In just two and a half years as a real estate agent, Mario Padilla, of RE/MAX Realty Centre, Olney, MD, has quickly become a rising star — already setting records and receiving numerous awards. The journey to this point of his career has been one of hard work, dedication, and a positive attitude. The experiences of being a first-generation immigrant have been instrumental in shaping that course. Mario knows first-hand the obstacles one must overcome to attain success in the United States. He wants to be an example for those who may follow in his footsteps and inspire others to achieve their dreams.

Mario’s journey began as a young boy in El Salvador. “My parents brought me to the U.S. when I was just shy of 4 years old. I was raised in Columbia Heights, D.C. At a very young age, I was exposed to my father’s finances and his struggle of not being able to speak the English language. Within a few years, I became his translator, accountant, and personal liaison to the English world. Picture a 7-year-old boy conducting bank transactions and translating IRS documents. These experiences instilled in me a strong desire to help others in my community in any way possible,” Mario shares.

Mario says he has known he would eventually run his own business ever since high school. He worked in retail sales and realized he had a natural ability to connect with people. When an attempt to start a tile sales and installation business fell through, a friend encouraged him to look into real estate. He obtained his real estate license in 2010 and began to work for a local agent as a licensed assistant. However, he put his real estate career on hold just six months later when Capital One Bank presented him with an opportunity to be a retail branch manager.

“During my time with Capital One, I became very involved as a referral partner to our mortgage lending department and had great success at opening up the conversation of homeownership with clients. After four years with the bank, the desire to return to the business of real estate and help families become homeowners was drawing me in. I decided to go back and pursue my career in real estate as I felt I was now equipped with the skill set and work ethic to create a successful business for myself,” Mario recounts.

That experience and work ethic quickly propelled his career into overdrive. In his first year, Mario closed 34 transactions for a total volume of close to $10.7 million. In his second year, 2017, he closed 38 transactions with a total volume of more than $11 million.

Mario was named a Washingtonian Magazine Best Agent in 2017 and 2018. In 2018, he received the RE/MAX 100 Percent Club Award and was named one of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) Top 250 Latino Agents in the United States (No. 205). In both 2017 and 2018, Mario received the NAHREP Top 50 Latino Millennial Agent Award and a NAHREP Top 50 Latino Agent in the Northeast Award.

Mario has embraced his company’s fast-paced growth and has set aggressive challenges for himself. His short-term goal is to reach $20 million total volume by the end of 2019 and further analyze his business systems to increase efficiency. “Everything in my business started to move and grow much faster than I thought was possible. I felt the areas we needed to concentrate on were systems, processes, and automation. So this year, there has been a big focus on documenting and analyzing what I do, how I do it, and implementing systems with my transaction manager Luis Navarro. He has been instrumental in our rapid growth, helping to streamline our process, which will allow us to grow the business in years to come.”

Mario’s long-term goal is to build a team that will employ a large number of like-minded entrepreneurs. “I got into this business to help people. It’s my dream to create an environment where people can come to learn, and together, we can take their business to another level.”

Mario is a big proponent of video communication with his clients. His favorite tech program is BombBomb, a video email and texting app that makes it easy to send out quick video messages. “I love sending out video messages as a follow-up either before or after meetings and also for birthdays and anniversaries. I encourage my clients to have fun during the transaction and use it to communicate with me. The engagement is much more personal, and if you can get them on board, they really open up to you,” he says.

As Mario’s business has grown, he has learned to keep things in perspective. “The biggest game-changer in my business was learning to be unattached to the outcome of the day-to-day challenges we face. I remember that in the beginning, things were moving so fast, and I would dwell for days on the fact that something did not go the way I expected. Now, I take a minute to lick the wounds, brush it off, and keep moving forward.”

Mario’s top priority outside of business is spending time with his family. “I am happily married to my amazing partner, Cindy, and am the proud dad of two little ones. My daughter, Lily, is 6 years old. She just started the first grade, is a gymnast with a huge personality, and dreams of being a huge YouTube sensation. My son, Javier, is 1 and a half years old. He is a thrill seeker with a soft side that will make you melt. We also have an 8-year-old boxer mix named Rooney. He is our unofficial babysitter,” he jokes.

Mario concedes that when it comes to trying to manage a work/life balance, he gives all the credit to his wife. “Cindy is the CEO of Mario Padilla,” shares Mario. “She has recently come on board and is helping me manage the post-closing client interactions and the marketing for my business. She is a rockstar when it comes to the kids’ activities and all of our events. She keeps me on track. I couldn’t have chosen a better partner.”Your Attitude Determines Your Altitude

Mario’s favorite quote, “Your attitude determines your altitude,” certainly applies to this rising star.