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Beth Alonso channels varied background into real estate role

Ruhl & Ruhl real estate agent Beth Alonso

Beth Alonso followed many paths that eventually led her to becoming a real estate agent with Ruhl & Ruhl Realtors in Fairfield.

Alonso worked in many different fields in art, health, sales, customer service, jewelry and office management before setting out on her latest venture.

“All of those things pull together in my real estate and how I can help people,” she said. “I like to use my artistic side to help people prepare their home to get ready to sell.”

Alonso admits she has “quite a varied background.”

She moved to Fairfield when she was 16 years old after growing up in several other states.

After graduating college, she started traveling.

“Because of my university experience, I got to know people from other countries,” she said. “That brought me to Europe.”

During her seven years living and working and Europe, she began to learn new languages and cultures.

“All this experience working in different countries was really eye-opening,” she said. “In some ways it made me appreciate the U.S. and my little hometown of Fairfield more. In other ways, it got me to open my eyes to see and relate to people who come from different backgrounds.

“That’s really helpful in real estate.”

When Alonso returned to Fairfield, she started doing stained glass painting at Bovard Studio.

“I work at The Raj Ayurveda Health Center and did guest services there,” she said. “I became a jeweler. I studied that at the University of Iowa Jewelry and Metal smiting.”

Her husband, Ricardo, has a background in construction and renovation.

“We had these thoughts about getting into fixing up our house and selling it or building a house,” she said. “In 2005, our house had an electrical fire. Nobody was home, and nobody got hurt, but the house was completely destroyed.

“That was the drop kick into the house renovation stuff.”

Out of necessity, they decided to put their skills to work.

“From the ashes, we ended up turning that into something very beautiful and selling it, using that money to put toward a new house,” Alonso said. “Then, we just kept going. We’d buy a little house and fix it up. We’d turn one into a rental property, then another one. Then, we bought an office building.”

While her children were small and still at home, Alonso decided to join a moms’ group.

When her daughter was in Head Start, Alonso volunteered for the program’s health advisory board.

“They talked about childhood obesity and ways to get kids healthier,” she said. “I brought up that, in Fairfield, we’ve got no place to take the kids in the winter except for McDonald’s and Burger King.

“I started working with this moms’ group to team everybody up to create an indoor playground in Fairfield.”

Alonso is an admittedly “very shy person.”

“Through that volunteer work, it got me to bringing people together, reaching out to businesses and to the city leaders,” she said. “It made me realize that helping others gave me courage and abilities I didn’t know I had. Service gave me joy and gave me passion.”

The indoor playground project led Alonso to the Fairfield Rotary Club, where she led a number of committees.

“So besides my past work experience, those activities have really given me leadership experience and connections that I never imagined I'd have before,” she said.

When the pandemic hit last year, Alonso was working at America’s Diamonds.

“Everything shut down, so we were kind of in a position of what’s going to happen next,” she said. “I had been thinking the last couple years about real estate and becoming a real estate agent. I decided to go for it and get my real estate license.”

She completed her studies last year, passed the exam in November and got her real estate license in January.

She came into the business during a historically hot real estate market.

“I jumped right in,” she said. “It’s been like jumping in a rushing river with the way the market is right now.

Alonso has tapped into all of her past experience to drive her to succeed in the real estate business.

“I enjoy helping people and putting my background to use,” she said. “With the things I’ve been through, I can relate to anyone.”

She uses her art background to help stage homes that are going on the market.

“It takes an artistic eye to make something look appealing to someone,” she said.

She said her customer service experience helps her make people feel more comfortable.

“Language and travel have helped me relate to different kinds of people and keep an open mind,” she added.

Her construction and house-flipping experience helps her know the potential of a home when she sees it.

“My husband and I have done house flipping; we’ve been landlords and bought and sold many homes and renovated them,” Alonso said. “I’ve been on the side of a buyer and a seller.

“I can relate to those people and what they go through and what it takes to turn a house that’s falling apart into something beautiful, sellable and desirable.”

Her ultimate reward is seeing people happy when they find what they love.

“That’s what keeps me going,” she said. “When I can help find a perfect home for someone and they’re just thrilled, that makes it really worthwhile for me.”

Alonso can be contacted at bethalonso@ruhlhomes.com.

Comments: james.jennings@southeastiowaunion.com