Maven to Know: Regina Jones, Branch Manager, Carpenter Realtors
Originally from the eastside of Indy and a graduate of Warren Central, Regina Jones now calls Brownsburg home with her husband, Jim. “We are almost empty-nesters! Our daughter, Alex is a Junior at IU Bloomington and our son, Dillon is married and he and his family live in Thorntown,” she tells us. “The community of Brownsburg is great and we are so glad that we selected this town as the place that we call home. It was a wonderful place to raise our kids and it is a convenient and easy commute into Indy.”
How did you end up with a career in real estate?
I began my career in real estate 19 years ago. I became interested in being a Realtor while going through the process of buying my first home. At that time I was a member of the Indiana Pacemates (dance team for the Indiana Pacers). During the NBA Finals, I would study for my real estate exams in the locker room before the games and during half-time. I just wanted to make sure I passed all of my exams.
I was so excited and wanted to get started as quickly as possible. I have been with Carpenter Realtors for my entire career and was promoted into management six years ago. Being a manager is very rewarding and provides me the opportunity to work with the brokers in my office. Not only am I there to help them problem solve, but also to help them grow their business. MIBOR is the local Realtor association here in Indianapolis. I currently serve as President-Elect of the Board of Directors and I also serve on the Board of Directors of the Indiana Association of REALTORS® and the National Association of REALTORS®. Being involved with the local, state and national associations is very important to me. They provide support and professionalism to the real estate industry—and it’s been invaluable during the COVID-19 crisis.
This is obviously a very strange and unprecedented time in pretty much every industry. How has your job changed in the past month? How are you coping, adjusting, and shifting to keep up with this ever-changing world?
Three of my family members are first responders. My husband, Jim is a Firefighter with IFD. My son, Dillon, is a Firefighter with ZFD, and my daughter-in-law, Britani, is a Paramedic with BFD. I try not to worry about them—I just focus on what I can do…which is real estate. I am grateful that my company and MIBOR have provided great resources to help me navigate through these times. Safety protocols for both the buyer and the seller have been implemented.
There are additional steps and paperwork involved, but it’s better to be overly cautious now, than to have regret later. Although my job has changed during these unprecedented times, I feel equipped to handle these changes. As technology has evolved over the years, so has the way we’ve done business. Carpenter Realtors has really embraced technology and has stayed committed to providing our clients and brokers with the latest advancements. However, I absolutely miss going into the office on a regular schedule! I find working from home very draining. The interaction with people gives the kind of energy that a Zoom meeting just can’t provide. Because I love what I do I tend to work all the time (pre-COVID-19). Now that I’m working from home, I am trying to maintain a healthy balance of work and personal life.
“The people are what makes our city so special…It’s an amazing place to call home.”
How has the local real estate market changed in the age of coronavirus? Are people still buying and selling?
People are still buying and selling homes. My office is still experiencing multiple offers on many homes. The month of March, sales were up 5.8% over last year and the median sales price was up 14.8% at $209,000. As we move forward, it is uncertain how the real estate market will be affected by COVID-19.
Do you foresee permanent changes in how you do business going forward?
I do feel that there will be permanent changes as we go forward (more virtual tours, increased digital signing, etc.) We have been forced to heavily rely on technology and to think outside of the box. The things we have learned are going to make us better equipped for the future. People will still need to buy and sell homes for a large number of reasons. The real estate industry as a whole has stepped up to the plate, in a safe way, to help facilitate one of the most important financial transactions in a consumer’s life.
What’s your philosophy or approach to real estate and your career, in general?
My approach to real estate is to be a trusted advisor to not only my clients, but to the brokers in my office as well. My philosophy to my career and to my life is to be of service. I am not here to “sell” you something. I am a professional that is here to put my client’s interest first, to provide value and to be of service.
What do you love most about your job? What do you find most challenging and how do you tackle challenges?
I love that in real estate you have to take full responsibility for your business or lack of business. To me that is very powerful and very inspiring. The buck stops here! I love the flexibility and creativity that being your own boss can provide. In real estate, you face different challenges daily—every transaction is unique. Some people are excited and happy to be buying or selling, while others might be sad or upset. This is a people business. I really try to embrace the challenge and to step back and look at the whole picture—not just my viewpoint—but all angles of each situation. I tackle challenges head on…don’t put off tomorrow what you can do today. Ignoring a challenge won’t make it go away. That’s what people are hiring you for….to do your job!
What are your favorite neighborhoods in Indy and why do you love them? What do you think makes our city special and a place people should want to buy a home?
I have so many favorite neighborhoods. Here are a few, in no particular order:
Eagle Creek area /Traders Point: I enjoy beautiful Eagle Creek Park and the Northwest side community.
Fountain Square, Mass Ave, Broad Ripple. and Irvington: All are great spots for shopping, dining and entertainment.
Speedway: I enjoy the restaurants and shops on Main Street and, of course, there is nothing like the month of May in Speedway.
The people are what makes our city so special. The way our city hosted the Super Bowl still makes me beam with pride! Indy offers so much—cultural districts, arts, sports, parks, great small businesses, and so much more. It’s an amazing place to call home. And Indy has affordable housing compared to most cities and great resources that make it possible for people to become homeowners.
Any favorite local businesses and restaurants you’re looking forward to visiting again once restrictions are lifted? What are you missing most right now?
Right now I am missing these restaurants: Fire By the Monon in Broad Ripple, 1933 Lounge & HC Tavern in Fishers, and The Garden Table on Mass Ave. I’ll be making plans for brunch at Baby’s on Talbott St. and buying tickets for Indianapolis Ballet’s next performance, as well as Dance Kaleidoscope’s next performance.
I also miss working out and swimming at the OrthoIndy YMCA on Lafayette Road and I’m hoping that summer concerts at Deer Creek won’t be cancelled. And last but not least a facial by Candice Fields and a long overdue cut and Color by Scott Coolidge!
Abby Gardner is Indy Maven’s executive editor and she thinks all of Regina’s plans sound amazing.