TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF.
I have called Lakeland my home for 22 years, but I am originally from Puerto Rico. At Catapult, I am actively pursuing the part of my business that works directly with an organization called Homes for Heroes. Additionally, I am also the broker of my own business, DRJ Real Estate, which enables me to use my experience of being in the real estate business for 18 years, to give tangible help. My educational background with degrees in Architectural Design and Accounting allows me to provide my clients with a different perspective as they go through their journey to being homeowners. My husband, James Joseph, and I have been married for twelve wonderful years and together and we have a beautiful 6-year-old daughter, Nanishy Joseph. I also co-pastor a house church called Corridor Church Network, and I serve as a co-director at a para-church ministry called United City.
WHAT’S YOUR ELEVATOR PITCH?
We at DRJ Real Estate have a true heart for the community and we love to serve those who serve us. I am the Polk County affiliate for Homes for Heroes which focuses on honoring five groups of heroes in the community: military, law enforcement, firefighters, healthcare professionals, and teachers. My team and I have the privilege of presenting a hero a check, on average of $3,000, after closing as an opportunity to say, “Thank you for what you do for us.”
WHAT IS SOMETHING YOU ARE LEARNING RIGHT NOW?
I am currently in the season of learning how to be still and trust that the “new normal” will be better than the “normal” I once knew.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU CONTINUE TO INNOVATE AND THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX?
Homes for Heroes and DRJ Real Estate are all about the people. What do they need and how can we meet that need? Real estate-related or not, I have a passion to serve the people around me and that keeps me searching for new ways to connect, especially with our heroes, and find out what I can do for them. Recently we delivered lunches to all seven fire stations in Lakeland, for all three shifts, and it was an honor. Through that opportunity we were able to talk with the firefighters and get an idea of what else they need or would like to receive.
WHAT IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PIECE OF ADVICE YOU HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT ENTREPRENEURSHIP?
To never give up when the tides turn and to keep pressing forward. To continue doing what I love doing regardless of the changing times. I learned this back in 2008 when I was an agent helping others in a short sale world.
ENTREPRENEURSHIP CAN BE A TOUGH AND LONELY ROAD. IN THE DIFFICULT MOMENTS HOW DO YOU STAY FOCUSED AND MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD?
By focusing on helping others. I know that in the business world profit translates to money, and although there is truth in that, for me, it is far more profitable to genuinely help someone. I believe in the principle of reaping what you sow. Therefore, I focus on sowing goodness, kindness, generosity, and so on, because I know that that is what will come back to me.
WHAT ARE SOME WAYS THAT YOU HAVE INTENTIONALLY COLLABORATED WITH OTHERS TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS FORWARD?
I have collaborated with The Mortgage Firm, as well as other mortgage brokers, on projects that give back to the community and to our heroes. I have also worked with the Puerto Rican Chamber of Commerce in efforts to bring relief to Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. I am always willing and ready to partner up with the right people who share my heart and vision of lending a hand to those in our community.
WHY HAVE YOU CHOSEN TO RUN YOUR BUSINESS IN LAKELAND?
I moved to Lakeland straight from Puerto Rico when I was 22 years old and I absolutely fell in love with the place. In all the time I have been in the States, I have never found any other place quite as special as Lakeland. I feel called to be here.
WHERE CAN WE GET YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE?
I am available to anyone who is looking to buy or sell residential real estate in Central Florida.
My favorite dessert is cheese flan and I make it myself…it is delicious!
FAVORITE BOARD GAME?
Apples to Apples.
BEACH OR MOUNTAINS?
The beach. For me, being at the beach is like hitting the reset button. But, if I am in Puerto Rico, I get to experience the beauty of both the beach and the mountains!