By Patrice Rivers
Jennifer’s wisdom and diversity has landed her as a multimedia journalist in her earlier days to finding a love for real estate. She is a licensed real estate salesperson with a focus point in brownstone and townhouse properties. Jennifer became attracted to the historic part of New York’s brownstone and townhouse properties through her family construction company called “Cypress Construction. Her own real estate company “The Real Sisters Real Estate Team” shares an empowerment bond of sisterhood and motivation.
PATRICE RIVERS: TELL US HOW YOU GOT STARTED IN THE REAL ESTATE FIELD
JENNIFER SAAVEDRA: Sure! I spent a lot of time in Asia. Specifically, before the last time I returned to New York, I was in India and Thailand. In India I was focused on environmental journalism. It was sort of time for me to return; I spent ten years abroad. When I got back here and because I spent so much time abroad and I built my journalism portfolio, there weren’t any options forming at the time in the US, so in the sense of what I was looking to focus on, I really had a lot of liberty of focusing on the stories I liked when I was abroad. When I came back, there were a lot of local papers that were doing things that weren’t motivating; the pay was very little and it wasn’t a good fit at the time. My friends were very big in Queens real estate, and they had asked me to help translate for them for some of their Spanish-speaking clients. They also said I should try out for a real estate license. The license course is only 75 hours, and I’m pretty good at exams and studying. I did that really quickly and that is how I got started.
PATRICE: THE INDUSTRY OF REAL ESTATE HAS ITS CHALLENGES AND UPS AND DOWNS AS WELL AS BEING COMPETITIVE. DO YOU FIND AT TIMES THAT IT CAN BE CHALLENGING AND COMPETITIVE FOR YOU?
JENNIFER: I’m primarily a listing agent and what that means is that I list a property either to rent or to sell. That is definitely very competitive because normally, when I attend what you would call listing appointments or pitch appointments, I am competing against several agents. However, I do think that if you are transparent and genuine enough and understand the market to a degree, then it’s not as competitive. It also depends on your client base as well.
PATRICE: AS A LISTING AGENT, DO YOU LIST BROWNSTONES AS WELL?
JENNIFER: Yes. I started off with the town house market primarily because my family owns a construction company that focuses on the restoration of town houses. That is the field that I have worked on, so I have definitely sold and rented town houses. We have expanded, so now I’m working on commercial and all boroughs now.
PATRICE: I KNOW YOU MENTIONED THE FAMILY CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, CYPRESS CONSTUCTION COMPANY. TELL ME MORE ABOUT THAT.
JENNIFER: When my father came here as a construction worker, he didn’t really know much English. He was first an employee of Cypress, then he bought the company from the former owner and now he has a few lines of Cypress company, I believe three or four that focuses on different things. I would say the good thing about having that is that it helps my business and it’s less competitive because he’s a contractor and has access to architects, engineers and expeditors and not all agents have that immediate access. It’s my family, it’s my father and my brother primarily. I speak to them quite frequently; they have done me favors, such as quotes.
PATRICE: HOW DO YOU HELP YOUR CLIENTS FIND AN APARTMENT OR HOUSE TO RENT WITHIN THEIR BUDGET?
JENNIFER: Budgeting can seem like a challenge, but it’s really about narrowing down the neighborhood and what you are looking for. Also, I found out that telling a story really seems to help people to get an apartment. Numbers and paper can say so much.
PATRICE: WHAT IS THE BACKSTORY OF YOUR REAL ESTATE COMPANY “THE REAL SISTERS REAL ESTATE TEAM?”
JENNIFER: I always had a passion for feminist issues and issues surrounding women empowerment. Working in real estate, I saw how property ownership can be financially powerful. It’s mainly men who have property ownership. So, I really wanted a woman centric name. My sister and I are real sisters (that’s where the Real Sisters came from), but the real also relates to real estate, so, like real property. I thought naming it the Real Sisters would be a good way to include the sisterhood as well as the real estate.
PATRICE: TELL ME MORE ABOUT THE SISTERHOOD AND THE EMPOWERMENT PIECE FOR THE REAL SISTERS REAL ESTATE TEAM
JENNIFER: I think it’s more about like attracts like. We have a lot of strong-minded and independent females and clients. We really get along with those clients. It’s very rewarding that one of our clients, who’s an architect, is buying a 1.4-million-dollar property property in the government of France. She has worked so hard for this and it’s rewarding to help somebody make their dream come true. We have helped another family and another woman as well.
PATRICE: DOES YOUR COMPANY HELP SINGLE MOTHERS AS WELL?
JENNIFER: We definitely work with single mothers, single females and divorced women. We found a lot of single mothers when we were doing affordable housing. A lot of the single mothers were in shelters; it’s not like they wanted to be in shelters, we found out that a lot of them did qualify for affordable housing, but the issue was the timing. Because they are working, or if one of the kids get sick, they would have to leave the job and their boss wouldn’t understand. So, I would say that there was some gender discrimination going on in why a lot of these women weren’t sheltered.
PATRICE: HOW CAN READERS CONNECT WITH YOU AND CHECK OUT YOUR REAL ESTATE COMPANY TO LEARN MORE?
You Tube Jennsaavedra