Tasha Soundara is a Lao Minnesotan businesswoman who’s been an active member of the Lao Professionals Network. Currently a realtor, she sees part of her personal mission is to provide her clients the best personalized real estate service by being “professional, innovative, and knowledgeable.” In today’s housing market, that’s a challenge. A resident of Robbinsdale, she graduated 10 years ago with a degree in Economics from the University of Minnesota. She likes to focus on the positive and enjoys new ideas on how to help others in her community.
Little Laos on the Prairie caught up with her to ask her a little bit more about her story, and where she sees herself going next.
Can you tell us a little about yourself and your family? When did you all come to Minnesota?
I am a Laotian American and was raised here in Minnesota. I got my real estate license in 2001, while I was pursuing a degree in Economics at the University of Minnesota. After graduation, I decided to pursue my passion and embarked on a career in real estate. I have built my career serving many minority populations while selling new construction over the years.
My immediate family currently resides in Minnesota and Kansas. It wasn’t until later was I able to comprehend the sacrifice my parents took in order for us to get here. They left Laos after the Vietnam War and became refugees in Thailand. My uncle was able to sponsor us to join him in Minnesota in 1985. Through hard work and dedication my parents have been able to make the American dream a reality and prosper here.
What are some of your favorite things about being a part of the Lao community?
I enjoy our Lao traditions, the food, and our giving culture.
What was your favorite subject in school? Do you hope to study anything else in the future?
My favorite subject was science. I had wanted to be an astronaut when I was younger.
I enjoy business now but I’m always constantly studying and learning about it even though it may not be in a formal institution.
What inspired you to become a realtor? Are there any ways you see your Lao heritage helping you to help your clients find good homes?
My mother suggested I become a Realtor thinking that was something I could do on the side. Little did she know that I would end up enjoying it and make it my career.
My Lao heritage has helped me connect with not just the Laotian community but also other Asian population. When I work with older buyers who are buying their first home, I treat them like my parents by being more patient. I know that English can be challenging when you have to understand the complexities of a real estate transaction. The real estate industry has gone through a lot in recent years with the housing and financial crisis. It is now more important than ever to work with a professional to get the right guidance so you know that you’re making the right home investment. It has been the most rewarding when I have been able to help a Laotian family through their foreclosure issues and get back on their feet again.
What’s you favorite Lao dish?
My favorite Lao dish is gaeng naw mai.
What do you see as your next big project for yourself?
I want to continue growing my real estate business. I’m an entrepreneur at heart and always working on different side projects like my real estate investments and business start-ups.
What advice do you have for young Lao women who want to be successful?
My advice comes from the famous Nike slogan “just do it”! That philosophy was instilled in me from my parents from early on. I saw my parents always working hard and trying different business ventures to make a living. They had all the odds against them but they were never afraid to try and “just do it”. With that motto, I have been able to live my life that way and never being afraid to fail.
You can visit Tasha Soundara at www.tashasoundara.com
~Bryan Thao Worra