Entrepreneur Foster ’14 Launches NYC Real Estate Firm

This is the first in a series of stories about  Hamilton student-entrepreneurs.

After working on several real estate deals, earning her license and starting her own company, McKenzie Foster ’14 is well on her way toward building the real estate career she wants. Her wealth of experience, detailed plans for the future, and dedication to her goals promises to build a bright future for this rising sophomore.

Foster first became interested in real estate in seventh grade after studying New York City history at the Horace Mann School. She explains that New York’s real estate reflects the city’s rich history, and being able to work with these properties, particularly from the prewar era, allows her an inside look at the detail and background that makes each building unique. Foster began working in real estate when she was 15; by 16 she had finished her first deal, and had another one completed when she was 17.  Because she was too young to hold a real estate license at the time, her father, a real estate broker, finished the transactions and closed the deals. At 18, Foster obtained her license and can now complete real estate deals on her own.

Some of Foster’s transactions are very personal; she has found her family’s past two apartments and is currently looking for their next home. Though Foster’s father could have found and obtained each of these properties, her parents entrusted her with finding each apartment. Foster explains, “My parents really believe in me as well as my abilities. They understand my passion for the business as well as my determination to be the best […] I understand what they want in an apartment. So when I go to look, I pretty much know exactly what will work best for our family and am able to put together a very good deal.” She is also looking for an apartment for a friend who is studying at the New School in New York City.

Foster is passionate about real estate, and she learns more about the field through television, literature, and the numerous internships she has held. Most importantly, however, Foster maintains that the real estate industry demands brokers with a strong presence and strong personality to outlast the competition. Her personable attitude and her drive to succeed help Foster network, learn the market and discover opportunities for herself.

Recently, Foster has incorporated herself through an LLC named JDM Realty. JDM stands for Jack Drew and McKenzie, representing Foster and her older sister and brother, who plan to join the business. Foster has already launched a website and email for her company, become the exclusive agent for her family’s current apartment’s sale, and she is marketing a rental apartment of her family’s in the Ritz Carlton Towers in White Plains. Furthermore, she is finding space in New York City for two restaurants. Despite her busy schedule, Foster is optimistic and excited about this summer. She is happy to spend time doing what she loves while gaining experience for the future.

After finishing college, Foster is considering obtaining a masters in real estate development from Columbia University.

Foster sees a strong connection between her Hamilton education and her current work: “What I am doing now is exactly what Hamilton prepares us to do in life—become independent thinkers, lifelong learners and have the courage and the drive to go out and live our dreams.” Her successes in real estate show intense conviction and a strong will to excel.

McKenzie Foster is a graduate of Horace Mann School in New York City.

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