The Kislak Company, Inc. recognizes its top women in business
Janet Bortz Vice President The Kislak Company, Inc.
What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017?Continuing to list and sell multifamily investment properties in New York and New Jersey and offering my clients and prospective sellers 20 years of investment real estate and marketing experience.What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2017?Sold multiple apartment complexes in the Hudson Valley ranging from A properties selling for over $200,000 per unit to value-add properties for $65,000 per unit. Additionally, selling office and retail properties with a closed 60,000 s/f NNN office property selling in Bergen County, NJ.What impact has social media / networking had on your business? Excellent. The client reach is extensive and immediate and facilitates all aspects of the transaction from listing to closing. The ability to use digital as well as conventional marketing serves my clients with a larger and qualified buyer pool.Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you choose the field/profession you are in today? 19 years ago I changed careers, moving from product marketing to real estate. After working two years in real estate development, I joined The Kislak Company, Inc., a commercial real estate brokerage firm specializing in investment real estate, as a sales associate and was promoted to a vice president in 2006. Since then I have continued to rank as a top producer.What were some of your early goals and did anything happen in you career /profession to change them?My initial career objective was to work in product marketing with a national company. My entry began in sales and after a few years, I joined the Continental Group, working in marketing management. After ten years in the industry, I was looking for a more entrepreneurial career. Investment real estate was and remains a great fit for my skill set and personal objectives.What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? Organized, assertive, persistent, thorough and hard working. Enjoying people and having a sense of humor and a realistic and intuitive feel for what is required to make a deal. What challenges and or obstacles do you feel you needed to overcome to become as successful as you are today? Persevering during the first few years when all you seem to experience is rejection. Relationship development and being a quick study of the total investment process, including the financial, legal and environmental aspects. Do you feel there are any differences in the way that men and women develop business relationships and if so, what activities or venues do you participate in? Everyone is unique in their skill development and social strengths. It varies by the individual, not gender. I participate in industry associations and outside business and sports activities including golf and tennis. I am currently a member of the NJAA, the NJ Professional Real Estate Women and the EWGA (Executive Women’s Golf Association). Tell us a little about your family. Married. My husband, Edward, is an attorney. We have two sons, Jason, 34, in consumer goods marketing as a senior brand manager, and Mark, 31, is in real estate management in New York City.What inspiring word of advice would you give to a young woman about to go into the field of commercial real estate or your allied field?Working hard and staying humble enough to listen and learn.
Joni Sweetwood Senior Vice President
The Kislak Company, Inc
What was your greatest professional accomplishment in 2017? Selling 191 units in the best East Orange, NJ location (near Brick church train and all new developments). This consisted of a 132-unit portfolio held be a longtime owner who I have been close with for over 20 years, and 59 units of relatively new construction. The prices indicated it was time to sell. The 132 units traded at less than a 6% cap rate. However, the per unit price was low and the upside huge. I ran this as a sealed bid.
What was your most notable project, deal or transaction in 2017? I obtained the largest exclusive listing of my career. The sale of the property is pending. Again, the engagement was the result of a longterm relationship.
How do you contribute to your company and / or the industry? I have been with Kislak for over 20 years and we operate as a family. We all try to support each other in any way we can: encouragement, co-brokering, mentoring.
How do you manage the work/life balance? I have a lot of energy and enthusiasm for work and life. My motto is “life is for living.” I work hard all day long. I’m extremely organized and focused. This all comes after my family. Family is always first. I make sure every day I do something, even if small, that is fun. I fit in travel and exercise and am lucky to live a healthy, happy life.
What impact has social media / networking had on your business? Today print media is obsolete. People communicate through the internet and social media. This instant information as well as cell phones has made the industry very transparent and fast tracked.
Tell us how and when you began your career in the profession you are in, about your current position and why you choose the field/profession you are in today? I fell into commercial real estate brokerage. I had been handling REO (real estate owned) by Midlantic Bank (now PNC) when I was approached by the then president of Kislak. At first I didn’t like the business. However, over time it became an excellent choice for me.
What were some of your early goals and did anything happen in you career /profession to change them? My goal has always been to establish and maintain a reputation of excellence. Once people believe in you and know that they can rely on you, everything else falls into place
What unique qualities and or personality do you feel makes you most successful in your profession? I’m a happy person and people like to deal with happy people. I’ve learned that no one likes those that complain. I’m also a people person and that is key to interacting with others. My perseverance is also key to my success.