The unlikely route of Jen Johnston into real estate begins with, of all things, an ice cream shop. More than a decade ago, while taking a break from the demands of a career in nursing in the suburbs of New York City, Jen opened her own small business, selling sweets to the residents of Westchester County. After relocating to Chapel Hill for a slower Southern lifestyle and lower cost of living, and returning to the nursing field, she began to long for the management of small business, for the details it took to propel any successful operation. That’s when she spotted an advertisement for an administrative position at the same small real estate firm that Blair and Clayton Nell had joined years earlier. The position was perfect. “It was like owning a small business,” she remembers, “without having to own a small business.”
Jen brings that managerial enthusiasm and understanding to Boro Realty, working not as an agent but as the linchpin that makes sure the agents can work. A small sliver of her responsibilities includes coordinating vendors for buyers and sellers, managing daily finances, and helping shape marketing strategies. It’s the sort of stuff that makes her tick: “Systems, checking boxes, the small things: That’s what I like to do.” Outside of the office, Jen is a mother of two who is enthusiastic about her teenage son’s baseball games and visits to see her daughter in New York City. She never passes up the chance to travel and will tell you, without qualification, what her favorite book is—Daniel James Brown’s The Boys in the Boat, thank you very much.