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Miami Beach Realtor Served the U.S. Coast Guard

by | May 09, 2016


By Chris Umpierre/

MIAMI Staff


Carlos Gutierrez has always been about helping his community, so it should come as no surprise he had an active role in the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary.

The Miami Beach Realtor served two terms as a flotilla staff officer with the United States Coast Guard in 2011. He ran applications, fingerprints and tests and collected dues for new trainees.

“I got to do something to give back to my country,” Gutierrez said.

The 2016 residential president of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® still volunteers with the Coast Guard Auxiliary, but he has less responsibility today. An immigrant from Bogota, Colombia, Gutierrez is a strong believer in helping his country and the community around him. As a college student, he spent eight months working to convince school administration to re-launch the Florida International University rugby team, which is now one of the best in the state.

In his first decade in real estate, Gutierrez opened a Miami real estate branch of United Realty Group and eventually grew the office to 72 Realtors. Gutierrez has also volunteered to help students struggling with reading at Miami Beach High School. The 36-year-old Gutierrez has continued his volunteerism with the MIAMI Association of REALTORS® (MIAMI), where is one of the youngest residential presidents in the organization’s 96-year history.

“Carlos is a leader by example,” said Gerardo Ferraris, who coached Gutierrez at FIU Rugby. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen him fail at anything. He was a lender and succeeded there. He ran a real estate office and he succeeded there and now he’s on the board and succeeding there.”


Serving on the Coast Guard


Gutierrez said he was looking for ways to give back to the community when he applied to the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary in 2011. Gutierrez, whose sister Karla served the Naval Reserves, said he looked into joining the reserves. There were barriers of entry that disqualified him from deployments, which precluded him from joining as a reservist.

At first, Gutierrez was also working as an interpreter for the U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary. Gutierrez is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish and French) and is conversational in Portuguese. Budget cuts, however, cut the interpreter program.

Gutierrez loves his different roles with the U.S. Coast Guard.

“My favorite part is the structure it provides,” said Gutierrez, who is joined by just one other local Realtor on the Auxiliary.  


Launching a College Rugby Team


Around FIU, Gutierrez is known as a founding father of rugby. It was his persistence and commitment that convinced Florida International University to relaunch the rugby team in 2001.

FIU was originally very much against the idea. FIU was concerned about the physicality of rugby and how it would pay for the players’ insurance.

Gutierrez, however, didn’t relent. He had a goal of bringing rugby to his college. He had played rugby in high school and wanted to give the opportunities to his classmates. So Gutierrez gathered dozens of signatures from students. He worked with Gabrial Puello, who became his first FIU Rugby coach, to create a club constitution. He also demonstrated how FIU could pay for the players’ insurance.

“FIU rugby had been dormant for eight to 10 years,” Ferraris said. “But Carlos is very goal oriented. He wanted to take on the initiative to bring back the team.”

After eight months of work, FIU changed its views and approved the rugby team. Gutierrez still remembers the date of the approval: Feb. 3, 2001.

“Florida International University, and the Student Organizations Council would like to congratulate the FIU Rugby Football Club on becoming a recognized organization within the university,” the letter of approval reads.

Gutierrez, who served as a captain on the team’s first season in 2002, still goes back to campus to play in alumni rugby games. He watches like a proud father as the club has achieved regional success. FIU won the 2015 Southern Independent Rugby Conference Championship.

Opening a Miami Real Estate Office

After graduating with honors from FIU, Gutierrez began his real estate career in 2003 with Wells Fargo as a lender. He also secured his real estate license and began buying and selling his own properties.

In 2005, Gutierrez joined United Realty Group, a Plantation-based real estate firm with 14 Florida locations. His success allowed him to be selected to start his own URG branch. Launching a real estate firm is difficult enough, but try doing it at the height of the housing crisis.

“I took the opportunity in 2008 so in addition to having to sell and buy properties for clients I had to manage the firm and work to keep the lights on,” Gutierrez said. “I remember the office started out in an empty shoebox, and I hired my first Realtor in a Starbucks.”

Serving as MIAMI Residential President


After joining Keller Williams as an agent in March 2013, Gutierrez made it a point to volunteer at the MIAMI Association of REALTORS.

He first served on the MIAMI Residential Board of Governors in 2013. The following year, he continued serving on the residential board while joining MIAMI’s first young professionals’ network board and serving as a REALTORS® Political Action Committee chairman. RPAC’s goal is to raise and spend money on issues to elect candidates who understand and support the real estate community. RPAC donations help support buyers, sellers, investors and property owners.

Thanks to Gutierrez’s involvement and others on the first YPN board, MIAMI YPN has grown to more than 450 members.

Today, Gutierrez is one of the youngest residential presidents in MIAMI’s 96-year history. He is also part of a multicultural, multilingual group of MIAMI board presidents and chairmen. Of MIAMI’s six board presidents/chairmen, three were born in other countries. Colombia, Nicaragua, Trinidad and Cuban ethnicities are each represented among MIAMI’s six board presidents/chairmen.

“More than anything it tells me Miami is a city without limitations,” Gutierrez said. “You’re not limited by your background in Miami. You can grow and be successful based on the merit of your work.”


GUTIERREZ BIO

Name: Carlos Gutierrez

Board position: 2016 MIAMI Residential President

Employment: Realtor at Gutierrez Group Miami Real Estate, Keller Williams Miami Beach

Achievements: Gutierrez opened his own United Realty Group branch and managed to grow the office to 72 Realtors. He was also admitted into the Million Dollar Guild through the Institute of Luxury Home Marketing for his performance in the top 10 percent price point of the market.

Education: Graduated with honors from Florida International University in 2003

Did you know? Gutierrez is fluent in three languages (English, Spanish and French) and is conversational in Portuguese. An immigrant from Bogota, Colombia, Gutierrez was the first in his family to graduate from college.

ABOUT THE PROJECT

Getting to Know MIAMI Leaders highlights the 2016 presidents and chairmen of the MIAMI Association of REALTORS®. The leaders are: Chairman of the Board Mark Sadek, Residential President Carlos Gutierrez, Commercial President Maria G. Juncadella, Broward President Donna Reid, Young Professionals Network Chairman Jorge Guerra Jr. and JTHS President Susan Gaieski.

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