Miami Realtor Nancy Barreto Hogan (third from left, seated) gets ready for a day in the office at Avatar Real Estate Services in South Miami with her team of sales associates, Britany Nicole Barreto, far left, Deborah Preston, and Laura Barreto, right.
MIAMI – When Nancy Barreto Hogan, general manager of Avatar Real Estate Services in South Miami believes in something, stand back. In 2005, then a manager of 180 sales associates at Coldwell Banker Coral Gables, Hogan recalls she “was getting concerned about seeing so many all-cash and cash-back-at-closing contracts. I did some research and told the sales associates I wasn’t accepting them.”
But, she says, people would find a way around it. “They would fax the contracts to attorneys who were telling them it was OK,” she says. “I couldn’t believe no one else cared about this.”
That was the beginning of her mortgage fraud odyssey.
“Mortgage fraud looked like a real problem to me. So, getting people to recognize the problem was a passion of mine.” So much so that Hogan started talking about it wherever she went.
Unfortunately, Hogan ran into a lot of dead ends.
“People told me it was a Miami problem. The state attorney’s office told me they needed to deal with a more important problem—the state’s increasing murder rate. And, the FBI didn’t have any money,” she says.
Finally, she reached someone who could help. A fellow FREC (Florida Real Estate Commission) member at the time, Matey Veissi, gave Hogan the name of an Oklahoma FBI agent. Veissi knew the agent through her work with ARELLO® (Association of Real Estate License Law Officials), a group that promotes excellence in real estate regulation.
That FBI agent was “as passionate as I was,” Hogan says. After spending an hour with him on the phone, she wrote a course called “There’s No Right Way to Do the Wrong Thing,” which was taught at her local association of Realtors® as well as other venues. It caught the attention of the Florida Department of Business and Professional Regulation (DBPR), and she was asked to teach instructors.
“I was like a pit bull. I happened to be sitting next to a secret service agent when I was speaking on mortgage fraud for a panel discussion. She and her partner also became allies in the fight,” she says.
Then, the Mayor of Miami formed a mortgage fraud tax force. “I was all in,” says Hogan. In fact, the mayor appointed Hogan head of the education committee where she helped develop the form that people in Dade County use to file mortgage fraud complaints.
“We got everyone to talk to each other,” says Hogan, “and that was momentous.”
Once people realized what a difference she was making in Dade County, others came calling. In fact, the Department of Justice asked her to speak at its 2008 mortgage fraud summit. “It was a great time because I really gave back to my profession, but at the same time it was overwhelming,” she says.
Flash-forward to today and Hogan remains just as passionate about helping others. She recently helped a close friend whose mother passed away.
“My friend asked me to help sell her mother’s house. The day before closing there were squatters in the house,” says Hogan. “I didn’t stop, I went to the police, called the news media. Then, the judge gives the squatters 40 days to get out. I was livid.”
Hogan went back to the media and raised such a stir that the judge called everyone back to court and demanded the squatters be out in five days. Soon after, the woman who was the squatter was arrested for trafficking cocaine.
“It goes back to what I firmly believe in: There’s no right way to do the wrong thing,” she says.
Hogan got her start in real estate in 1978. “I was a stay-at-home mom, and my husband was a pilot. A good friend told me I could sell anything,” she laughs.
In 1989, she saw an opportunity to lead an office that was struggling. “Within 18 months, I had that office up to No. 4 in the region,” she says. After 29 years with Coldwell Banker, Hogan retired in 2010 to care for her ailing father; then joined Avatar in 2011.
From selling to managing, Hogan has done it all. She also served on the Florida Real Estate Commission and held leadership positions with her local Realtor associations and the Coral Gables Chamber of Commerce. She is a member of the Miami Association of Realtors.
"I was raised to give back to what was good to me."
She says her mother is her inspiration. “My mom raised 11 kids. She’ll be 91 years old soon, and my dad was the love of her life until we lost him in 2010,” she says. “She taught me so much, such as the hardest people to love need it the most. I call those mom-isms. She was the best manager I’ve ever met. If you can organize 11 kids, you’re a good manager!”
Hogan has some mom-isms of her own. “As long as you’re making a difference, you’ll have passion,” she says.
With her passion for her profession, no doubt Hogan will continue to make a difference in the real estate industry for years to come.
Nancy Barreto Hogan is as dedicated to her profession as she is to helping others. In 2008, she won Florida Realtors® Realtor Achievement Award, which recognizes a Realtor who serves as manager, broker of record, or officer in his or her company. The award acknowledges the winner’s previous three years’ contributions to the community, local, state and national Realtor associations. Hogan also has taken additional education courses to enhance her knowledge and expertise, earning the designation of Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS). She was appointed to serve on the Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) in 2003 and elected its chairman in 2005.