Career Day in Real Estate for Girls in NYC
Women’s Career Day with Storefront Academy of Harlem, Morgan Stanley and Parry Properties of Keller Williams NYC
My husband and real estate partner Bob and I are dedicated to personally and professionally supporting local children’s charities (and war veterans charities) in NYC.
In 2014, Bob invited me to attend a board meeting with him for the Storefront Academy of Harlem, a charter school for K-8th grade. I was inspired to become a mentor volunteer while listening to the group’s mission and purpose for the 7th & 8th grade Girls Mentor program and have been a dedicated volunteer for two years now.
Each week, I take the 6 train to Harlem, and share lunch with my mentee Mya on campus at Storefront Academy. We engage in an assortment of conversations; as I am neither her teacher nor mother, I am her adult friend and mentor actively listening, asking questions about school, friends, extracurricular activities, family, current events to name a few, and sharing my own perspective and career activities.
Every May, Storefront Academy asks its volunteers to help create a women’s career day. Last year, I planned a day touring the New York Stock Exchange floor, since I still have connections there from my previous career. And this year I had the opportunity to take the girls to spend the day in the field with me as a residential real estate agent.
We started the day by taking the subway to the Upper East Side where I took them on a tour of two buildings; one a luxury rental building and another a full-service doorman cooperative building, where I am the listing agent. I provided them with an abbreviated version of a buyer’s kit that I give to my clients, which included a snapshot on “debt-to-income ratio”, the way mortgage companies and cooperative boards measure a person’s financial ability to afford a home.
The girls also learned that one of the most important functions of a real estate broker is trust and that I act as a “fiduciary” to whomever it is I represent, be it a seller or a buyer. They were introduced to other terms new to them like “asset” and “liability” and were amused by pointing out the wonderful, fun building “amenities” on our tour. We especially enjoyed sitting on the roof deck on this gorgeous spring day.
Our day ended with a delicious Mexican lunch in the beautiful midtown office at Morgan Stanley, who sponsors Storefront’s mentor program. They had a panel discussion and asked the girls to give their feedback on what they learned. It was fun to hear a girl from my tour say that one of the things she took away from it was that “real estate helps tell the story of New York”.