Diversity Spotlight: Joel Torres
Joel Torres is a Honduran-American that grew up in West Los Angeles. The youngest of five siblings, Torres’ parents migrated from Honduras to Puerto Rico before settling in the United States. He graduated from Los Angeles Technical College with an Associate degree in Liberal Arts. Shortly after graduating, Joel visited his brother and his wife in Charleston and decided to relocate in 2009.
When he landed in Charleston, he was determined to find success here. He would work 3 to 5 jobs at a time, clocking more than 70 hours a week as a restaurant server, a water safety instructor and lifeguard trainer for the City of Charleston, and in a sales role at a friend’s company. The long hours started to wear on him and his sister encouraged him to look into real estate. He was hesitant, but preparing to purchase his own home gave him the push he needed take the course.
As a newly minted Realtor®, he joined a team and starting really learning the trade. Just three years into his real estate career, Joel earned his broker license and began looking for a brokerage that would encourage and support his professional growth. His commitment for ongoing education was fueled by an understanding that having a wide range of knowledge would help him provide the best possible service to his clients.
Joel identifies with the specific needs of the Hispanic community and has leaned into supporting those who want to become homeowners. He has earned his At Home With Diversity (AHWD) designation as well as his Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS), Real Estate Negotiations Expert (RENE) and most recently completed the Historical Properties Specialist, C2EX and the NAR Fairhaven training.
Earlier this year, Joel graduated from the CTAR Leadership Academy and was nominated for a seat on the 2024 CTAR Board of Directors for a 3-year term that he will begin in January. He currently serves on the CTAR Global Business Chapter board and is engaged with several committees.
Real estate is not an easy business and it can have some steep learning curves—Joel says that his biggest challenge has been learning to manage his emotions when the trajectory of a deal changes and how to be the glue that holds the deal together by strategically managing challenges.
Joel has been blessed with many positive influences as he’s grown his career and says that each person he has had the opportunity to work with has brought value to different areas of his growing career. He credits his first broker with teaching him what it meant to be a good steward to clients and customers and to understand the contracts. Working with a team taught him to manage processes and understand the business aspect of real estate, how to be assertive delivering valid opinions and to set boundaries to get respect. His current Broker has invested in his growth and development as a leader.
Joel’s words to live by are: “Be kind, spread good energy, positivity and love”