California realtor Harma Hartouni joined us today for Mold Talks. He and his team comprise Harma Real Estate, currently the top-selling real estate team in the Central Southern Region of California.
A self-made entrepreneur and developer, Harma established his own real estate company: Harma Real Estate. He and his employees are currently the top-selling real estate team in the Central Southern Region of California. Over the years, he’s managed to push his business to success, ranking as the number one real estate business in his region. With his growing business footprint in Los Angeles, Harma built an exceedingly successful brand, catapulting his real estate practice to over $1 billion in sales volume in 2019. He also became founder and CEO of multiple companies servicing the local real estate industry including financial services, technology, and coaching (his personal passion).
He is also the author of the book: Getting Back Up: A Story of Resilience, Self-Acceptance, and Success.
In today’s Mold Talks, we discussed Harma’s personal experience with mold. With four years of misdiagnosis under his belt, Harma said understands how disheartening and confusing being affected by mold can be. It took visiting several doctors, undergoing countless tests, and hearing multiple “potential diagnoses” for him to finally get an answer to his poor well-being: mold. Until he dealt with the mold, his doctor told him things would not be normal in his body.
Mold never crossed Harma’s mind as the potential cause for his health issues. Sure, he’d heard of mold and knew it could affect someone’s health. He had never met anyone who was actually sick because of mold though.
This experience, Harma said, was eye-opening. For years, mold caused him to experience gut issues, pain, and constant exhaustion. While other doctors looked at his thyroid and testosterone levels, all it took was for one doctor to administer one test (that insurance does not cover) to determine mold as the culprit. How much money, he asked, would I have saved if some doctor just had me take this test years ago?
“It made me realize our medical system is really messed up!”
Since his diagnosis, Harma’s focus on building mold awareness grew. Being in the real estate industry, he wants to push away the idea that mold is “taboo.”
“It’s okay if the house has mold. It’s actually great because that’s fixable!”
Any house can have mold- even multi-million dollar homes. Leave a window open one time when it’s raining and mold can establish in someone’s home. It’s not a sign of dirtiness or poor housing; it’s just a facet of homeowning and could happen to anyone. What we all need to be focused on, he said, is building awareness. Everyone should understand that mold can go undetected for years, which can cause negative health symptoms such as those he experienced. Not everyone is sensitive to mold, but for those that are, it can be demoralizing.
With a new diagnosis and treatment underway, Harma plans to train his staff on how to look for mold as well as the process for mold treatment. That way, they can help both sellers and buyers navigate dealing with mold and the importance of dealing with it correctly.
Dealing with mold before buying a home can help save money in the long run, cause less disruption down the road, and ensure the health and well-being of everyone in the home.