Bell-Meyer brings with her over 10 years’ experience working with chambers of commerce and economic development initiatives.
SPOTLIGHT ON: Jennifer Rousset
In 2019, Jennifer decided to make the move to real estate. After taking classes at HGAR’s former West Nyack location, she joined Rand’s New City office and has been there ever since.
A Well-Traveled Route to Real Estate
Jennifer Rousset may be new to the HGAR Board of Directors this year, but the Howard Hanna | Rand Realty agent is no stranger to real estate—especially international deals. A member of HGAR’s Global Business Council, the New City-based Realtor also holds her CIPS designation, speaks French and Spanish, plus she attended the Portugal trade mission in June of 2022, as well as MIPIM last year in France.
“It was the first time I met everyone, and they were all so supportive,” she recalled. “I so enjoyed the trips and felt like I was part of a community. That’s actually what got me thinking about getting involved with the (HGAR) Board.”
A first-generation American, Rousset’s mother was born in Tunisia and her father, in Bulgaria. The two met later in France and after marrying, emigrated to the United States. “My parents wanted me and my brother to be born here, so we could go anywhere in the world and be anything we wanted to be,” she said. Much of their family is still in Europe and Rousset plans visits there whenever she can.
After growing up in New York City, Rousset spent her early career as an operations manager for BJ’s Wholesale Club for more than 10 years, traveling from store to store throughout the region. While she enjoyed the salary and benefits, she believed it was beginning to take too many hours away from her family. “I felt like I was missing so much from my son’s life with all those hours away, and I really needed something with more flexibility,” she recalled.
In 2019, she decided to make the move to real estate. After taking classes at HGAR’s former West Nyack location, she joined Rand’s New City office and has been there ever since. “I think my prior career helped me because I already knew a lot of people and I was a strong problem-solver,” she said. “I used to help improve people’s quality of life at work, so I knew I could help people find the right home.”
Rousset works with many first-time homebuyers, which she describes as a very emotional process, since prices and mortgage rates are still high, and often potential buyers are outbid. “I have to manage their expectations, give them guidance, and eventually they’ll find the perfect home,” she added. “The worst thing about working in retail is just moving on to the next problem after solving it. Now, I can sit back and enjoy the moment having helped someone secure their home.”
Most of her clients are in Rockland, Orange and Westchester, and Rousset is also working on obtaining her New Jersey license.
In addition, she has had her share of international clients and has helped those who were already living in the U.S., but wanted to purchase their first properties here. Her clients have included emigrants from Europe, Russia, China and South America. “I want to keep learning how to get more involved in the global community, and how other countries conduct real estate,” she said.
Last year, after attending MIPIM—billed as the world’s leading real estate market event—Rousset set off on a road trip through France, visiting an aunt in Paris and continuing to Monaco and Italy. She also has a cousin living in Majorca, Spain.
Besides her involvement with HGAR’s Global Business Council, Rousset is also interested in volunteering and helping others. She has served as her office’s chairperson for Rand’s Children’s Free Care Fund. Last year, they raised close to $30,000 for the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital in Valhalla.
One of her goals as a new Board of Directors member this year is to spread the word about the benefits of the association. “As Realtors, a lot of things can get a little lost for us sometimes, but I want to encourage more people to become involved with all of our programs and events,” she noted. “I didn’t realize how much the association provided for us until I went on those trade missions.”
While international travel remains one of her favorite pastimes, she is just as passionate about traveling domestically. Rousset has already booked a trip to Florida in April, followed by Portland, Oregon and then California this summer.