Meet one of Mirador’s founding members and veteran licensed real estate salesperson Jessica Milton. Beyond Jess’s real estate career, find out more about her life as an artist, musician, and cat-lover.
How long have you been in NYC real estate, and how many years have you been with Mirador?
I’ve been in New York real estate for nine years, and I’m a founding member of Mirador.
You grew up in New York City. Was real estate a natural career path for you?
Not at all. I graduated college with a degree in English literature and a minor in Jewish studies. I left college bright eyed and bushy tailed at the start of the economic downturn. I didn’t want to go to grad school, so I decided to try my time in the real world. I did not have much luck with jobs in the first few months, so I just took the first job I got which was as a private investigator where I broke up illegal hand bag rings in Chinatown. That got a little too heated for me so I started managing a fancy hair salon that was starting up. I was doing a lot of the salon’s finances, front desk work, HR to a certain extent, and also management. After working both of those non-corporate places, I decided I wanted a more corporate job. So I became an executive assistant to a South African Platinum Trading Firm. The company ended up relocating and they let everyone go. I entered into the world of unemployment, and had a friend who worked in real estate. I figured that I know the city of New York like the back of my hand--I grew up in Inwood, I’ve lived in Greenpoint, Williamsburg, Washington Heights. So I got licensed and interviewed with Karla [Mirador’s managing partner], and have been working with her ever since.
What’s one of the craziest things that’s happened to you while working in real estate?
There was once a girl who rented an apartment and paid the full year up front. They never heard from her, they sent her a renewal and still didn’t hear back. So they called her, and she said, “I don’t need to renew. I lived there for a week and decided I didn’t like it, so I just rented something else.” So the apartment was just empty for a year.
Tell me a little bit about the band you’re in. What type of music do you play? Who are your musical inspirations?
I’ve played music for a really long time. My band is called Sanchita, and I play bass, keyboards, guitar and sing. We play rock and roll, but I listen to a lot of different music. My dad is also a musician and my parents were both actors--that’s how they met, in the New York theater, so being a performer is in my blood.
Where’s the coolest place you’ve performed?
This band is pretty new. Rough Trade in Brooklyn was probably my favorite place I’ve performed.
You’ve lived all over the City. Where’s your favorite neighborhood you’ve lived?
I’ve lived in East Williamsburg for almost 10 years now, I found a great rent-stabilized apartment and live on the block of the L train. It’s a nice area because I can pop in and out of the City super easily. I also like to walk to Manhattan a lot in the mornings. I really enjoy my neighborhood, it’s changed so much over the time I’ve lived there. When I first moved in it had just gotten a fancy grocery store, and there were no bars or restaurants. Now there are day raves going on half a block away from me
I know you have an eye for interior design. Where does that come from?
It comes naturally to me. Being creative and having an eye for what looks good together is something I feel like everyone’s naturally inclined towards, but most people are just trained to filter it out over time.
Where do your artistic inspirations come from?
It depends. For dressing, it varies so much with my mood. I like to think of Annie Potts’s character in Pretty in Pink. She has so many different looks in that movie, but they’re all 100% on for that look.
Your cat is adorable! Can you tell us more about her?
I love Patsy. I named her after my grandma. She’s leash trained, so in the City I can bring her outside on the fire escape.
I came to own her after she knocked on a friend’s window to get in from the cold. My friend was not allowed to have cats in his apartment. He put up a video and a couple of photos of the cat on Facebook and asked if anyone could take the cat. There were about 30 people ahead of me commenting “Oh my god, yes!” And I decided to comment anyways even though there seemed to be a lot of people ahead of me in line. Then within seconds I got a private message from my friend saying “Will you actually take this cat?” And of course I said yes. I’m actually allergic to most cats, but I’m not allergic to her at all.
When she was a kitten and we’d only had her for a few days, I asked my boyfriend, “Do you ever look at her and she looks so cute you want to cry?” He was like, “Yes.”
What is your favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I really like Berlin and Maine. My favorite town in Maine is Belfast. It’s just the perfect amount of small town. There’s one hipster restaurant, there’s the hippiest food co-op I’ve ever been in my life, there’s a tiny movie theater and it’s the only one for many towns. I also love upstate New York. My dream is to be able to split my real estate sales between up there and down here.
Name three fun facts about yourself.
I have three tattoos, my hair has been every color, and I can tap dance.
Do you have any favorite foods?
Pickles! I love pickles, but only dill. Keep those sweet pickles away. I also love mustard, so much so that I bought a refillable mustard growler. I also really enjoy avocados and oysters. I’m a vegetarian, and even though I feel guilty about eating other seafood, I never feel guilty about eating oysters because they do not feel pain in the same way we do. There’s a very good philosophical argument as to why eating oysters is actually vegan.
If you had a dream home, what would you want it to have?
I’m a huge sucker for an irregular windows like a portal window or a triangle-shaped window. I’d also want light hardwood floors and high ceilings--things everyone wants.
Wish to work with Jessica? Click her contact card below!