JCity Realty Natalie Miniard
Natalie Miniard is the principal broker, co-owner of JCity Realty.
JCF: Tell me about yourself.
Natalie Miniard: I live in the Heights; I’m single. I moved here 20 years ago from Jacksonville, FL. Bright lights, big city, right? I got as far as I could afford and viola, I fell in love with Jersey City. Once I learned Jersey City, there was no way I was moving to the city.
JCF: Was real estate your first job in Jersey City then?
Natalie Miniard: I waitressed at Outback for like 2 months, they never should have hired me. I had no idea what I was doing. I worked at Frankie and Johnny’s for like 5 years.
JCF: How did you make the transition into real estate?
Natalie Miniard: I just took the course. The financial investment that you put into getting your license is so small compared to the return that you can make in this industry.
JCF: What did you do with your first commission check?
Natalie Miniard: I bought my first piece of property in the Heights. My father thought I was nuts. It was a 700 square foot, 4-floor walk up. I thought I’d made it.
JCF: You definitely made it. Your office is beautiful!
Natalie Miniard: Thanks! Yes – A local developer came to me and presented the idea of opening an agency. Real estate is my passion, 100%. It’s a no-brainer.
JCF: What part do you love?
Natalie Miniard: I’m fascinated with development. My personal passion would be the preservation of really beautiful real estate.
JCF: What do you do for fun?
Natalie Miniard: I’m a little bit of a cliché I guess – I do work a lot. I’m fortunate to be in an industry that allows me to be in a community, a neighborhood that I love.
JCF: Do you work more than 12-hour days?
Natalie Miniard: (laughs) I guess it’s about 7 am-10 pm. Part of being in this industry is that you’re always on. When I go out, I always see people, which is part of what I love.
JCF: What do you do when you’re having a bad day?
Natalie Miniard: I push through it. Sometimes I cry. It’s hard to have a bad day right now. This company is becoming everything I could have hoped for. When I’m having a bad day I try to look at everything we’ve accomplished.
Which characteristics are most important to be successful?
Natalie Miniard: Patience. When you’re in real estate in general, you have to wear so many hats. You’re a designer, you’re a financial planner, you’re a developer, you’re in marketing… Sometimes you’re a psychologist! You have to have patience with your customers, which is fair enough, you should. Remember, this is their home.
What vision do you have for the company?
Natalie Miniard: I didn’t open this agency to be mediocre. I have to be a bit nurturing in this role, I’m going to be successful if my agents are successful.
JCF: What challenges do homeowners have with Jersey City?
Natalie Miniard: Part of the problem is the lack of options to buy. Almost everything is built as rentals. The other concern is schools of course. Schools are not there yet. It’s a concern that many young couples have here.
JCF: It creates a transient population.
Natalie Miniard: It’s true. But it’s sad, because the desire to stay here is there. People would stay here. There are benefits to raising children in Jersey City with the culture and the community that is exposed to them… Also being so close to where so many parents work allows parents to spend more time with their kids as opposed to spending that hour and a half commuting to the suburbs.
JCF: It’s tough, right?
Natalie Miniard: It’s a struggle that many parents grapple with. It’s in every financial bracket.
Mel Kozakiewicz blogs at urdoingitright.com and has been living in Jersey City since 2003.