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Building a bicultural brokerage

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Robb Heering is not Hispanic ... well, maybe a little. A great-great grandmother was born in Argentina. "I do have Hispanic blood, but you have to look deep," he says, laughing. Why this matters is that Heering is the founder of Casa Latino, a fast-growing real estate franchise that's focusing on what it believes to be an insufficiently served market: the 47 million people in America who identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino. Founded in 2005 in Connecticut, Casa Latino now claims more than 80 franchises in 16 states and in Colombia and Costa Rica, with deals in the works in six other countries, Heering says. By the end of 2010, he expects to have more than 200 franchises. He estimates that the current offices will handle about 5,000 transaction sides this year. "We speak your language, we understand your culture," promises the company's promotional literature. Heering says the latter is critical, and heretofore the real estate industry's effort...