Our employee Q&A series continues with this month’s spotlight landing on Transaction and Project Coordinator Jess Ragsdale.
Jess joined J.H. Berry in the summer of 2016 and has made an immediate impact by using her extensive marketing, business development and customer relations background to forge valuable relationships in the business community and commercial real estate industry.
Jess graduated from the University of Mississippi with a Business Administration degree in marketing in 2011. She currently serves as a member of the Birmingham Association of Realtors and as the Gala Committee chair of the Special Equestrians junior board.
What inspired you to begin a career in real estate? Real estate is prominent in my family history and has always peeked my interest. My great-great uncle, Robert Jemison Jr., was a real estate developer and founder of Mountain Brook. He helped forge the path of planning and development that shaped Mountain Brook into what it is today. It only seemed natural to go into the real estate industry when returning home to Birmingham after college.
How would you describe your transition from residential to commercial real estate? I was fortunate to take an interest in the commercial side of real estate and be given the opportunity to work for such a great company in J.H. Berry & Gilbert. Like any successful career transition, it took time to acclimate to the CRE processes but it has been extremely rewarding.
What are some of the most common office amenities requested by tenants seeking a new space? The majority of the CRE transactions I have been involved with since starting my career have been healthcare office leasing. Some of the most common amenities desired for the healthcare tenants would be easily accessible patient parking, a large enough waiting room to accommodate patients and family members, and a break room for their hard-working employees.
If you could describe Birmingham’s commercial real estate industry in three words, what would they be? Evolving, revitalizing and modernizing
What’s your favorite part of your job? I thoroughly enjoy working with tenants to figure out what their needs are for a potential space and then working with the space planner to bring that plan to life. Many tenants are unable to visualize past an old physician’s office that is tired and dated, but with the proper plans and guidelines you can help a tenant visualize the way the space could be transformed for their own specific needs.
How do you spend your down time? In my downtime I enjoy being outdoors with my husband Ben, six-month-old son James, our dog Goose and my horse Andrew.