ELKO -- For the past 14 years, Marissa Lostra has directed her team of 10 agents, negotiated sales, met with clients and helped with homework -- all from the convenience of her own home.
Marissa began her career in real estate working for a contractor, and then she picked up her real estate license as an outgrowth of that.
“I’m very much a people person. Of course with real estate … I feel like it’s always challenging. Everybody always comes to you with a specific challenge. Two transactions are never the same.”
This year, Lostra’s job isn’t just at Lostra Realty. She is serving as president of the Elko County Association of Realtors. She has been on the board for a while, but this is her first time as president. She says it will be the only time.
“I got my one year, and then I’m out, then I can go back to just business,” she said.
Her life, though, has never really been just business. She and her husband have four children; three are still at home. Raising kids and working full-time from home is “a balancing act.”
“I think that’s one of the advantages currently of living and working at home. It makes it so that I can work all hours of the day and night and take the time off when my kids need me. … I still get to work, but they know that I’m here.”
Working from home presents challenges that give her life a roller-coaster pattern.
“Everybody has a day, especially in real estate. We joke about that – there’s always that one day. Our famous saying in real estate is ‘wait 24 hours’ because you could have the worst day ever, and if you just wait 24 hours it’s amazing what can change in that small amount of time.”
Lostra has lived in Elko since she was in first grade, and except for attending college, Elko has been home. She stays in Elko because “everything here is so community and family oriented. Living in the city was an eye-opening experience. … When we went to school we had our oldest daughter and then one on the way. We wanted to get back to the small town, hometown feeling, and sense of community. Definitely family and community is why we stay.”
One of her favorite types of transactions is helping a client take a property that needs a little, or a lot, of TLC and turning it into a home with “exponential” equity.
“I absolutely love it. I Love the rehab part of it. I love helping pick out colors and interior design. Those are my favorite types of transactions, but they are a lot of work. The end result is just – is amazing when you can do that. It makes me feel good, then I feel like I did my job.”
Does Lostra have any advice for aspiring business owners?
“It is always going to be harder than what you think. And don’t let anybody discourage you from doing what you want to do because if you love what you do then you’re always going to be successful at it. I really do believe that.”