Ten years ago, Sarah Huo was caught in the hustle and bustle of New York City life. As a talented marketer and graphic designer, Huo spent much of her waking hours churning out project after project for clients, which left little time for connecting with family and friends.
“At the time, I was working in New York City, and it was very stressful and it was an abusive environment,” Huo told Inman. “You work long hours and it was affecting my health.”
However, her interactions with agent Richard Breglia during her homebuying journey opened a door that Huo never thought she’d walk through.
“My team leader, Richard Breglia, was my agent when I was buying my house, and he became a friend,” she explained. “He was encouraging me to do real estate, but I was like, ‘What are you talking about? I can’t do that.’”
“But, he convinced me to give it a shot,” she added. “I was lucky when he recruited me, and I was lucky because I got plenty of hands-on training. I wanted to leave my job, but I was afraid to, and he helped me take that chance.”
Since then, Huo has become a co-leader of The Richard Breglia team and expanded her market base to include Greenwich, Connecticut, and her former home base, New York City. Although she enjoys the success that comes with real estate, Huo said she cherishes the relationships she’s built with clients the most.
“I got to rediscover myself because I love people,” she said. “I love meeting people, and I’d kind of forgotten about it at my previous job.”
“I just became a different person because I was so tired and stressed,” she added. “I didn’t even have time for friends. I truly enjoy my career now. I didn’t think I could ever have that.”
Huo said she tries to build long-lasting friendships with each of her clients, which means she’s often one of the first people they call when something goes awry. A month ago, one of Huo’s clients called her in a frenzy — her brother had COVID-19 and couldn’t communicate with the doctors and nurses because he only understood Mandarin.
“That was stressful and quite scary,” Huo said. “[My client] called me every day and asked if I could help. Just imagine that he’s lying there in a hospital bed and can’t communicate with the doctors or nurses.”
” Growing up, my mother was nurse,” she added. “I inherited some basic medical knowledge so I was able to assist them and explain things to them. They really didn’t follow the news, and I watch the news like crazy, so I was able to explain what was happening with the virus.”
Huo said her client’s brother has fully recovered and is back home after more than two weeks in the hospital.
“I appreciate when my clients know they can lean on me,” she said.
When she isn’t selling homes or offering her translating services, Huo is diligently making dumplings for hungry friends and community members.
“[The deliveries] started a couple of weeks ago,” she explained. “I have a friend who doesn’t cook. He’s an older gentleman, and usually eats out or gets take-out.”
“He was even afraid to make ramen because he thought he’d do it wrong,” she added with a laugh.
So, Huo began gathering the ingredients for her dumplings, which included plenty of minced meat, vegetables, and various dipping sauces.
“It’s an all-day affair,” Huo said, a little breathless from dropping off the latest round of dumplings to friends and neighbors. “I’ve made at least several hundred dumplings. They’re quite big and they’re easy to cook — you just boil them in water until they’re ready.”
She gives a dozen to individuals, two dozen to couples, and even more to families who can freeze them and reheat them for a future meal. She’s also dropped off bags to small business owners and their staff who work long hours.
“I make mine large and fluffy,” she said with a laugh. “I’d planned to have a dumpling party with friends, but I can’t do that with the virus. So, I decided to bring the party to them.”
We’re highlighting agents with extraordinary stories through our feature, Agent Plus. Do you know someone who should be highlighted for their work inside and outside of the office? Send your nominations to AgentPlus@inman.com.