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Eva Lin

Episode 006

Building a Solid Foundation in Real Estate

Eva Lin is the broker and owner of Lin Realty Group, a boutique real estate brokerage in Pasadena.

Through her journey of immigrating to America at 13, helping her parents in their restaurant, working her way through college studying entrepreneurship, interning, and learning the ways in which she does and does not want to conduct business, Eva Lin has been able to build an honest, solid foundation for her life.

While working for Keller-Williams Realty, Eva Lin was ranked in the Top 20 out of 150,000+ agents nationwide based on her sales production.

Twice a year, her company builds bicycles for Hillsides in Pasadena, a company that helps at-risk children and helps former foster youth to transition successfully into adulthood.


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Eva Lin Quotes

  • “I live and breathe real estate.”
  • “Just sheer drive, I think, got me to where I am today.”
  • “Real estate is probably one of the biggest financial decisions that one would make in their life, and it’s a huge responsibility to be able to place their trust in me. And I just see that as such a sacred responsibility.”
  • “It’s an ongoing relationship and I want them to feel like we’re always there for them, and that’s always been my motto.”
  • “The long-term goal is to grow the brokerage so we can impact more people and help more families.”
  • Eva moved from China to Florida when she was 13 and then from Florida to San Gabriel Valley when she was out of high school.
  • Eva did not know English and spent years working at her family’s restaurant.
  • Eva earned an exciting commercial real estate internship but quickly learned she did not like her employer’s ethics.
  • She went into residential real estate and eventually opened her own brokerage with her husband.
  • Eva is determined to grow her brokerage and help as many families as possible.

What is Eva’s connection to San Gabriel Valley?

Eva moved to SGV when she finished high school. While she traveled to SGV from Florida, she was actually born in China and grew up not speaking any English. She moved to Florida when she was 13.

How hard was it moving to Florida without knowing how to speak English?

It was a difficult transition for Eva. The kids in her new middle school were pretty unforgiving. She was bullied and even had rocks thrown at her. But Eva is driven and an extravert and took it upon herself to learn the English language.

Eva spent most of her time helping her parents run their Chinese restaurant in Palm Bay. They even had a translator help them.

She hosted, washed dishes, and even helped with finances.

Why did Eva move to California from Florida?

Her mom visited California and loved it, especially because of the Asian community here.

She needed Eva to help with her business venture, so instead of going to a community college in Florida, Eva had her sights on USC. She wanted to enroll in their entrepreneurship program and ended up working three jobs to get herself through college.

What happened next for Eva?

Eva knew she wanted to be a business owner but wasn’t sure exactly what she wanted to do. She attended networking events and career fairs, and the counselor told her to always write a thank you letter after speaking with career fair vendors and businesses.

One of the folks that Eva wrote a thank you letter to was a real estate broker in Los Angeles who offered Eva an interview opportunity to become an intern.

She excelled at her internship, and her broker saw so much potential in Eva that he sponsored her to get her real estate license and offered her the associate position.

Did Eva stay in commercial real estate?

Eva was incredibly excited about the opportunities in commercial real estate, especially as an immigrant.

She worked tirelessly to generate leads to continue learning the industry and proving her value. However, she discovered quickly that her broker was everything she did NOT want to be.

He forged signatures, was late, and sent out fake offers to solicit more business. Just completely unethical.

A year in, she started becoming disheartened by his behavior and also discovered that he had acquired quite a few lawsuits.

So, right when she was about to graduate in 2008, she decided to temporarily call it quits. She tried working with her mom for a bit but realized this was her mom’s passion, not her passion.

Then she took a dive into residential real estate, and she loved how transparent she could be with her clients. The honesty was amazing.

How did Eva develop the mindset that she could succeed?

Eva has two sisters and always felt like she was living in her sisters’ shadow. Plus, she was insecure about being so short. It was this rebellious voice in her head to wanted to prove to her sisters and her mom that she could do it. Sheer drive.

What does Eva love about her career?

Eva’s passion is in helping people. She knows that is a little cheesy and cliché, but she thinks it’s her experience being an immigrant that has led her to this passion.

Eva knows that her parents were at a disadvantage when they came to America. She wanted to make sure she could help those who didn’t have the knowledge or abilities to recognize the position they were in.

How does Eva build trust with clients?

Eva never talks about herself; she always keeps it about them because it should be about them. She genuinely wants to help her clients, is always very blunt, and never sugarcoats. This authenticity helps clients trust Eva.

She is always 100% committed.

What has Eva learned from her clients?

One of the most challenging situations she has heard from her clients is incompetent real estate agents or agents that just treat it like a job.

The barrier to entry is low for real estate, and Eva knows it’s not ill-intentioned, but sometimes the agents are figuring it out together, which is not putting the client first.

You always have to put the client’s perspective first.

Has Eva dealt with any other struggles?

It was almost a blessing in disguise when Eva was able to identify unethical practices early on. She would know going forward that if an opportunity did not align with her beliefs, she would not take it.

At one point, she felt like she had hit a ceiling. She then went on to be mentored by a very seasoned real estate agent who was close to retirement.

She offered a partnership with Eva, but shortly after partnering together, Eva realized it wasn’t a good fit. So, she was at a crossroads regarding whether or not she should stay put in her current, comfortable job with a steady income or try to take on the industry as an independent real estate agent with more opportunities to grow.

She chose the latter.

But she only had so much saved up, and real estate is 100% commission. So it was a scary time. But her husband, then boyfriend, had so much faith in her that he quit his job to help her.

Eva ended up winning Rookie of the Year, provided by her real estate network, and she beat out hundreds of thousands of United States and Canadian real estate agents.

Eva began her own brokerage

Eva formed her own brokerage, Lin Realty Group. Her husband still works for her, but he helps mostly with operations and building systems, and marketing.

One separating factor with her brokerage is they never get complacent. She is entirely focused on the long-term goal and helping as many values as possible. She will never turn down a family as long as they realize her value.

Did COVID affect her brokerage?

For ten weeks, real estate was deemed nonessential, so she had to lay off all of her employees.

This was an incredibly rough time, but they had saved enough to get by and used this time to take a hard look at their business and refine their systems.

They also went heavy into video marketing.

Picture of Eva Lin

Eva Lin

Lacy Park in San Marino: Before COVID-19, Eva and her husband would take their daughter there, and her husband actually took her there on an early date

Hillsides Campus: San Rafael in Pasadena

Yang’s Kitchen in Alhambra: All organic Chinese food