THE BLOG

Women in Business: Jennifer Roberts and Randi Fisher, J/R Luxe

04/30/2015 09:42 am ET | Updated Jun 30, 2015

A new powerhouse in the world of residential real estate, J/R Luxe brings together Previews Property Specialists Jennifer Roberts and Randi Fisher, with extensive experience in all aspects of buying and selling luxury properties in the Manhattan market. Before forming J/R Luxe, Jennifer and Randi had sold hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of luxury real estate. After meeting over a decade ago whilst working at Bellmarc Realty, they have now formed a dynamic brokerage team and represent buyers and sellers who demand only five-star service.

Jennifer and Randi have become trusted advisors to wide-ranging international clientele. They understand and are accustomed to handling the nuances of international real estate transactions - whether it's financial, legal, or cultural complexities.

How has your life experience made you the leaders you are today?
Jennifer: As the oldest of three children in my family, I became a natural leader from a young age.
Randi: Being a working Mom and the leader of a busy household has definitely helped!

How has your previous employment experience aided your positions at J/R Luxe?
Jennifer: Prior to finding a niche in real estate, I worked for major corporations where I interfaced with management at the highest level. I worked as a lobbyist for American Express in Washington, D.C. where I dealt with top brass at Amex as well as Congressional leaders. I also worked at Dun and Bradstreet. This experience gave me the ability to see firsthand what it takes to lead and make critical decisions affecting both the short and long term path of a company.

Randi: Jennifer and I have both been lucky enough to travel extensively which means we've experienced different cultures firsthand, and this has been very useful in our dealings with foreign clients. Now that so many foreigners are settling or buying a pied-à-terre in New York, we interact with people from many different cultures and we both feel at ease with the international network of buyers and sellers.

What have the highlights and challenges been during your tenures at J/R Luxe?
Jennifer: Most brokers are a one man or woman show but the beauty of having a team is one can discuss things with one's teammate. Randi and I have had different experiences and can talk about issues and learn from each other's vantage point.

Randi: There are so many agents in New York City; it's a very competitive marketplace, so it can be challenging reaching the people who need our services. We have launched a new website and are getting more creative in getting our message out there. We believe J/R Luxe really standouts in the marketplace because of the hands-on boutique concierge service we offer, unlike other agents who simply provide a service of buying or selling a home.

What advice can you offer women who are seeking a career in your industry?
Jennifer: Real estate is not as easy as it appears, especially in New York where one deals with co-op boards. We are in the service industry and it can be a 24/7 job - especially as a team leader. My advice would be to make sure you are passionate about what you do - Randi and I are fiercely passionate about Manhattan real estate which makes staying on top of industry trends and news very easy!

Randi: As an agent you need to be extremely patient and understand that a client is not going to buy the first apartment or home they visit. Sometimes you won't receive immediate feedback. It can often take up to a year or more until a client finds their dream home. We fully understand this and would never pressure a client to buy or sell before they are 100% comfortable.

How do you maintain a work/life balance?
Jennifer: As mentioned this job can be a 24/7 one and so it's very important to carve out "me- time" and family time. Although Randi and I take out career and company very seriously, family is most important and has to be prioritized. I value time with my husband and son (and his family) enormously and will always make time for them, no matter how busy work gets.

Randi: Regular exercise and the occasional spa treatment are must-do's to feel refreshed and revitalized for work. I find that turning off my cell phone during family time can also be helpful (unless we are negotiating an important deal of course)!

What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Jennifer: The beauty of residential real estate is that it has always been a female-dominated industry. Many women founded firms themselves so we have not encountered the same issues and discrimination of getting ahead.

Randi: Balancing the expectations and requirements of motherhood with a busy career.

How has mentorship made a difference in your professional and personal lives?
Jennifer: I was mentored in many previous jobs and became a mentor myself when I managed a real estate office in Greenwich Village. It made me see details I wouldn't otherwise notice, and also encouraged me to stretch my perspective and inspire others to achieve.

Randi: When I was working in finance and trading I had access to great mentors who recognized my potential and cared about the progression of my career which made the twists and turns of corporate life easier to navigate.

Which other female leaders do you admire and why?
Jennifer: I admire Queen Elizabeth. She took the reins of leadership in her country unexpectedly at a very young age and illustrated well rounded vision. She had to be conversant in politics, social causes, and had to learn to change with the times- show caring for her people and be motivational and inspirational- a range of leadership skills. She also carved out time for a personal life in her role as wife, mother and grandmother.

What do you want J/R Luxe to accomplish in the next year?
Jennifer: It's a great time to be in real estate in New York City as the world is now "smaller" and people from all over the globe want to live here. We want to ensure we reach these international buyers and sellers to help them find their dream home or investment property.

Randi: Since we started our team six months ago, we have been focusing on getting our business established and building our client base. Now that we've done this we want to expand our reach with marketing services and continue building the J/R Luxe brand. As well as this, we want to continue to provide an excellent real estate service to all the clients we work with!