Thank you for sharing your story with us. What is your professional background?
I am a born and bred native of Brooklyn, New York. I received my Bachelor’s Degree in Television Production at Morgan State University in Baltimore, Maryland. After a five-year career in the TV/Film industry in Atlanta, Georgia, I returned to NYC to focus on a long career interest of mine; Real Estate. Presently, I am a licensed Real Estate Professional and recently celebrated my third anniversary in the business. My business, The Real Estate Fairy, LLC specializes in assisting homeless/housing voucher holders lease apartments.
How did you end up with this career?
After finding out housing voucher holders were heavily discriminated against by tenants, landlords, and many licensed Real Estate Salespersons it was then that I knew this would become my focus. It was always my goal as an actress and screenwriter to make enough money to develop transitional housing for the homeless. However, once I got into working with clients with housing vouchers I quickly learned that a large percentage of voucher holders are in fact homeless. It was then that I decided to fully center my business around assisting those with housing vouchers, specifically the homeless with finding safe housing and I started my business; The Real Estate Fairy, LLC.
How did you begin your remote work journey?
In March of 2020 when the COVID 19 virus shut the world down, I like many others, with no other options began remote work. Instead of showing units in person, I collaborated with the landlords, clients, and case workers to host virtual apartment showings and documents that previously had to be received in person were now allowed to be emailed. Oddly, my business seems to have truly peaked while working remotely.
Where do you see yourself in the next year?
Graduating with my Master’s of Fine Arts in Writing & Producing for Television this coming May, 2022, I certainly see myself getting back into the TV & Film industry. I have newly attained my New Jersey real estate license and look forward to expanding my business and helping the homeless in New Jersey in addition to New York. And, if I am not too busy, I may even make time to start a family of my own.
What tips do you have for others who are working remotely?
In my experience remote work has granted me so much freedom. Not only from being able to close deals on my living room sofa but to close deals from a beach in another country, that is truly a blessing. I would certainly tell others working remotely to look for the benefits of working from home and figure out how the flexibility of not having to be in an office daily can be beneficial to their lives and fully take advantage of it.
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What is your self-care routine and how do you find time to integrate it into your daily life?
Though sometimes it’s impossible, especially lately, I make the effort to sleep a minimum of nine hours each night. Proper rest keeps me healthy and keeps my mind sharp for business. I must also admit that although working remotely is one of the best things that happened to me mentally, physically, I have put on some pounds as a result of being less active. Recently, I have reincorporated going to the gym three to five times a week to get back in shape. I hate to go but I am always fulfilled after my workouts and the results are starting to show.
Putting yourself first is important to your overall wellness. Given this, what are your best holistic wellness tips?
I believe we can reset anything in life. That includes our body. Once or twice a month I do a one to three day juice cleanse/fast. I’m no doctor, but I believe it’s a great way to rid the body of toxins and give it a break from breaking down foods. I always feel lighter and healthier after. And depending on which juices I drink, my skin will even get a little extra glow.
What was the toughest challenge you faced during your career?
To date, my biggest obstacle still remains unfair bias and discrimination against renters using housing vouchers. I always have many more potential clients looking to lease than landlords leasing.
How did you get through that period?
I combat discriminatory bias by highlighting the benefits there are to renting to clients with housing vouchers, dispelling uninformed assumptions, and politely reminding the discriminators that housing voucher discrimination is illegal under the Fair Housing Act.
What advice for people dealing with similar difficulties?
In all aspects of life, not just business and real estate, I believe in going where I am valued, appreciated, and celebrated. In short, my advice is to do business and build relationships with those with a common vision.
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Mental health and feeling good are crucial to maximizing performance. How do you prioritize your mental health?
Traveling the world is my favorite way to decompress. I love trying different foods, meeting different people and animals, and going on action packed excursions. From time to time I take more calm trips and indulge in the beach and pina coladas. For my mental health, whenever time and funding permits, I leave the country even if only for a few days.
Before the pandemic hit, you may have worked in an office or corporate setting, but what do you foresee happening now?
Having not worked in an office space daily in over two years, I honestly do not believe that I can ever go back to that lifestyle. I recently switched brokerages to a brokerage that predominantly operates virtually. Not only do I receive a higher commission on my deals, anything I need can be carried out virtually. Therefore, I never have to physically go into an office. Remote work is the new norm and I am grateful for it.
How do you see companies allowing employees to work post-pandemic?
Two years post lock down, I am now starting to see my friends and family go back to the office. Most are not required to be present in person while others are. I believe that in the coming years many businesses will find it in their best interest due to cost effectiveness to be fully remote. The lock down has shown in many companies, in person presence is not a requirement to meet company goals and standards. However, in an unfortunate turn, I believe many wait staff positions will be fulfilled by apps and computers.
If you could have lunch with one person in the world, who would it be and why?
I have long idolized Percy Miller (Master P). He is a self made multi millionaire and heavily successful serial entrepreneur. I have been fascinated by his business ethic from young and consider him a “god father” or “uncle” in my head. I truly believe that one conversation with him would take my earnings to millions annually. Yes, he’s that business savvy!
If you could inspire a movement, what would it be and why?
I believe that wealth is health and the people that need financial health the most don’t know where to begin to attain it. If I could inspire a movement, I would incorporate financial literacy and wealth building as a requirement for inner city schools. Most often students graduate with book smarts but lack much needed life skills.
Please list your social media handles so we can tag you.
Instagram: @MonaLesaTheRealEstateFairy or on my personal page @DontCallMeMona
Facebook: The Real Estate Fairy
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