By Paige Tepping

The National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP) is preparing to close the books on another successful year. With the wind at its back, CEO and Co-Founder Gary Acosta is gearing up for a new year—one that’s full of opportunity. Here, learn what’s in store for NAHREP in 2017 and beyond.

Paige Tepping: NAHREP has achieved a great deal of success over the years. As CEO and co-founder of the organization, are there any specific milestones that stand out above the rest?
Gary Acosta
: While we’ve achieved many notable milestones over the years, some are more intangible than others. For example, when Ernie Reyes and I co-founded the organization back in 2000, we spent a lot of time educating the industry about the growing Hispanic demographic, and the impact it would have on the industry in the coming years. But the past 10 years have brought a big transition, as we don’t have to sell this point as much anymore. While we no longer have to prognosticate, we’re fully committed to providing best practices and solutions to our membership base. At the same time, we’re taking this growth and turning it into a great business opportunity. It’s also important to note that our membership, which meandered around 5,000 for the first 5-6 years, spiked significantly after the housing crash. When the market was really tough between 2008 and 2012, people began to recognize the value of collaboration, locking together and working through challenging times as a group. This created a unique culture within the organization that helped us take it to the next level.

PT: As we prepare to close out 2016, can you provide a state of the association in regards to where the organization stands?
: Today, NAHREP has roughly 26,000 individual members. While two-thirds of our membership is made up of real estate agents and brokers, the balance comes from mortgage and ancillary service industries. That being said, we’re experiencing a strong growth trajectory. Having recently crossed the 60 chapter threshold, we’re hoping to be at 75 by the end of 2017. We’re also beginning to see growth in a lot of non-traditional markets. In fact, the Midwest and South are experiencing the best and strongest Hispanic growth, laying the foundation for the organization’s biggest opportunity to grow over the next several years. Our conferences are another area in which we excel. Recognized as some of the most organized events in the country, our conferences offer as much energy and business engagement as you would find anywhere else. At the same time, they integrate a very unique cultural experience into the process of business-building, while providing ample opportunity to meet like-minded individuals from across the country.

PT: What would you point to as the secret behind the organization’s growth?
: Just because NAHREP has an ‘H’ in its acronym, it doesn’t guarantee anything. Like any other company or organization, we have to earn the participation of our members, and there’s a lot of competition when it comes to getting the attention of a lot of these folks. Therefore, it’s important to look beyond the superficial. It’s not just about translating materials into Spanish and learning how to Salsa, but rather, cultivating the unique business leads Hispanic small business professionals need more than anything else. The Hispanic Wealth Project will be instrumental in providing our members the guidance and content they need to translate business success into long-term, generational wealth as they continue to do better and generate more income. It’s also exciting to see how people are adopting the 10 principles we identified within the NAHREP 10 and sharing them with their friends and family.

PT: Looking ahead, what’s in store for 2017?
: 2017 is going to be a breakthrough year for us. In addition to our National Convention in Dallas, we’ll also be hosting our first-ever Hispanic Wealth Conference. When it comes to growth, we expect to see the organization grow by 40 percent over the next year as far as our chapter network, and we’re anticipating the same level of growth in terms of our membership network overall. We also plan to be more active in terms of creating data and information to truly position ourselves as a resource for the industry. We’re looking forward to bigger and better things in 2017 and beyond.

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Paige Tepping is RISMedia’s managing editor. Email her your real estate news ideas at