Jessica Markowski is more than just a pretty face ; as a matter of fact she has set the bar high for herself and others whether in the real estate market, as a model or building a brand. She has done it all from scratch and is only growing with age. What makes her stand out from her peers, is her determination to succeed and her own heart to do it all with kindness and humility. She is driven, highly motivated and truly a New Yorker at heart. Her story of building generational wealth by watching her parents save and create their own real estate empire will inspire you to soar and follow your own dreams. Here’s her story.
Jessica, tell us a little bit about who you are and what led you to real estate?
I was born and raised in New York. I started off doing some acting, commercials and modelling. After some time, Instagram had become the next big thing and I had a lot of offers from companies to promote their products. I quickly realized that this was a good way to monetize and have an extra stream of income. I started with 100$ per post and just grew from there. It really became a great business. I was not only posting but also creating content for these companies. It was a natural shift from my beginning as a model, creating contents for brands to doing it on Instagram. I have been working for a long time with photographers and understood lighting and what it takes to create art/content for a brand and sell their products. There is a lot that goes into it like facial expressions, mood all the way to the outfits and styling. It was such a natural progression for me.
It led me to create content for a real estate broker for Compass. That broker encouraged me to get my licence. At that point I was already working for them close to a year and realize that this could be another avenue for me to take. Real estate was also a very natural fit for me because I grew up here and my family is in real estate and everything was so interconnected and aligned really well that I decided to go for it.
The natural way to start off in real estate is in rentals. Covid helped the market and made me go straight into sales and leap forward and catch the frenzy that was moving so quickly. Everything was being sold so quickly, there was no point in starting with rentals and getting my feet wet first.
Having so much experience with brands and sales, what advice would yo give woman starting off in the business?
The best advice I can give for someone who wants to get into the industry is finding a good team. Being on a team is the best way to learn. Many people choose the independent route, but being a part of a team makes sense. You can just learn and take in so much information. You can avoid major mistakes because you have people with a lot of experience by your side who are there to guide you and help you grow. You won’t make the best commissions yet but the experience you gain far surpasses the loss in the long run. Experience is everything and it also builds up your credibility.
You should see this team as an internship into the field of real estate where you can learn as much as you want and for as much effort as you put in. A good team could put you years ahead of someone who does it on their own.
What is you 5 to 10 year goal in real estate? Where would you like to see yourself?
One of the major reasons I got into real estate, is because of my parents. They came to America with nothing in their pockets all the way from Poland. They had blue collar jobs, my mom was a cleaning lady and my dad was a truck driver. Their goal was to make money and provide a better life for my sister and I.
With that being said, the reason they got into real estate is because they worked really hard to buy an apartment building in Brooklyn. I got to experience real estate because of them. You are really limited in terms of job opportunities when you don’t speak the language. Hence their choice of jobs. The next best thing is to save up and invest in real estate.
It was a way to make a passive income and grow little by little from there. It also provided them with collateral for any future projects. I grew up going every single weekend to Home Depot to buy the necessary products to fix up the apartments to make them better and improve the experience for the tenants. It made total sense for me to get into real estate. I’m taking the same organic approach and owning real estate and being a landlord is where I see myself taking the business. Helping my clients and myself build a beautiful passive portfolio. The difference is that today, it is extremely expensive.
There is nothing wrong with venturing out of the expensive areas and investing in areas that are growing. There are no shortages of people coming to the city and all the surrounding areas are slowly but surely expanding and becoming more expensive as the city grows. Brooklyn wasn’t once what it is today and the same will be for other areas.
What inspires to keep growing and reaching new heights in your professional and personal life?
My family! As I said, they literally gave me everything and worked so hard to give my sister and I the opportunities that we had. They showed me that with hard work and determination anything is possible. I am forever grateful for them and what they did and keep doing. I always say that if they could do it without knowing the language, it goes to show how much we can achieve if we set our minds to something. I can literally do anything.
What would you tell you younger self that you didn’t know then that would inspire others?
If I look back on what I would do differently, I wish I just didn’t question things too much. I was more reserved and scared to take risks. As teenagers we are much more shy and awkward with our bodies.
I would tell myself to have that “I don’t care attitude” and just go for absolutely everything that I want with an open heart. What I recommend to girls is to take all the opportunities that come your way and stay true to who you are because you never know where they lead. So many amazing doors have opened because I took a risk and that will happen to everyone who dares to take risks.
How do you stay balanced with a busy schedule?
I love to work out. It gives me amazing adrenaline and sets me up for the day. It could be yoga, Pilates or HIT training. My body is so much more relaxed after a workout. I love vacations to just to go and unwind because I do work a lot and my hours get crazy.
It’s always nice to go away even if it’s just for the weekend. IT’S A MUST! I recommend it for realtors who are constantly on the go. I am also a person that goes to sleep early because I love my mornings and am so much more productive then.
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