What led you to your current profession? I grew up in real estate! My parents were landlords, even doing the interior painting of their properties themselves. As early as age six, I helped with the work and grew to really like real estate. I worked in the hospitality industry before becoming a real estate agent at a Melrose agency. I also own a restaurant, Daddy Jones Bar & Restaurant, in Somerville. The very first piece of real estate that I ever bought was the restaurant building. Both careers require many of the same things: understanding the market, anticipating the customer’s needs, and being there to help.
What are some of the benefits of being a mentor or having a mentor? I have had a number of mentors, and a number of young people who work at our restaurant probably look at me as a mentor. The benefits of being (and having) a mentor is being able to walk through a situation and ask (or answer) questions. We’re still at a place where a lot of life skills aren’t taught in school and experience is the best teacher. How will you know if you don’t ask? A mentor must be someone who can make her/his “mentees” feel comfortable.
What trends will dominate your industry in the coming months? In the real estate industry, we see a number of buyers agreeing to waive property inspections. In part, because the market is red-hot and many people over-bid on residential (and to some extent commercial properties), the sellers have a bit more leverage in this area. A property inspection is well worth the time and investment and it should be an established part of every transaction. On the restaurant side, we will continue to find creative ways to serve the public as we all navigate through COVID: selective indoor dining, and creative ways to have outdoor or patio dining as well as takeout.
In the past year, what project, transaction or accomplishment are you most proud of? Truthfully, the accomplishment I’m really proud of is getting through a year of remote learning with my young children, and still being able to dedicate time to my restaurant and my real estate work. Overall, I’m proud of being able to build and maintain my professional networks. Coming from the hospitality and restaurant industry I already had a strong network, which makes it easier to morph into the real estate industry.
What is one characteristic that you believe every woman in commercial real estate should possess? Regardless of whether it’s a man or woman in commercial real estate, one important characteristic is being a good judge of character, and learning to “trust your gut.” It’s important to be able to read people and act accordingly.
What time management strategies do you find to be the most effective for you? I set up one day a week to work on marketing and promotion, rather than just filling it in if or when I have a block of time when I can get to it. It’s easier for me to allocate certain times for certain chores and plan out my week in advance.