May's Member Spotlight: Jessica Belanger
Congratulations Jessica Belanger, Realtor® at RE/MAX Suburban for being MiRealSource's May Member Spotlight Winner. Jessica's intelligence, caring, and dependable characteristics earned her a raving nomination as someone who goes above and beyond for her clients and her involvement in local charities. We loved how Jessica's fun and kind personality shined through in this interview and we can easily see why she'd be such a wonderful professional to work with.
Tell us about your real estate career (title, office, years, specialties, designations, etc.)
I’m currently licensed as a real estate salesperson with RE/MAX Suburban. I have been licensed since 2012, so 8 years now. I don’t know that I’d say I have a specialty, but I really enjoy working with first-time homebuyers. Currently I hold the ABR designation and an MRP certification. I’ve also enrolled in the ePro classes, and SRS classes, and look forward to receiving those within the month.
You’ve been nominated for being so intelligent, caring, and dependable as well as someone who goes above and beyond for their clients and your involvement in charities. In what ways do you try to demonstrate these qualities?
First off, I am humbled that I was nominated for these qualities. I adore my clients, and I’m glad it shows to those around me. I would say the biggest way I try to demonstrate these qualities is really just going above and beyond the call of duty whenever possible. I try to really listen to what the clients are saying and customize their experience. In terms of involvement with charities, I think most people know that I’m a huge cheerleader for Children’s Miracle Network. The work they do locally with speech-delayed youth is near and dear to my heart, and I do as much as I can to assist in raising money for their endeavors, including representing RE/MAX Suburban as their ambassador, and most notably planning our annual charity golf outing benefitting CMN for the past few years.
How did you get started in the real estate industry?
I started in real estate in 2007, as an administrator with 3 Tier Real Estate. Working as an administrator gave me a great foundation for the basic principles and back-end function of the business. The longer I spent around it, the more I fell in love with the industry. In 2012 I took the leap and got licensed, and I moved over to RE/MAX Suburban in 2015.
What professional achievement are you most proud of?
I’m not sure that there’s any one thing that I’m most proud of. I’m proud when each achievement happens, and I’m always looking forward to the next challenge. The best is yet to come!
What piece(s) of technology do you incorporate into your business practices?
I use a ton of tech! I love the 3D tours of late, especially given the current global climate. Another item I adore is my Bosch Blaze, which makes taking room measurements a breeze. Authentisign is a daily necessity. Apple Car Play is another piece of tech I couldn’t make it a day without. So many to list!
Do you have a favorite MiRealSource tool?
Absolutely! My favorite MiRealSource tool is the people at MiRealSource. The technology is great, but you have one of the best groups of employees I’ve met. I’ve always felt welcome when visiting their office, and when I have a question or need assistance, I’m answered in a timely, friendly fashion. From a user-interface perspective, one thing I really love about MiRealSource is the customized dashboard, with information relative specifically to my brokerage, including links to our in-house title partner and lender.
What is the most rewardingaspect of being a REALTOR®?
I think the relationships I’ve built along the way are the most rewarding part of this career. I have been so fortunate to meet people from all walks of life and backgrounds. And not just my clients, but also other professionals within the real estate industry. Just a ton of really great people have entered into my life over the past decade. I’ve forged friendships with clients that go well past our transaction, many of whom I’d never have had the opportunity to interact with under other circumstances. It’s a humbling experience.
What is the most difficult aspect of being a REALTOR®?
I think balancing work and personal time is the most difficult aspect. It’s easy to find myself working 12+ hour days, especially during the summer months, which can make it nearly impossible to find time to just unwind with the people behind the scenes, so to speak. My mom and sister live north of here, and even escaping for a two-day weekend can be challenging.
What is a “tid-bit” of information people don’t know about being a REALTOR®?
I think people don’t understand the work that goes on day to day. It’s a bit like an iceberg, what they see above the surface is really just a tiny bit of what we do. My closest family and friends know that even when I’m “off”, I’m on. I think the general public doesn’t always realize this. It’s such a rewarding career, but it ought to be for the time involved.
Personal & Fun Questions:
Tell us more about you? (Interests, passions, hobbies, family, etc.)
I have two sons, Malachi who is turning 21 at the end of the summer, and Micah, who is turning 19 in the fall. Micah is special-needs, and our family life revolves around him much of the time. I have a wonderful husband, Brian who supports me in everything I do, including taking care of the house, Micah, and really everything I can’t when I’m on the go. I’m also widely known as the crazy cat lady, though we truly only have two cats; a rescue named Peeves and a purebred blue pointe Siamese named Rekcut. In my spare time, I love to travel, attend concerts and spend time with extended family and friends. I also build dollhouses, love tattoos and am currently in the process of having my 1969 Firebird restored.
Can you share with us some of your community service involvement, how you became interested, and where or how someone can get more involved?
In addition to my real estate career, I also service as a councilmember for the New Haven Village Council, along with acting as council liaison to my local Zoning Board of Appeals. Local government is a great way to get involved with your community, and most people don’t realize that you don’t have to have an extensive political background or legal degree to get started at a local level. Many local zoning, parks and rec, planning and ways and means commissions/boards are under-manned and desperate for help! My other community service involvement is Children’s Miracle Network. I became interested in this program because RE/MAX has a longstanding partnership with them. Locally, they support speech delayed kids, which is near and dear to me, due to my son Micah, and his lifelong struggles with speech. CMN has tons of ways that people locally can get involved! They host a walk at the Zoo annually, along with a telethon at Royal Oak Beaumont. They’re always looking for community partners to raise awareness and funds for their programs!
What is your life Motto?
I know it’s not really earth shattering, but l think if I had to adopt a motto, it would be that life is too short. I don’t believe we’re given a lot of time, and I think that it’s never too late to reinvent yourself. If there’s something you want to do, today’s the day.
Which personal achievement are you most proud of?
My boys, by a landslide.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve visited?
Without a doubt, Australia. We visited Sydney, Ayers Rock and the Cairns/Port Douglas area. I would say my favorite of the three was Cairns/Port Douglas. That’s where the Great Barrier Reef is located. We spent time snorkeling on it, which was amazing. But also, on our first day, we checked into our hotel and went out on the balcony only to be greeted by a sky full of their Flying Foxes. At about 6:45pm every single night their fruit bats come out and fly, which is an amazing sight.
If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would you go?
I have my heart set on visiting French Polynesia. Specifically, Bora-Bora, Tahiti or Moorea. But I won’t go until I can do it right. Oversea bungalow with a waterslide and a glass floor!
Who or what are you most grateful for?
I’m most grateful for my family. My husband, my sons, my parents and my sister have all created an unbelievable support system for me. And our extended family as well. I’m just so fortunate to have the family I do.
How are you keeping yourself entertained during the 2020 Quarantine?
WINE. Joking(ish). I spent some time decluttering and cleaning my home office. I updated my database, and I have been making it a point to reach out to five current or past clients each day to see how they’re doing. Some of them have needed items that we’ve had on hand, and I’ve made some contactless deliveries to help out. I also did Porch-rait sessions for my subdivision, photographing families at an appropriate distance on their porches to show how they’re handling quarantine. I’ve been working on some education that I’ve rarely otherwise got the time to focus on, including my MRP certification, ePro certification, ABR designation, and an upcoming SRS designation class. I’ve also spent a fair amount of time playing Animal Crossing on my Nintendo Switch, and trying out some new dinner recipes.