Million Dollar Listing New York's Luis Ortiz is well-known for using his considerable charms and enthusiasm to get him ahead in the cutthroat world of real estate. But did you know that he started out as a filmmaker?
"I've always been fascinated with telling stories," Luis tells Inman. "I first shot a film in 2006 that did very well." But when it came time to make his follow-up film in 2007, things didn't exactly work out as planned.
After raising money for the film by getting New York CIty restaurateurs to invest in his vision, Luis came across a very sticky problem. "I went and shot my second film and when I edited it and brought it back [to New York], I hated it. I hated it so much. And it was very personal because I put so much heart into it. To this day no one has ever seen a cut of that film except myself."
Living on his friend's couch on the Upper West Side at the time, Luis realized it was time for a change—starting with his living situation. He found a Craigslist listing for an apartment in the Financial District. "For some reason, I fell in love with the apartment," Luis recalls. There was only one problem: he didn't have any income or good credit. But he wasn't about to let that stop him.
With the help of his brother and some ingenious thinking, Luis was able to secure a loan that allowed him to pay 6 months of rent upfront and nab his dream starter apartment. "The broker said, 'You just brokered your own deal…I think you'd be good at real estate.'" Luis reveals. "I said, 'Listen it sounds exciting.' I said let's go. I took my license and made my first deal in three days and was able to pay for two months rent on the spot."
Since then, Luis has become one of the most sought after and recognizable brokers in the city and he attributes it to his philosophy on life. "I find that instead of people trying to find ways to motivate themselves…I think people should focus on getting to know themselves enough to find out what really gets them excited," he says. "When you're playing a game that you like, you're not finding ways to be enthusiastic about it, you just are."
"I'm excited about not just real estate, but I'm excited about life in general. And it just happens that I chose to [bring that enthusiasm to] real estate," he adds.