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“The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams.” — Eleanor Roosevelt

Throughout her life, Amalia Morales Garicoits, of RLAH Real Estate, has lived in multiple countries on three different continents. She was born on the border between Uruguay and Brazil and has lived in Uruguay, Spain, Switzerland, and, now, the United States. She is at home in multicultural environments, and speaks Spanish, English, and Portuguese.

Amalia was born in rural Uruguay; at 18 years old, she moved to Montevideo, the nation’s capital, to study law. Just two years later, she met her husband, Pablo Fleiss, and her journey from country to country began.

One year later, Amalia and Pablo moved to Barcelona, Spain, where Pablo studied for his Ph.D. In Barcelona, Amalia studied to become a personal trainer and worked doing stand sales in shopping malls. While working a stand at the mall wasn’t Amalia’s dream job, she discovered she had a knack for sales.

Eventually, Amalia’s path led her to Switzerland, and then, finally, the U.S., where Pablo got a job at the Interamerican Development Bank.

Beginning Again

Amalia came to the United States in 2008, not knowing a word of English. “The language was the biggest challenge at the beginning,” she recalls. “But I learned pretty fast.”

In the U.S., Amalia and Pablo began to expand their family. “When my youngest daughter became a 2-year-old, I started looking for things to do,” Amalia says. “Initially, I wanted to become a yoga or meditation teacher, but one friend told me, ‘You are very good at selling things. Why don’t you sell houses?'” Amalia was intrigued. When she purchased her own home, she enjoyed the process and so she decided to get her license.

“I started studying in Long and Foster (because my real estate agent was from there),” Amalia explains. “In the beginning, it was conceived like a hobby, something to occupy my time.” Amalia remembers her first day of class well. Her teacher informed the class that only one in four real estate agents survives the first two years on the job. Amalia kept this comment in the back of her mind, holding on to her plan B — to become a yoga and meditation instructor.

“So, without expectations, I started working in March 2015 and sold my first house to a close friend in August. By December, I sold four houses. The next year, 2016, I started working a lot… At the end of the year, I had sold more than $10 million … in my first complete year! Then, I realized that I made the right decision and didn’t need my plan B anymore.”

Amalia’s part-time job had quickly morphed into a thriving full-time business.

Living a Life of Abundance 

Just six years into her journey selling real estate — and just 13 years removed from learning English — Amalia runs one of Washington, D.C.’s, top real estate businesses. She has been named a top producer by the Washingtonian for four consecutive years (2017–2020).

“I see the real estate as a tool to realize my dreams. It is not about the money, but about making people happy and finding their best home. It is incredibly satisfying to help people improve their quality of life because they find the house they want,” Amalia says.

Today, Giulia is 12 and Nicole is 8. When Amalia isn’t working, she enjoys playing board games, watching a movie, or riding bikes with her daughters. Amalia also maintains deep connections to her roots. She visits family in Uruguay often and sponsors the studies of five Uruguayan children through a Children International program. “Some of them called me godmother. I love to receive a letter from them, knowing that they are studying and doing well,” Amalia says. “I am also a member of the Uruguayan American Foundation, a charity that does fundraising in the U.S. among the Uruguayan community to help education and health projects in rural Uruguay.”

Although she has lived on three different continents, Amalia is grateful to be right where she is today. Each place she has lived has left a lasting impact upon her, and the culture of each country allows her to connect with the diverse people living in and around her home.

When you are young in a small town in a small country in South America, you cannot imagine that the world is so big, but you will have the opportunity to travel and go to fabulous places.”