Q&A: Julie Grevengoed


Julie Grevengoed. Courtesy JGR Real Estate

Editor’s note: Each Q&A in the Influential Women enewsletter will feature a woman from the region who’s influential, a rising face in her industry or doing interesting work. Submit tips on potential Q&A subjects to tgortsema at grbj dot com.

Julie Grevengoed left a national residential real estate franchise to open a local brokerage.

He first job was as a C.P.A. after graduating from Calvin College.

Grevengoed then began investing in real estate and becoming interested in sales, and the two together led her to a career as a residential Realtor.

After five years, she opened JGR Real Estate, which operates offices in Grand Rapids and Spring Lake, and now she feels privileged to help agents advance in their own careers.

Biggest career break?

It’s hard for me to point to one specific thing, as my business has every year just gotten a little bit better and then a little bit more. However, opening my own brokerage was a pretty major step that really advanced my career and then buying a building in a visible part of the west side (corner of Bridge and Seward) was also very significant.

Proudest moment?

I am always proud when people in the industry engage my services. Of course, I value all my clients, but when people who know the ins and outs as an insider know how I work and seek me out, that is both humbling and a proud moment at the same time.

Best advice you’ve ever received?

My track coach in high school liked to comment that he thought I was “mentally tough” and advised me to stay that way. I didn’t really know what he meant at the time. As the market was down and now is up, and with the daily success and failures that you experience as a business owner and salesperson, now I know that being mentally tough means to keep going, no matter what.

How did you make your first dollar?

My first client was one of my fellow students in real estate classes. Certainly, not where I expected to get a client!

Most-treasured possession?

I love our boat, because to me it symbolizes time with my family, time with my friends and enjoying God’s creation.

Dream job?

Doing what I am doing now. I truly love it!

If I were president for a day, I would . . . ?

That is not a job I would ever want! But, if given the responsibility, I would focus on balancing the budget. That might take more than a day though!

Last book you’ve read?

“The 12 week year: Get more done in 12 weeks than others do in 12 months,” by Brian P. Moran and Michael Lennington

Last thing you Googled?

When the new “Gilmore Girls” series is being released on Netflix

Your worst habit?

Drinking diet soda

To unwind, I like to . . . ?

Play golf. I just love being out there. It’s so beautiful.

Dream vacation?

I would love to take a tour of Europe. So much history and culture there! I would also like to take a tour of Israel.

Favorite food?

I love ethnic food. Indian, Thai and Ethiopian top the list, especially if there’s some spice!

Person you most admire?

There are many people that I admire for different reasons. I admire people who are the very best at what they do and have the dedication that it takes to achieve that level. The most directly relevant to me in that category is Brian Buffini, who owns the coaching company that I work with. Not only is he an amazing teacher, which I aspire to be, but he also exemplifies being someone who is successful with both business and family at the same time.

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