Jasmine Lee always knew she wanted to own property, but when she purchased her first house, the experience with her realtor left her dissatisfied. “She was so cold and unavailable. My concerns were not her concerns.”
Lee didn’t want others to have to go through the same experience so, two years later, she got her real estate license and vowed not to be like that agent.
Now, Lee is an award-winning real estate broker at eXp Realty. She has more than 15 years of experience and has garnered millions of dollars in property sales. She’s also the team leader of the Jasmine Lee Team, which is built for “strong, like-minded women” with shared passions — but the CEO is Lee’s seven-year-old son, Cartier.
Lee also supports several local causes in the Durham region and launched a community for empowering and supporting women in real estate called “RealtHer,” as well as “SLC,” a female-led entrepreneurial club that provides tips and advice to female business owners.
What are some trends or shifts you’ve noticed in the 17-plus years you’ve been in real estate?
Originally, when I was meeting with couples, men especially would lead the conversation. They would talk about their net worth and what they want, and then when we were looking at properties, the woman would be like, “Oh, I like this one over the other one,” and that was it. But now, in the last five to 15 years, there has been a major shift where women are leading the conversation about the numbers, the finances in the family, and taking more of the leadership role and making decisions on home ownership, either as a family unit or even by themselves.
When individuals or families approach you about buying or selling real estate, what are some of their biggest financial concerns?
First, I would say, is overpaying for property. Two is location and where to move because, with the pandemic, it’s limitless. We’ve helped clients sell, and they’ve moved to the cottage or the Caribbean full-time. [There’s] a lot of virtual work-from-home, so options are open.
In terms of overpaying, we educate our clients. On our website, we have sold prices so that they can see the trends. When our clients look at numbers, they understand that what their properties are listed for is not necessarily what they’re selling for because they have access to sold prices. They know they have an indication of the market and what the value of their home is as we update them quarterly or yearly, depending on what their needs are.
What’s the best piece of real estate advice you’ve ever received?
I’m seeing a lot of people buying and flipping. I’m more of the buying and holding type, and I’m a landlady. It does come with this different type of stress, but you get the appreciation of the property, and you get an income and return on investment that you’re not going to get from just buying and flipping and selling. You get taxed on that income right away if it’s not your principal residence. I get the appreciation, and then I also get income monthly from my rental properties.
My son comes with me to our rental properties. He mows the lawn. It’s his property at the end of the day. He meets the tenants, and they love him. My tenant’s kids and he play while we’re doing a walkthrough or whatever. I get my son involved, and you should get your kids involved in your real estate portfolio as early as you can because, at the end of the day, it’s for them. Building generational wealth — it’s so important to show them that it’s not just for you. It’s for your kids. The sacrifices we’re making to buy real estate, it’s generational.
Marcus Medford | Contributing Writer