REALTOR Profiles | Joe and Lety Torres
A FOCUS ON SERVINGThe husband-wife team of Joe and Lety Torres are mastering the fine art of work-life-family-community balance in Washington’s real estate sector.
You might not meet a more selfless pair than the husband-wife team of Joe and Lety Torres, brokers at Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Central Washington Real Estate. The Torres’ left jobs in corporate America and the non-profit sector to start real estate careers, knowing that they wanted to be available and present when raising their four children, all of whom are under the age of 10 and home schooled.
“We wanted to get into an industry where we could serve our community and also gain some scheduling flexibility to be able to homeschool and spend time with our kids,” says Lety. They got exactly that and more by joining forces in the real estate industry. “Right now in this season of our lives, our kids are still little and we want to spend as much time with them as we can. That’s why we decided to go into real estate.”
During their first year as a team, the Torres’ received the Berkshire Hathaway Leading Edge Society Award, which goes to brokers who are in the top 10% of the entire organization for sales. This was an early validation of their choice to enter the industry. “At that point, we realized that we were actually doing well in our new careers,” says Lety. “It was eye-opening to see where all of our hard work was going.”
In 2021, the Torres’ earned their Luxury Collection Specialists designations and also began working in the commercial real estate sector. “We dove headfirst into that and started learning as much as possible and serving commercial clients,” says Joe, who adds that the brokers’ inquisitive nature makes it easier for them to work in new sectors and learn new things. “We’re never afraid to ask questions and we’re not afraid to lean on the experts (including the pair’s managing broker, who has been “absolutely amazing,” according to Joe).
TEAMWORK MAKES THE DREAM WORKBecause they work as a team, the Torres’ loop each other into everything and make sure someone’s always available both on the home and the work life front. “There have been times when we have multiple clients trying to view different homes at the same time and we’re able to serve them both,” Lety explains. “We just try to stay open and available as much as possible, just to make sure that everybody’s getting their needs served.”
The Torres’ are also active in their communities and volunteer their time to causes like Habitat for Humanity, Women Helping Women Fund Tri-Cities (Lety serves on its board), Elijah Family Homes and various other local nonprofit organizations. Lety is also a member of the Tri-city Association of REALTORS’ Education Committee.
“When we started our family, we realized how much we wanted to show our kids what it looks like to be a good member of society and give back,” says Lety, who has other personal reasons for her focus on giving back and volunteering. “We were on food stamps at one point several years ago; we were not doing okay,” she recalls. “Now we’re in a position where we can help, so we try to do as much as we can to really focus on serving.”
THE ULTIMATE CONNECTORSWhether they’re connecting home buyers and sellers, helping out in their communities or raising their children, Joe and Lety see themselves as “connectors.” They work to build relationships and serve as valued resources in any situation that they find themselves in.
“Networking and education are both really huge for us. We love to learn about different local businesses and services so that we can potentially help them out, connect them to other services or other businesses or people that just need their support,” Joe says. “That’s another reason why we work to stay very involved with what’s going on in our community.
As an ambassador for her local Chamber of Commerce, Lety represents the organization at different events, attends ribbon cuttings, and “basically just shows love to local businesses.” Offering advice to other Washington brokers, she says the best way to succeed in this industry—and life in general—is by always giving as much as you can.
THE CRYSTAL BALLLooking ahead, the Torres see both opportunities and challenges coming down the pike for Washington’s real estate market. A lack of affordable housing opportunities is one larger issue that needs to be addressed, for example. “Right now, many buyers in our area can’t keep up with the competition and with how quickly prices have increased in the last 18 months,” says Joe. “It hasn’t helped that, due to high material costs, many builders halted the building of new construction projects.”
On a positive note, the skyrocketing prices can’t go on forever, or at least not at their current pace. “People want to live here,” Lety adds, “so we’re expecting this to be a continual challenge to work through over the next few years.” ◊