My Career Choice: Jennifer Roberts and Randi Fisher – J/R Luxe

Leading luxury residential real estate team J/R Luxe brings together Jennifer Roberts (above, right) and Randi Fisher, who have a combined four decades of experience in buying and selling premier homes in New York City. Jennifer and Randi have seen the ups and downs of the residential market and offer their clients a hands-on and bespoke real estate service, drawing on their knowledge of the emerging opportunities across all the city’s diverse neighborhoods.

Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from the University of Pennsylvania and holds an MBA from Fordham University in marketing and finance. She then went on to work as a lobbyist in American Express’ Government Relations Office and as a financial analyst at Bloomingdale’s. Randi is a graduate of Tulane University and before finding her niche in real estate had a busy career in finance and trading securities. Both Jennifer and Randi reside in Manhattan with their families.

Can you point to one event that triggered your interest in your career?
Jennifer: Though my father was a dentist, he was always involved in the real estate business – so you could say it was in my blood. I also absolutely love architecture, particularly pre-war buildings, and so real estate was a natural fusion of my interests.
Randi: Even when I was working in finance and trading, I always loved looking at real estate listings, so I thought why not make a career out of it?

What about this career choice did you find most appealing?
Jennifer: I found the idea of being my own boss and not chained to a desk very appealing. For Randi and me, each day is different and unexpected, and there is so much interaction with all sorts of people which keeps things interesting.
Randi: When things slowed down in finance, I looked to real estate as it had always been a personal interest of mine. Because I’m passionate about real estate, it doesn’t feel like work!

What steps did you take to begin your education or training?
Jennifer: Both Randi and I took the real estate salesperson’s course at New York University. I also went on to gain my broker’s license at NYU.

Along the way, were people encouraging or discouraging?
Randi: Most people have been very encouraging of our chosen career paths, particularly our family and friends. We are both blessed with a loving support network who provide us with constant support.

Randi Fisher and Jennifer RobertsDid you ever doubt your decision and attempt a career change?
Jennifer: I have an MBA and worked for several large corporations before starting in real estate, so once I made the commitment it was pretty final and there was no turning back. Thankfully I have no regrets! New York City is such an exciting place to be doing what we are doing.
Randi: Like Jennifer, once I got started on the real estate path, I had no desire to turn back! I have loved it. How could it be a bad decision to help people find beautiful Manhattan homes!?

When did your career reach a tipping point?
Randi: Both Jennifer and I worked in real estate for years and we knew each other well. The tipping point was when we decided to team up and form J/R Luxe – bringing together our strengths. This was a big and exciting adventure for us.

Can you describe a challenge you had to overcome?
Jennifer: Once a buyer refused to close a deal for a two bedroom apartment on Park Avenue unless we replaced these very particular crystal door knobs that the previous owner had purposely taken off. We searched the entire city for them!

What single skill has proven to be most useful?
Jennifer: For me, it’s the ability to be a good listener. We pride ourselves in giving very honest and insightful advice to our clients and in order to do this we need to listen and understand their specific needs.
Randi: Negotiating skills are fundamental. We first work with our clients to understand and manage their goals, and then we work very hard to make them a reality through careful negotiation. Gaining the respect of all parties with simple courtesy and integrity certainly helps with influencing the negotiating process.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?
Jennifer: Forming J/R Luxe with Randi. I am very proud of how well we have done in such a competitive marketplace.
Randi: Balancing motherhood and family life with running a business. It’s no small feat to carve out a life that balances responsibilities at home and at work –but I do think both Jennifer and I have done well.

Any advice for others entering your profession?
Jennifer: Make sure you are passionate about real estate. For us, it is about so much more than just closing transactions – it’s about helping people and the personal journey you go on with them to sell or buy their dream home.
Randi: If you’re starting up alone, make sure you have a business plan or strategy. This will help you define where you’re going and how you’re going to get there. Think about your goals, service, market (and what will set you apart in the market), budget, funding and marketing plan!