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Exploring Life & Business with Marlon Smith-Buie of MLSB The Bureau


Today we’d like to introduce you to Marlon Smith-Buie.  

Hi Marlon, so excited to have you on the platform. So, before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today.
1988 I was born and raised in San Deigo, California moved to Oviedo, FL, in November of ’99. I played varsity football as a freshman at Oviedo High School and Lake Mary High School. I was passionate about playing in the NFL but also wanted to be an architect and open an architectural firm. As a result, I enrolled in an apprenticeship program at Seminole State College during my junior and senior years while still playing football. Due to unfavorable circumstances, I graduated high school without a football scholarship but with a certification in carpentry and began working for Acousti Engineering as a ceiling grid technician and continued my college career towards becoming an architect. When I left Austin, I started to get into sales and business by working for Enterprise Rent-A-Car, UPS, Coach, Sprint customer retention, and business development at Crane Injury Law. Sprint was a turning point because I worked there for five years feeling unfulfilled and empty – and what seemed like a blessing in disguise, my department was laid off shortly after; due to Softbank acquiring the majority of the company. My experience at Sprint pushed me never to allow my destiny to depend on someone else. After Sprint, I did some soul searching and met an ambitious attorney who I later helped develop an excellent and well-established law firm in Birmingham, Alabama. While there, I became inspired and decided to continue my journey to be an architect, but I wasn’t too fond of returning to school and having a median income. Therefore, I chose a career in real estate as the answer. While starting real estate, I struggled with gaining the usual residential clients. As a result, I began to learn every aspect of what real estate entailed; in doing so, I gravitated towards commercial real estate – as one would say, “I had found my lane,” which was less traveled due to the amount of risk involved. Long story short – I’ve been in the business (full time) for nine years and spearheaded commercial sales for Century 21 and Remax for six years. After speaking with my broker at the time, my turning point for opening an independent brokerage came about when I attempted to buy the Remax office I was working for. In the due diligence process, I discovered the franchise terms and fees were unfavorable for our business model. As a result, I opened “The Multiple Listing Service Bureau” also known as “MLSB The Bureau” in 2019, the only minority-owned commercial and residential real estate brokerage in central Florida (to my knowledge). So far, I’ve brokered businesses, retail, industrial, hospitality, land, and development deals. As of today, we are at 17 agents, and as of this week, we opened our online full-service real estate school. 

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
No, the struggles I faced were more so mental and psychological. Entrepreneurship is a laborious process, from leaving a secure 9-5 to an unknown and non-guaranteed income position. The hardest part was staying consistent, persistent, and not quitting. Many times, early on, I was told “you can’t” or “you won’t.” The thing about residential real estate and commercial they are entirely two different mindsets. Most people have a hard time committing; Once you commit to something, it means that regardless of what happens, you must see it through and that alone allows for vision which creates focus. In short, staying focused has and will continue to help me overcome the struggles. 

As you know, we’re big fans of MLSB The Bureau. For our readers who might not be as familiar what can you tell them about the brand?
As a real estate brokerage, our goal is to educate and empower our agents and clients while increasing value by guiding our customers and showing “how to use” real estate at every level. Our objective is to be of service to our clients post-closing; If you ask, what differentiates us from the many real estate agents in our market, it’s simple, “we do more than just open doors to a house.” 

We specialize in commercial (sales and leasing), residential (sales, rent to own, and property management), business brokering (sales – buying, and selling; business only – non-real estate) 

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
We are a minority-owned business 

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MLSB The Bureau

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