If it hasn’t been made evident by now, we love people here at AAT! We love hearing about their stories and passions for our community, but we also love hearing about what our fellow locals do and why they do it! For example, we have some wonderful neighbors who own/manager some fantastic local businesses and serve our town tremendously by doing so! This fact is why AAT has partnered up with our good friends at B3 Glass, to bring you all “Small Business Fridays!” Each week, we’ll feature a different, local small business and talk with its owner and hear about their journey, their business in general, as well as their heart for their customers and our city!
As someone who has worked with her in the past, as a client, I (Anthony Crosby) am excited to introduce this week’s guest. The person joining us happens to be one of Elko’s most adored real estate agents. I imagine that it would be tempting in her field to solely be motivated by closing a sale; however, if you ever have the pleasure of meeting this person, you’d quickly come to understand that her endgame is all about building relationships with people. Her joy and passion for others beam off of her. furthermore, I don’t think she stopped smiling once throughout the time she was talking about her business, during our interview!
Today’s guest is Marissa Lostra of Lostra Realty. With over thirteen years of experience in the field, Marissa leads her office of ten agents who are excited to bridge the gap between real people and real estate! Marissa and her team are working hard to serve the people of our area, while also gearing up to move to their new office location on Silver St. Be on the lookout for that exciting transition!
Thank you for joining us this week, Marissa! Let’s start this conversation off by having you tell us a little bit about the journey that brought you to where you are today!
“I was born in Reno, but I grew up in Elko; I’m a Nevada native! I graduated from Elko High School before getting my associates degree from GBC (Great Basin College). I went to UNR (University of Nevada Reno) where I got my bachelor’s degree in biology and played five years of rugby- my favorite sport! I got into real estate in 2006, and I received my business broker permits in 2007, something that only four of us have here, locally. Five years ago, I got my property management permit, opened my own brokerage, and also my own office.”
Also, you were able to start a beautiful family of four children with Mike Lostra, whom people may recognize from you guys’ engineering business, correct?
“Yes, we grew up three houses apart. We’ve been together for quite some time; we started dating when I was thirteen and on and off throughout high school. We work a lot hand-in-hand even to this day through our businesses!”
That’s cool; perhaps we’ll have to sit down with Mike in a future AAT feature. However, for now, let’s talk more about your work. What made you excited to get into the real estate businesses?
“I’m super passionate about what I do. I love community service, and I love helping people; I think that’s why I got into real estate. I found an avenue for being able to do that every day. I felt like it was a way for me to give back to people. I love people, and if you don’t have some love when it comes to what you do, you’re not going to be a very happy person.”
Marissa, what is the typical day-to-day life of a real estate agent? How do you approach the business?
“It’s always different. No two transactions are ever the same. We do a lot of problem-solving. We ask how we can take each situation and make it fit each couple or family. I want to make sure people have the most equity in their house as possible because life does change! You buy a house thinking it’s going to be your “forever home,” but then you find out your family is expanding or you’re being relocated. Life changes so quickly, at both a residential and commercial level, that we want to build our business based on an investment. It becomes an investment in not only my business but people’s futures.”
“When people come in, I take the emotional side of things very seriously, and I stay in contact with clients even after our transactions. I do this because the relationships that come from the people I help are very rewarding for me. I want to be the real estate agent that knows my clients’ kids’ names, not the agent that feels the need to duck around the corner if they see you in the grocery store.”
For those who may be reading this feature that may be thinking of getting into real estate themselves, what’s a significant factor of the job that you would suggest they consider before they jump into it?
“There can be a preconceived notion that real estate comes with this super flexible schedule and we don’t really work all that much. That’s not true. I literally get about four hours of sleep a night, and I work seven days a week because I work on everybody else’s schedule rather than my own. I’ve had to make sacrifices, miss events with my family, or give up other things because I need to show a house. It’s a twenty-four hour, seven days a week job, especially in this community where people are working mining jobs, and they’re only able to meet at very specific times. However, I want the people I’m working with to know that if you’re trying to get ahold of me and I don’t respond, it’s only because I’m helping another client. I think people sometimes feel as if they’re bugging me when they text or call, but they’re absolutely not; they are the reason for my business!”
Marissa, as someone who has lived and worked in the Elko area for many years, how have you been able to stay so positively connected with the community?
“Community service. Community service is my heart and soul. I was in Rainbow Girls when I was a young girl, I was an ambassador at the Elko Area Chamber, I was in the state leadership program for real estate, and I’m pretty active politically with what we call the realtor party where we protect home ownership and private property owner rights, just to name a few examples. I love giving back to the community that gives to me. I want my business dollars and my investment to go back to the people who are supporting me.”
Thank you, again, for joining us this week, Marissa! Is there anything else about yourself or Lostra Reality you’d like to mention before we let you go?
“Our business has been built on trust and integrity, and we’re looking to expand! If anybody has any questions, I would love to be a resource for people. In the end, my work is about trying to give back and revitalize what’s existing; I love taking what we have and making it better, nicer, and more of a community so everybody can be happy about where they live!”
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See you around, Elko!