SPOTLIGHT ON: Veronica Suarez
Mary Prenon | October 2019
From Retail to Real Estate
The year 2020 will be an exciting one for Veronica Suarez, when she becomes President of the Westchester Chapter of the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP). An agent with RE/MAX Distinguished Homes and Properties in Tuckahoe, Suarez will be officially sworn in at an elegant Masquerade Ball on Nov. 13 at Glen Island Harbour Club in New Rochelle.
After joining NAHREP’s Westchester/Bronx Chapter just last year, she was quickly given the role of membership director. Earlier this year, the chapters split and Suarez was named Vice President of NAHREP’s Westchester Chapter. “Even though I’m fairly new, I’ve always been a bit outspoken and if I decide to do something, that’s it. I just do it,” she revealed.
In fact, it was a member of NAHREP’s Queens Chapter, who convinced her she would be an asset to the organization. She also credits Joel Colman of A.S.A.P. Mortgage Corp. for encouraging her to stay involved. “I’m so excited about next year, and we’re looking forward to planning a lot of different events,” she added.
Suarez is quick to point out that NAHREP’s membership and events are open to everyone of every nationality. “We’re seeing people from all different backgrounds and we want all Realtors to know that they all are welcome,” she said.
While she has enjoyed a 15-year career in residential real estate, Suarez also had a thriving career in the fashion industry before listing and selling homes. “I’ve loved clothes and fashion since I was 15, so I started out working in retail clothing stores,” she recalled. By the age of 21, Suarez was managing her own store!
Over the years, she worked with Rainbow, a women’s clothing store at the Galleria Mall in White Plains, Banana Republic in Scarsdale, and J. Crew in Manhattan, where she managed the women’s department. Her last store was BCDG at The Westchester in White Plains. “I really enjoyed the business, but it was a very high demanding job,” she explained. “I was working way over 40 hours a week and just about every weekend.”
Suarez briefly considered opening her own store, but that would just mean more hours and more weekends. On a whim, she took a class on flipping properties, but quickly realized she wasn’t ready for that. “Then I thought, ‘why don’t I just get into real estate’?” she recalled.
“I’ve always loved sales, so this would be something very natural for me,” Suarez added.
After earning her real estate license in 2004, she began working with a small “mom and pop” brokerage in the Bronx. “They actually hired me on the spot,” she remembered. Suarez started out with rentals, and then listed a friend’s house for sale. After that, her career flourished and she has walked away with several sales awards over the years.
Suarez spent many years with Exit Realty in the Bronx and just two years ago, she joined RE/MAX. The Throggs Neck resident concentrates her business in the Bronx and lower Westchester, while also devoting her time to NAHREP and the HG Realtor Foundation, which she joined earlier this year.
As a newcomer, Suarez thanks Foundation Fundraising Committee Chair Bonnie Koff for getting her involved. “She just asked me and I said, ‘Yes.’ I also love that it’s completely different from NAHREP,” she said. “I enjoy raising money for local charities and also volunteering.” Suarez recently attended a HG Realtor Foundation volunteer event at Caritas of Port Chester, a local food pantry located at St. Peters Episcopal Church.
In her spare time, she’s always on the go with her 10-year-old son Nathaniel. You can find them at the Cheesecake Factory, Whole Foods, the mall, the movies or outside in local parks. “There’s nothing better than ‘mommy time’,” she said.
In the coming year, Suarez will focus on growing NAHREP’s Westchester Chapter, while continuing to grow her business. She now has her own real estate team—the Veronica Suarez Team—with five members.
These days, she admits she doesn’t miss the retail business at all. “I had the opportunity to run my retail businesses, but now I’m doing the same thing in real estate, and this is much more rewarding,” she said. “Besides, I can still go shopping any time I want!”