Jenn Rock – Working to Live
If you pick ten different REALTORS® off of a list and asked them their backstory, you would hear ten different accounts of how they got into real estate.
From nursing to geology to education to theater, a group of REALTORS® would likely represent a fairly diverse set of back-grounds and walks of life, and very few seem to have answered, “REALTOR®” when asked what they wanted to be when they grew up.
Though Jenn Rock has been a REALTOR® with Better Homes and Gardens for a decade now, she’s no exception when it comes to bringing a unique background and unique set of experiences to the industry.
Jenn was born in Abilene, Texas, where she lived through her kindergarten year. After that year, because of her parents’ work as missionaries, the family moved to Costa Rica, and then to Colombia when she was eight. She remembers being hesitant about moving to Colombia; however, after some brief integration into the culture, she quickly realized it was exactly where she wanted to be despite the tumultuousness of the country during that time.
She spent the next several years there, building friend groups and immersing herself in the only real culture she had ever known. Jenn had no trouble assimilating and making friends, and she credits this experience with developing her ability to relate to various types of people from early on.
An adventurous teen, Jenn was excited when she was told she would get to spend her junior year of high school at boarding school in Ecuador. “Some people
think boarding schools have negative connotations,” Jenn said. “But I have great memories of boarding school!” It was another opportunity for her to meet new friends that she still remains in contact with today. “It was an incredible bonding experience,” said Jenn.
Jenn’s parents modeled a family-forward lifestyle, which is eventually what drew Jenn into the real estate industry. Even when her father switched roles
within the missions organization and moved their family to Los Angeles for her senior year, Jenn’s strong bond with her family and sharp assimilation skills allowed her to succeed. She did experience intense culture shock, she said, as her environment sharply shifted. “My clothes were all thrifted, and I didn’t drive at all, I was suddenly in a nice, private school where everyone drove fancy cars,” Jenn remembered.
She recalls the move to LA being far more challenging than any move in Central or South America. But, true to form, Jenn persevered, carving out her place and building her own little community nearly 6,000 miles from what she came to know as “home.”
Jenn ended up staying in Los Angeles for 15 years where she worked in the marketing world. Deep down, though, she knew she wanted to be back in Texas. The only member of her family to be born in the Lone Star State, she wore the Texan badge with honor. “I am proud to be a Texan,” she laughed. Upon graduation, her parents offered both her and her sister a graduation trip. “My sister wanted to go to Germany; I wanted to go to Texas,” she said resolutely. That led to regular summer camp trips, and after feeling like she hit her California ceiling, with no job, house, or plan, she packed up her car and headed east — towards ‘home’.
She explored various admin roles in different companies before deciding to try her hand at real estate. She was married with kids by then, and flexibility
was paramount. The timing was interesting, as she actually leveled up in her career during the sharp downturn of the housing market around 2008. While that coincidence provided its own challenges, Jenn considers herself one of the lucky ones. Her broker happened to be getting out of the business and offered to mentor her and send business her way. “She launched my career for me,” Jenn said. As a result, she had the opportunity to rapidly expand her business, but was grateful that she didn’t have to. “I could’ve worked every weekend. I still can. But I don’t want to,” Jenn said matter-of-factly.
Jenn said her reasons for staying in real estate a decade later are the same reasons she got in: She wants the freedom to prioritize her family. However, this shouldn’t be confused for her savvy or keen eye for industry trends. She’s anything but disengaged. We discussed vision, market trends, which suburbs are handling rapid growth, and which ones aren’t. Her wisdom and ability to see the big picture no doubt makes her an asset to her community — not just as a businesswoman, but as a neighbor.
Just like she grew up in a family-centric environment, she wanted the same for her kids. “I love real estate,” she explained.
“But I have no desire to be married to my job.” The more Jenn shared about her life, the more evident it was that she is the embodiment of “working to live” rather than “living to work.”
Jenn and her husband have three kids — two of which they adopted through foster care. She cited her husband’s own adoption and the orphaned children her family helped care for in Colombia as some of the main reasons they knew they wanted to serve vulnerable children in any way they
could. “Adoption and foster care were just always on my heart,” she said, “And it was personal for my husband who benefited directly from adoption.” Her academic background includes early childhood development, which has proven to be helpful in navigating any challenges as they
It likely comes as no surprise that the person who eagerly embraced multiple international moves, packed up and relocated halfway across the country on a whim, jumped into a brand new industry, and welcomed foster care with open arms would self-identify as a dare devil. When she’s not working or toting her kids to baseball tournaments, you can find her riding 4-wheelers with her kids. She holds the platinum status as a Better Homes and Gardens agent, meaning she was nationally recognized for her volume and quality of work. But that’s not her main motivation — not by a long shot. She was hesitant to bring it up, in fact. Jenn simply works hard to serve her clients, love her family, enjoy her hobbies, and the accolades are a byproduct of keeping the first things first.
In a productivity-obsessed culture, it’s refreshing to connect with folks who order their lives a little differently. And while Jenn has surely left a trail of goodness behind in every community she’s been a part of, I, for one, am glad she finally made it back to Texas.
To connect with Jenn, email her at email@example.com or (214) 708-0919