Where did you grow up? The disparity of growing up in an apartment during the week and a house on the weekends is one of the things which led to Nadine Morency-Mohs choosing a career in realty — or should we say real estate chose her? With a natural knack for sales, she left corporate America to build her own business, one that serves the community with a percentage of each sale going to a philanthropic organization.
We had the opportunity to sit down with Nadine and learn more about her journey and the work she is doing with Jaymore Realty.
Jouviane: While our readers are interested in the business, they are often equally interested in the entrepreneur. To start, would you mind sharing a bit about yourself — your personal and professional journey — and how you feel it led you to starting this business?
Nadine: I grew up in an apartment in East Flatbush, Brooklyn with my mom. On the weekends, I visited my dad and stepmother who lived in Brownsville where they owned a “Nehemiah” house. So I grew up witnessing the disparity between renting and ownership. I saw that ownership afforded more opportunities. For example, my dad acquired several income-producing properties. Now, I thought he was rich, but he would say, “I’m not rich. I’m house rich, cash poor.”
That always stuck with me. Both my parents are immigrants from Haiti who came here when they were around 16 years old. When my father came, his older brother sponsored him. And he told him that he was handing the torch over to him. And now it was his responsibility to bring the rest of the family to the States. So my father brought 10 family members — his mom, sister, brothers, and their children — on his back.
They all resided in a two bedroom apartment. But he saved. He worked three jobs to eventually buy a three-family house in the Flatlands section of Brooklyn. So he started by buying a house for his mom. And then he bought an income-producing property. He was then able to buy a house for himself and immediate family members, but he always put everyone else before himself. So again, I saw the difference between living in an apartment and living in a house, and the wealth creation it afforded my Dad to acquire more properties.
"My manager used to call me the door opener. He’d ask, 'How were you able to meet the CEO, COO, CFO?' And I wasn't just meeting them. I would get my managers in the door, and we were closing deals."
Jouviane: And how do you think this disparity affected you?
Nadine: I noticed the disparity between renting and ownership at 9 years old by watching both parents. I posed the question to my Mom: why is she not a homeowner? And I think that was my introduction. That sparked my interest in real estate.
At 17, I was employed at my first corporate job. I attended BMCC (Borough of Manhattan Community College), and my counselor told me that I should consider a job in sales. So I started in corporate America where I was an account executive. I was selling office equipment from business to business where many of these companies were Fortune 500 or Fortune 100 companies.
My manager used to call me the door opener. He’d ask, “How were you able to meet the CEO, COO, CFO?” And I wasn't just meeting them. I would get my managers in the door, and we were closing deals. I was getting in the door to meet C-Suite executives regularly and my managers were always impressed. I was offered my second job opportunity while at my first. Shortly after working at my second job, I was soliciting a few companies and received a couple of offers for my 3rd job in sales and accepted one of them.
Jouviane: And how was it working in sales?
Nadine: I was in sales for four years and got burnt out. So I went into healthcare where I worked at the SUNY Downstate Medical Center for five years. And when I got pregnant with my son, in 2005, I was frightened. I loved what I did, but I didn’t see any upward mobility opportunities. I didn’t see any room for growth. So I decided that I couldn’t stay there and bring a child into this world on a $30,000 salary.
Jouviane: What did you decide to do then?
Nadine: I sat down one day and evaluated my skill set. I asked myself, “What am I good at? What can I do? What do I bring to the table? And a lot of things checked off for sales-related jobs. It just took me back to sales. That’s how I coupled my past of seeing the disparity between my parents with my skill set. And that’s how I pursued real estate.
I did become a homeowner at 24. My father helped me purchase it. He said, “If you can’t afford to maintain this mortgage, I’m going to sell the house.” And almost a year later, I was struggling at the time with financial obligations. I was also in school full-time, and he sold the house. It was unexpected, so that felt like a foreclosure to me. That was right before I got pregnant so that’s how I got into sales.
Jouviane: That’s an amazing journey. So, let’s move on to Jaymore Realty. First, where does the name come from?
Nadine: That’s a great question. As I mentioned before, I was pregnant and trying to figure things out. And when it was time for me to name this company, I went back to my inspiration — my son, Jayden. My maiden name is Morency so the company became Jaymore Realty.
"Every deal that I put my hands on, it’s closing."
Jouviane: How would you describe Jaymore Realty and what you do for your clients?
Nadine: I describe Jaymore Realty as a company specializing in getting our clients to the closing table by any means — any legal means — necessary. We have had some of the most challenging transactions from complicated estate sales, landlord tenant issues resolved to several short sales including ones with multiple denials to successfully getting them approved and closed.
My husband tells me this all the time, but he’s like, “Wow, your deals go from level to level to level” — in terms of the extent of what I have to do to get my clients to the table. He would say that it’s preparing me for something bigger and greater because the deals get more and more complicated. I thought It was just me who noticed, but I will talk to some of my peers who have seen my work, and they’re like, “Yeah, you definitely do a lot of complicated transactions.”
I would say Jaymore Realty is getting my clients to the table. It’s my specialty. I have heard some realtors say, “My deals died.” 99% of my deals close. Every deal that I put my hands on, it’s closing.
Jouviane: I saw that you had some listings in Brooklyn on your website. Where is your company based and who is the ideal client?
Nadine: Our office is located in Manhattan, but we service Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, and Manhattan. The majority of our business is in Brooklyn and Queens followed by Long Island. As for our clients, our ideal client is someone who knows what they want regardless of if it’s a homeowner or homebuyer. Working with a client whether buyer or seller is a collaborative effort. So one who understands that communication is key and a pivotal part of successfully executing their needs and wants. Also, one who gleans from our guidance which comes from our years of experience and expertise in this business.
Homeowners can be challenging as well. I’ve definitely turned homeowners down from servicing them if I feel as though they’re going to waste my time. If they’re putting the house on the market as a test for the market, I can usually get a sense of that. I go based on energy, and if I see how someone is acting — if your actions are telling me one thing and your words are telling me something else — I’m going to go based on your actions, not your words.
So my ideal client is someone who knows what they want. And once they can articulate that, and I visualize it, it’s “go time” and I execute.
"I would highly recommend anyone who’s looking to start a business to get a mentor. Mentorship saves people years of time trying to build."
Jouviane: What are some things you wish you knew before starting this business?
Nadine: I’ve been in real estate since 2005, but I started my business in 2012. In order to become a broker — so you can open up your own business — you have to accumulate a certain amount of points, ie. sales. And it took me a while to get there, likely due to me having a lot going on simultaneously. When I started my business, there were a lot of things that I did not know and understand about how to start a business.
So one thing — even though my father is very enterprising and a business owner, he wasn’t a real estate broker. He’s a real estate investor but not a broker. So I wasn’t able to shadow him. And so, I would highly recommend anyone who’s looking to start a business to get a mentor. Mentorship saves people years of time trying to build. There are a lot of things I could’ve been further ahead in if I had a mentor in the early stages of my business. I could have been maybe 10, 20, or 30 years ahead of my time depending on who my mentor was.
I got all of the basic things, like an EIN and LLC, but I wish I had an accountant earlier on. I was using TurboTax and doing my own taxes. And I wish I had a mentor. I wish I learned about business credit early on because I used a lot of my personal credit when I started the business. Those are the things I wish I knew early on, but that’s the information I would pass on to anyone who’s looking to start a business.
Jouviane: It’s clear that not having these resources and tools gave you some challenges along the way. Shifting gears to the good, throughout this process, what has been the most fulfilling part of starting your business?
Nadine: I would say it’s two-fold. One is gaining the trust of my clients. And two are referrals. Referrals are the heart of my business. I’m always in awe when I receive a phone call from a neighbor saying that they’re referring a coworker to me. Or a call from a previous client from five years ago who says they’re referring a relative to me. I’m always in awe when people think of me when they think of real estate.
"I want to be the first African-American woman to break that barrier of getting into the luxury market — like the $100 million real estate market."
Jouviane: As you gain more referrals and grow Jaymore Realty, where would you like to see your business in the next 5-10 years?
Nadine: I'm fascinated when I see properties sell for hundreds of millions of dollars. My company has closed tens of millions in real estate over the years but I want to transcend into the higher echelon real estate market.
Jouviane: As you work towards branching into the luxury real estate market, do you see yourself always being centered in the New York City metro area?
Nadine: I see us in Los Angeles and Miami with the potential to branch out to Atlanta as well.
Jouviane: In the immediate future, what is up next for Jaymore Realty?
Nadine: I would say Jaymore Realty will be keeping its existing clients happy and always welcoming new clients, particularly homeowners. That’s my forte. But yes, keeping my existing clients happy because that’s where my business comes from. It’s from my network. Always ensure that I’m visible in the communities that I serve as well as providing top-tier, excellent service to my clients so that they can always keep me at the top of their mind.
Jouviane: In the past, you’ve released a few podcast episodes. If you could recommend one to our readers, what would it be?
Nadine: I would say estate planning. I’d say that at least 70% of my business is estate sales. And particularly in the African-American community, we don’t want to talk about mortality, but it’s inevitable. We have to become more intentional about building wealth but more importantly, legacy planning through creating Trusts and properly funding our Trusts. Furthermore, not just simply having a Will. It is not sufficient. If one has assets and heirs, a Trust is necessary almost mandatory. Otherwise, you are leaving all your hard work and legacy in the hands of the courts and left to be probated with tons of legal fees and heirs fighting over assets.
What I wind up having to do is I feel like I’m cleaning an ocean with a mop. A majority of my clients are elderly. You have homeowners who are taking reverse mortgages out because after they retire, they didn’t properly plan for retirement. Now they have no money to live off of. They are doing reverse mortgages and have children who aren’t helping them. The problem is reverse mortgages are predatory and can be due and payable and this strips equity from families. Homeowners or their heirs will have to sell or do a short sale on a home they once had free and clear after paying a mortgage for 30 years.
Keep in mind that these are mostly African-American families. A separate part from that is when the homeowner passes away, the children now think that they have the house free and clear, but no, they don’t. Since there was a reverse mortgage, generational wealth was not accomplished.
Estate planning can be a tricky subject, so I would recommend the estate planning episode. I interviewed Juliet Gavriel. He’s an estate planning attorney, and we — particularly African-American families — need to hear more about this in our community.
Jouviane: I’m sure there will be people reading this who would like to be homeowners, and they’re not sure where to start. What advice would you give to someone who wants to be prepared for this process?
Nadine: I would say for them to just start the conversation. Call me wherever you are in your journey because everyone’s journey is different. Some people go and talk to their peers or coworkers, and they’re being misled. Or they’ll go on Google.
The first thing you should do is gather your pay stubs and your W2s. You’ll need your tax returns from the past two years and your bank statements. Check your credit on Annual Credit Report. Once you have these items and give me a call, I can assess how far they are in their journey to pursuing ownership.
The next step would be to take all of this information and refer them to a lender for pre-approval. Then from there, we know exactly how much they qualify for so we can start shopping for a home.
"In every sale transaction that I do, I give a percentage of everyone through philanthropy and to underserved communities. Dollars are being recirculated back into communities we serve."
Jouviane: Okay, last question — how can Official Black Wall Street and our readers support you and your business?
Nadine: After every transaction I close, I allocate a percentage of every transaction to give back to a philanthropic organization serving undeserved communities. This ensures the dollars from a sale are being recirculated back into the communities Jaymore Realty serves. Whether it be a homeowner or homebuyer, the monies returns to the community. So when someone thinks of real estate and chooses Jaymore Realty, they have an understanding that we are intentional about supporting communities we live and work in. It's not just transactional for us. We truly love what we do and it shows!
To learn more about Nadine and Jaymore Realty, visit: https://www.jaymorerealty.com/