Alumni Success Story: Catching Up with John Lestina
October 10, 2019 |
From taking his real estate courses online while deployed in Puerto Rico, to his first successful year in his real estate career – we had the pleasure of catching up with John Lestina! For a refresher on John’s journey, check out our initial interview when he was just starting out in the real estate industry.
I used Hondros because of the great reputation with preparing people for the real estate exams. I was in Puerto Rico working with FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) as an ASL (American Sign Language) technical specialist when I decided to pursue my real estate license, so I knew I needed to take the courses online through a reputable school.
What are some of the most meaningful experiences you’ve encountered during your new real estate career?
I have worked almost exclusively with the Deaf community since I began my career in real estate. I love working with the greater signing community and being able to provide my services directly, without the need for interpreters. I had one client purchase his first home with me. He had never purchased a home before because he did not trust Realtors due to communication issues and stories of other Deaf people feeling taken advantage of. Seeing him happy and in his new home makes everything worthwhile.
For me, the most fulfilling thing about being a real estate agent is serving the deaf community.
I come from a Deaf family, so ASL is my first language. It is just natural for me to use my first language with the community that I come from. It is an honor to serve the Deaf community.
How do you use social media for your business? How do you use ASL in social media?
Social media is imperative to the success of my business. I often post videos in ASL, and will occasionally post videos in spoken English. I always make sure to add captions to all of my videos. The Deaf community has a right to access the same information as the rest of us, and it is a pleasure to be a part of providing that access.
What do you wish you would have known before you got into this industry?
If I could give myself advice when I was just getting started, it would be to focus on getting quality information into the hands of the community. Focus on the people you can best serve. Not everyone will want to hire you, so do not waste your time trying to market yourself to everyone.
Discipline is imperative to success. It can be challenging to keep moving when you don’t see the light at the end of the tunnel, but as long as you just keep moving, you will make it.
What’s the next step or goal for you in your career?
Continue growing my pipeline and serve more people in real estate. I have also recently launched a sign language interpreting company, Heritage.
A special note from John Lestina:
Realtors out there, if you have a client who uses ASL, please, please, please provide an ASL interpreter every step of the way. If you feel you cannot do that, and are in need a sign language interpreter, please do not hesitate to contact us! Let’s make sure the Deaf community is able to get a Great home buying or selling experience like anyone else!