Photo illustration: Curbs.Photo: Alamy
In this biweekly series,realtor diary‘, we’re hearing from those in the heart of a wilder market than ever before. Today, he gets an hour-by-hour glimpse into the working world of Jersey City’s top broker, Jill Biggs.
5:13 am i have a new puppy If she’s awake, I’m awake. I immediately carry her to her backyard. My home in Jersey City also has four grown daughters and since COVID I’ve been coming home with my husband and three other dogs and my children’s various pets and significant others. I bought this house a few years ago as an investment property, but since it had a parking space, I wanted to buy one for myself. A parking space in Jersey City is a gift you can never give up.
5:45 am i go to the gym I’m not pretending to enjoy this. Working out at 6am sucks, but I have a trainer. My girlfriend and I owe each other workout responsibilities.
6:45 am Peek at your to-do list. Remember, I make this list every night at 3:23 am. That’s when I make the list, do a brain dump, clear my thoughts and hopefully go to sleep. My therapist tells me to stop doing this. Well, it’s not happening. Anyway, I usually have about 50 contracts. I spend hours every day solving people’s projects and problems, so I need a damn list.
7:00 am At 7am every morning, we have a five-minute “accountability call”. I am with 3 other women. We haven’t shopped in 90 days. Breaking a promise is embarrassing and painful, so I had to declare it publicly. Pain is much more motivating than pleasure. Our deal is that if you shop, you have to take them all on an all-inclusive spa vacation. I shop Last year he made the same vow for 60 days and saved $100,000. It was very eye-opening.
7:30 am After showering, sit in a dry chair. I sold the house of a little old lady who had a house in Jersey City Heights. She was a hairdresser and gave me her old fashioned chair to dry her hair. For about 30 minutes a day, I read while I dry my curly hair. I’m telling you, anyone with curly hair needs one of these chairs. I read business and self-help books. I have a business coach. i am always trying to improve.
8:30 am I get to work. I brought my dog, a miniature schnauzer, who hates children. he behaves badly We all bring dogs to my office. It’s a bit of a fucking show. Plenty of steam cleaning. The first question in an interview is, “Are you allergic to dogs?” It’s best to get straight to the point and save everyone’s time.
9 am I have a meeting with my daughter who currently works with me to review the floor plan. She has a client who bought her funeral home. It is no longer one. They are converting it into two condos. They gave us a pre-construction tour. You know the chairs they embalm their bodies in? It still is. You can still smell the preservatives! It was interesting. By the way, this is one chair you won’t take home. But they would be beautiful condos. Located in Paulus Hook, Jersey City’s premier neighborhood. It’s a school district that everyone wants to be in. Large properties there have many offers and sell for millions of dollars or more. Oh, he has one room with a pink shaggy carpet and mirrors. The couple says, “I think this was the crying room.”
11 am Team meeting in the office. We pack everyone. I am currently running several contests. Earn points for the number of calls made, appointments made, contracts closed, deals closed, and more. It keeps them inspired. Competition is good for real estate agents. Last time we took the winning team to Nashville. It was like he was on one big pub crawl.it was so good for team building.
noon. I have had the same salad for 4 years. Grilled chicken on lettuce. I hate this salad so much I can hardly see it. I have 5 or 6 bites. My business his coach said I was wasting too much time eating lunch and ‘it’s just fuel’. This is what I do now. I almost never eat this damn salad so I don’t gain weight.My assistant brings it to me every day. It’s always on her list.
Another thing on her list is reminding me to pay the parking meter. Last year I paid $6,000 in parking tickets. You can’t just show your house to Jersey City and take the time to legally park it. It’s not possible and we don’t have time. Parking is as nasty as it is in New York City. If you’re doing six shows in a row, imagine having to park after each show. Realtors from out of town don’t come here for fear of parking.
1 p.m. Hop on the phone and hear about the buyer’s home inspection report. I spend a lot of time fixing inspection issues. My inspector coordinated this her three-hour home inspection on the 1,200-square-foot lot. It shouldn’t have taken more than an hour. The client then also obtained the neighbor’s inspection report, just to compare notes. And he went after the developers and fixed everything that came out. He tore all things to pieces. The devs will never build again because of this guy. I am not joking. His lawyer took a long time. actually No longer practicing real estate law! He made everyone tired. But not me. He wasn’t mean or petty, he was incredibly thorough.
2 pm Initiate a callback. Most people are people with questions about potential properties. They want the scoop from me before they take the time to book a screening.
There are many Brooklyn families interested in Jersey City. Today is no exception. I am talking to a mother of three who lives in Cobble Hill. She asks what she can get for her $2 million in her City of Jersey.
I told her I could pick up a moderately sized brownstone in downtown Jersey City. If you want a skyscraper, you might be able to find a property around 1,500 square feet, but inventory is low, so there aren’t many options. Jersey City was once a collection of undeveloped lands. There are now skyscrapers, but at the moment they are all rented. Expensive rental. People would pay a premium for her to be downtown in 10 minutes or less. Better for commuting than Brooklyn, Harlem or even the Upper East Side. Let’s hope they build some condos as there is nothing for people to buy right now.
2:15 p.m. still talkative. She asks, “What else do you have besides brownstones?” Another option, I think, is the newly renovated low-rise building. It depends on their lifestyle. If she or her husband wants to be near her PATH, they need certain areas and not others. If she wants a lot of activities and restaurants within walking distance, she’ll want to be near Grove Street. There are skyscrapers in the Powerhouse Arts District that feel like, but honestly, there’s not much to do there.
Perhaps the most coveted area for those moving to Jersey City is Paulus Hook, due to its proximity to ferries and high-ranking schools. It’s also home to a swanky upcoming funeral-home-slash-condo conversion: a large brownstone with parking and outdoor space he can buy for $5 million. You can find a $3 million brownstone near beautiful Hamilton Park. Alternatively, you can purchase his 5,000-square-foot loft with 18 skylights and he 50-foot ceilings.
Hamilton Park and Van Forst Park are important parks with great neighborhoods and lots of kids. I close the call by saying: Everywhere is lively. Artistic. Rough, but in a good way. It has a great restaurant. music. green market. It’s like New York where culture changes from block to block. There are still local butchers and cheesemongers, as well as family run shops. “
2:45 p.m. You are currently on another call. This client asked me to compare Jersey City and Hoboken. I told her that Hoboken was only one square mile of hers, fully developed and not economically diverse. Jersey City has low income housing, middle income housing, When billionaire!
Are there “tightly wound” Wall Street types? Sure, but they’re all over the New York metropolitan area and we love them because they buy big homes! I love skyscrapers! They prefer to live close to all the bars, restaurants, and easy transportation to Jersey City’s main attraction, New York City. Views are important, modern finishes are important, elevators, doormen, package services and dog walkers are essential. They also tend to prefer spiral staircases. “Does this unit have fiber internet access? Can I get a spreadsheet?!?!?!”
4 pm At this exact time every day after being beaten in the trenches, it’s either bourbon or chocolate. I’m honestly pretty measured.
5 pm I stopped by a client’s new house that I sold her. I think it will be the original picture when the building was built, but of course it will be framed. All the money is in the frame!
6:30 p.m. One of my daughters bought her first home. It’s around the corner from my house. I go there to help her decorate a bit and hang some art. Moving furniture 2 inches here and there is my remedy.
7 pm My husband cooks us dinner. I’m a workaholic mom and everyone would starve if I didn’t, so he learned to cook. Did I mention he spent $26,000 on Uber Eats last year, not including DoorDash or Grubhub? Did I mention seamless?
8:30 pm I get up early, so I go to bed early. No more stress at night. It could be wine! Either that or I’m so persistently stressed that I can’t tell the difference. People were hurting my feelings at work and making me cry. Now I’m just a fixer and solver.
9:30 pm I literally can’t stop here. I stand all day at work. I move around all day. Fixing, fixing, solving, talking, laughing, crying, raising four daughters, managing a team of 60 people, and self-improvement all day long. every day. And then… it crashes.