Updated: Sep 16, 2020
Xio Sandoval Relentlessly Breaks Down Barriers
Growing up, Xio Sandoval never experienced the security of living in a home of her own. Instead, she remembers her family feeling trapped in a seemingly never-ending cycle, living paycheck to paycheck, unable to escape their status as tenants—a feeling that would motivate her to become a REALTOR®.
A first-generation Latina, whose parents immigrated from El Salvador in 1975, she remembers moving at least 20 times throughout her childhood. “When the property owners would come collect our rent, my mom would tense up, get nervous and I didn’t understand why.”
But when she was in high school, her curiosity over a jacket opened her eyes to the real estate business. She recounts, “A property manager with a shiny black and gold jacket that read ‘Century 21’ on the front fold, would come and collect our rent. I was intrigued by his jacket and thought his job was fascinating. Eventually, I asked myself, ‘how can I be that man’ and ease my mother’s fear.”
As tenants, Sandoval and her family lived in the “back”—in accessory dwelling units or backyard apartments—never in the main house. She noticed a pattern: the people that lived in the front, collected rent from the people in the back
Motivated to learn how her family could become property owners and “live in the front”, Sandoval finally asked the agent in the black and gold Century 21 jacket, “How can I do what you’re doing when I graduate from high school?” His advice was to, “finish high school, take some real estate courses and get your real estate license.” She was sold!
As an agent, Sandoval relentlessly worked to break down barriers. Noticing that all of the top producing agents were male, she set her sights on this upper echelon. Within one year, Sandoval was named rookie of the year and in her second year, she became the first top producing female in her office. Reflecting on this experience, she says “we still have a lot of work to do to even out the playing field and increase the number of female broker/owners. Men have to be bold and say yes to opportunities to partner with females—especially Latinas.” Challenge accepted.
More than fifteen years later, Sandoval is still a top producing agent at Century 21 Realty Masters, in Montebello, California. She’s been recognized as one the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals’ (NAHREP) Top 250 Latino agents—multiple times. Since 2014, she’s been listed as the number one Montebello Board of REALTORS® agent in sales, total listings and closed escrows. But her success is not only measured by her record-breaking sales numbers—she’s equally as passionate about giving back to her community.
Currently, she serves as a mentor with Century 21’s ‘Empowering Latinas’ program, a partnership with the Eva Longoria Foundation. This program helps Latinas become real estate agents and provides ongoing mentorship in their careers. “I want young women to know that if I can achieve success, they can too,” says Sandoval. And as a national director for the NAHREP, Sandoval champions sustainable homeownership for the Latinx community. “Personally, NAHREP makes me feel represented—it’s bigger than being real estate practitioners—it’s uniting our voices for positive change and it’s familia.”
“Don’t allow your circumstances to define your future and don’t box yourself in. Dare bravely!”
Recognizing the priceless value of representation, strong Latinx leadership models and communities such as C.A.R.’s Latinx Professionals Network, with encouragement, she forwards her vision. “Don’t allow your circumstances to define your future and don’t box yourself in. Dare bravely!”
The California Association of REALTORS® proudly celebrates Xio Sandoval as a Latinx industry leader.