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Inspiring Conversations with Otto Sevilla

Today we’d like to introduce you to Otto Sevilla.

Otto, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
I was born in Nicaragua and immigrated to the US at an early age, grew up in the Washington, DC and Maryland area. As the typical immigrant story did not grow up with much. I clearly remember living in a one-bedroom/one-bathroom apartment in DC with six people. I started working at a young age with my parents, helping them out.

Growing up in DC, I was not the best student, did not have the best grades and really did not care much for school until we moved out of DC and into Maryland during my high school years. There my academics completely changed, for the first time ever I made the honor roll. It may have been a change of my environment, friends, city life, etc. I started earning good grades, and actually applied myself and started thinking of college for the first time. I ended graduating with an Economics degree and minor in Business Spanish from the University of Maryland in College Park. I have been involved in the real estate and finance industry for over 16 years, working with commercial real estate owners and tenants for over ten years. I love working and creating more opportunities for underrepresented individuals in the business community!

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
It is typically never a smooth road. From early childhood growing up in the city in DC, I remember walking home one day from school and being robbed. That was not an unlikely occurrence, some of my friends have been robbed and jumped and their shoes being taken from them on the way home from school. Many of the DC neighborhoods were different compared to how they are now. To being a minority in the commercial real estate industry where more than 75% of the executives are white men, there is a lot more diversity in residential real estate than commercial real estate. I have learned to use that to my advantage in commercial real estate, where I have a diverse clientele. Many of the entrepreneurs I work with are minorities or 1st and 2nd generation immigrants successfully operating their companies.

Can you tell our readers more about what you do and what you think sets you apart from others?
I am a commercial real estate advisor in the Washington, DC, Maryland, and Northern Virginia area, we offer a wide range of services, from finding the right property and space to managing it after the lease has been signed. I work with landlords helping them lease or sell their assets to companies helping them find the perfect space for their business. For me, it is more than just a business and commercial real estate transaction, it is really about developing a long-term relationship and friendship with my clients for example, a client of my recently got engaged and I sent them a gift or even non-clients for example I know someone who was looking for investment capital for there startup up restaurant venture and I connect him to someone else I know. It is about doing what is right and being a resource to them. I have a video podcast called The DMV Business Show, where we interview local business and community leaders in the DMV (DC, MD, VA) area and they share their journey.

So maybe we end on discussing what matters most to you and why?
Living to my full potential every day in my personal and business life, is a continuous journey that is always evolving and improving. Being there for my family and clients. At the end of the day, I want to live without any regrets and do what is right.

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