Jessica Owens is a realtor with Re/Max of Albany.
Anyone who has been in the real estate business during the last few years no doubt has done some soul searching about whether to find another career path.
Jessica Owens, a realtor with Re/Max of Albany, did the opposite. In school to be a dental assistant, Owens decided to make the leap into real estate sales in 2007 and has weathered the recession storm that started that year.
In a recent interview with J.D. Sumner, Owens talks about what she believes is the most important trait of anyone thinking of entering the field why she’s just as much at home on the river as anywhere else.
Q: What was your first job?
A: My first job was actually washing hair. I was helping this little lady. I was only 12 years old and I’d go down on Saturdays and help her wash hair. And then I did dental assisting and dental hygiene, and now I’m a realtor. And this is my passion.
NAME: Jessica Owens
JOB: Realtor, Re/Max of Albany
YEARS ON THE JOB: Six
PERSONAL: Single with a rescue dog, Charlie
Q: What did you buy with your first paycheck?
A: Well, I can just remember being able to appreciate working for the money and not having it just given to me because, unfortunately, I wasn’t brought up to where my family was able to do that. I had a father that was disabled and a mother that was in a bad car accident at 15, so I learned real early the value of responsibility and having to work.
Q: What do you like to do in your free time?
A: Actually, I love to work in the yard. It’s like my favorite thing to do. I love to kayak, I love to fish, I love to read. And spend time with my family as much as I can.
Q: If you were stranded on an island, what three items would you like to have?
A: My Bible would be the first thing that I would have because I think I would be doing a lot more talking to God than I do now and I would need a resource. So, I would have my Bible. I think I would have to have a cell phone. In my industry I don’t do anything without a cell phone. Everything is cell phone dependent. But if I was stranded, I think I’d like to have a cell phone so I could at least call someone to come visit me or to come pick me up. And the third thing — my lip gloss.
Q: What advice would you have for someone who is thinking of entering your field?
A: The first thing I would tell them is, and I tell this about any industry, possess a character trait that shows humility. If you are humble to people and provide a humble service, you’ll be blessed beyond measure and people will instantly pick up on it and you’ll have more business than you’ll know what to do with.
Q: What is your favorite office-related gadget?
A: Probably my smart phone. I have an iPhone and I open electronic lockboxes with it, I can access the MLS (Multiple Listing Service) website and pretty much answer any question right there from my phone if I am away from the office, or on-site showing a property. It is a necessity, for sure.
Q: When you retire, what would you like for your colleagues to be able to say about you?
A: I would like for my colleagues to be able to say that I was a hard worker. I commit a lot of time to what I do and I make a lot of sacrifices to friends and family and doing things that other people get to go out and do. And I would like for them, at the end of the day, to be able to look back and say, “You know, she earned every penny. She worked so hard for it.”
Q: If you could have lunch with any person, living or dead, real or imaginary, who would it be and why?
A: Well, I think the ultimate answer, for me, is Jesus Christ. Who better to have lunch with? I mean, how awesome would that be?
Q: Is there a hidden trait or talent that you have?
A: I don’t think that most people know how much of a country girl I am ... and I love to fish. I’m not scared to bait a hook. I think most people would be surprised by that.
Q: What’s the key to happiness in the professional world?
A: You have to love what you do. Bottom line. If you’re not passionate about what you do for a living, you’re not going to be successful at it. So I think you really have to love what you do and do what you love and it all works out. And just be passionate, whatever it is that you do.
Q: What is the most challenging part of your job?
A: What’s challenging about our job right now is financing, or people having the ability to obtain financing. They’ve gotten really strict on their guidelines and they’ve kind of gotten over-strict compared to what they used to be. But I think we’re leveling ourselves out and slowly turning, so I think that will continue to get better.
Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: The most rewarding part of my job is putting a family in a home and it’s their dream. It’s their dream to have ever bought a home. For instance, just last week I had a closing with a lady who was in her 40s and she bought a condo and she cried after the closing. It was the the most rewarding thing, to be able to help somebody obtain that dream and know that you were there to provide a service and that it was greatly appreciated.