What does it take for Marty Rodriguez, featured in LORE magazine, to be a top performer year after year? A strong work ethic instilled in her by her parents and a love of serving people.
By Vanessa Montañez
You could say sales prowess comes naturally to Marty Rodriguez, a sales associate/broker at Century 21 Marty Rodriguez in Glendora, Calif. Beginning at age 6, she was the top Christmas card and candy seller, and she was the top seller at her school every year for eight years. At a young age, Marty was a fierce and determined competitor. More than that, she knew the value of hard work.
Rodriguez was born in Monterey Park, Calif., as Martha Armanda Castruita. Her parents, Felix and Rosalina Castruita, worked hard to buy their small two-bedroom, one-bath home in El Monte, Calif. Rodriguez is one of 11 children, instilled with an incredible work ethic, values and determination at an early age. “Nobody owes you anything; you have to earn things on your own merit,” she says, an attitude she learned from her father’s words of wisdom.
Growing up, she and her siblings worked odd jobs such as cleaning houses and taking in ironing to help support the family. As a barber, Mr. Castruita was the primary provider for the family, and Mrs. Castruita was a hardworking homemaker. Money was scarce for private school for eleven children. “Mom and Dad sold Shaklee and Aloe Vera products,” says Marty. “We ironed clothes. We shelled walnuts and cleaned houses; Mom made and sold tamales. We all did whatever it took to make ends meet.” The children worked to help subsidize the cost of tuition. All eleven Castruita children attended Catholic schools from elementary through high school.
Despite the hard work, says Rodriguez, “Growing up was so much fun. We had so much interaction with each other. We played sports and games. The most important thing to our parents was for us to go to church and get good grades.”
Love compelled Rodriguez to get into real estate. She met and fell in love with Ed Rodriguez, a man who shared the same work ethic and determination. He knew that Marty was a natural at selling anything. She took courses in real estate at a local community college and, with Ed’s encouragement, parlayed her talent into a career. Ed had a background in construction, making it a perfect match. July 18, 2017, marked their 46th wedding anniversary.
“In my office, I have the ‘21 Suggestions for Success’ poster by H. Jackson Brown Jr.,” says Marty Rodriguez. “The first suggestion says, ‘Marry the right person. This one decision will determine 90 percent of your happiness or misery.’ I am blessed to have married the right person. Ed understands and supports me. He knows what it takes to be successful in our business. I am more successful because of him, my family, my team and clients.”
The couple has four children, three of whom work at Rodriguez’s office. This is a family business built on genuine concern for and devotion to its customers. It’s more than a formula for success; it’s the culture of the office, and it all begins with Marty. “Without our customers, I am nobody. The difference between my competitors and me is service, experience and the knowledge my team and I bring to the table,” she says. “We’re here for [our customers] during the emotional moments—when [they have] to sell the home they grew up in—handling one of their biggest investments. We go above and beyond when needed with any service tasks, whether picking up their mail, bringing in their trash cans or helping to facilitate repairs,” she says.
She knows that the results of exceptional service to her customers will win them for life. Many brokers downsized after the housing crisis of 2008. It triggered a large decline in home prices after the collapse of the housing bubble, leading to foreclosures, unemployment and lack of access to capital. During that time, Rodriguez maintained her full team so that her service could remain top-notch. Now that the real estate market is flourishing, she continues to educate and empower her team, agents and staff to provide exceptional service.
Her motto: A team can consistently outperform an individual when it comes to providing excellent service. She lives by her simple business philosophy: to bring happiness to herself and others by being the best example she can be; to inspire and change lives; and to bring out the best in the people whose lives she touches. “I learned from Tony Robbins that in order to make other people happy I have to make myself happy first. I must lead by example and must be a teacher to others, in order to inspire and empower the people around me,” she says.
Rodriguez takes these words to heart and lives by them. Further, her philanthropy is shown by her generous donations to various organizations, which include the City of Hope, local schools and many other nonprofits. Her business hosts a blood drive every 56 days for the City of Hope Blood donation program. The City of Hope is a world leader in research and treatment of cancer, diabetes and other serious diseases.
The cause is near and dear to her heart. When her husband, Ed, got cancer, they turned to the City of Hope for support and treatment. In light of challenges that face Marty, she perseveres and continues to inspire everyone around her.
“Each day, I wake up excited and full of energy,” says Marty Rodriguez. “I know that there are people counting on me to be the best version of myself and help make their dreams come true.”
Vanessa Montañez is a freelance writer and a doctoral student pursuing a degree in executive leadership from the University of Charlestown. She is a National Association of Women in Real Estate Businesses (NAWRB)-certified delegate spokeswoman and knows Marty Rodriguez through the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals.