Lana Rodriguez didn’t become one of the best Realtors in Colorado Springs by paying for sources or leaning on gimmicky sales tactics. She was rated the seventh-best Realtor in the city in 2018 on referrals alone using the strength of a simple secret.

“You work for people, you follow up with people, you stay in touch with them,” she said.

Personally, she describes herself as relatable, getting on the level of anyone she’s working with, no matter who they are, what their circumstances are or where they’re from. She hasn’t come up alone, either — her team’s been ranked the top 1 percent team in the Springs area in the last two years.

“When she sees a need, she figures out how to fill it,” wrote Martha Marzolf in her nomination for Rodriguez.

Marzolf is Rodriguez’s boss, the managing broker for the region.

“She has given away [thousands] of pumpkins to military families, she hosts deserving families during the holidays, she volunteers at her daughter’s school, she is [a youth minister for Stephen Ministries] and will randomly go shopping for food and home goods for families in need,” Marzolf said.

Rodriguez has been in the Springs for five years now, having moved with her husband, Bryan, from Austin, Texas. She’s originally from Riga, the capital of Latvia, having first visited when she was a year away from graduating college. She said she and her fellow students were encouraged to see more of the world.

“A lot of kids went to countries like England and Holland, but I had a passion for America,” she said, adding that shortly after coming here, speaking barely a word of English, she decided to stick around and she’s lived here ever since. It was hard, and she had to work multiple jobs while learning a new language, but not only has she built a foundation for herself, she’s made enough money to move her parents into a home in the Springs, where they’ve lived since 2015.

Rodriguez considers herself to be a professional saleswoman, having worked in customer service jobs since she was 14. In Texas, after a period as a dental assistant, she got into retail sales for Puma, Kenneth Cole and others.

When she isn’t using her relatable personality to sell real estate, she’s raising two kids and likely volunteering somewhere. Under her supervision, her team has made charitable donations to Springs Rescue Mission and TESSA. She volunteers at the Ruth Washburn Cooperative Nursery School, which her daughter attends.

“I feel like it’s my duty to give back to this community as much as I can,” she said. “Other people don’t have this easy, and with what I’ve worked for, with what I have right now in life, I cannot take it for granted.”

— Griffin Swartzell

What makes Colorado Springs feel like home?

“Colorado Springs is the best city I have ever visited, and I am very well-traveled around America and the world… The people are cool. They’re chill… They just want to have a good life, and they just want to be happy here, and they don’t bother nobody.”