in my career in luxury sales and am forever grateful for being patient with me and molding me with a strong foundation in this business. My investment partners Benjamin Kim and Steven B. Davis have been very supportive on our investments. My Growth Coach Suzanne Morris has kept me sane and on a journey towards a happier life. My Real Estate Coach Dov Silberman has made me aware of the possibilities and levels we can rise up to in this business and pushed me to think bigger. But my biggest teacher has been the great sport of tennis. It has molded my character and has showed me how to deal with wins and losses. I owe a lot to my tennis coaches who spend countless hours on the court with me and showed me what work ethic, discipline, constant improvement, and learning from wins and losses is the road to growth. These principles have been applicable to all areas of my life with much successes .
Aldo Chacon on the professional shots