Jason Garcia - Licensed Real Estate Broker
When you’re born and raised in the densely populated lower east side of New York City,
you grow up understanding innately that making it out of the city against unforgiving odds
requires a plan, good decisions, unwavering determination, and relentless hard work.
As a small child, my parents laid a blueprint for success in my mind. Working as a team, my
parents each woke up at the crack of dawn every day to work tirelessly towards their goal
of buying a home.
My father installed cable lines for eight to twelve hours per day while my
mother cared for my older brother and me, preparing homemade food for every meal and
tending to all our household’s needs while working various jobs when we were at school.
My parents were extremely strict, watched us like hawks and demanded stellar behavior,
refusing to allow my brother and me to succumb to the unfavorable statistics of the area.
I attended a high school in Staten Island during my freshman year. Like most inner-city
schools, there were plenty of opportunities to get into trouble and make bad decisions. A
small-statured teenager at the time, surviving in such an environment required me to think
outside of the box. I quickly developed a strategy to buy several packs of gum before school
every day. Once at school, I freely handed out sticks of gum to anyone I saw. That idea was
a huge success. Not only did I avoid ever getting into a fight, I became revered as a
harmless kid who would give anyone a piece of gum, and I was able to stay safe and neutral
at my school.
When I was sixteen years old, my parents’ patience, and persistent hard work, paid off and
they were able to purchase their very first home in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania—a move
that changed my life. In Stroudsburg, a small town in the mountains near the Delaware
Water Gap (the complete opposite of New York City), I used my same strategy from Staten
Island to befriend everyone I encountered. But instead of having to use my street smarts to
stay safe, I used them to land my first job at McDonalds, working my way up within three
months to a management position (and the distinguishment of being the youngest
manager the store ever employed) while going to high school fulltime.
After graduating from high school, I realized my childhood dream to serve in the United
States Armed Forces and I decidedly enlisted in the Army National Guard. After graduating
from bootcamp, I dabbled in various sales and marketing jobs and enrolled in college while
serving in the Army National Guard. However, between numerous activations (including
service in New York City following 9/11 and the New York City Blackout of 2003) I was pulled
out of college several times.
In 2003, I landed what I viewed as a steppingstone of a job at Sacks Realty in Jersey City,
New Jersey, chauffeuring a real estate broker back and forth to work and around town each
day. Completely unbeknownst to me, my new boss—Robert G. Sacks—was a veteran real
estate mogul. The then eighty-year-old Mr. Sacks was instrumental in the massive
development of the Journal Square through downtown areas of Jersey City for over half a
century and, while I drove Mr. Sacks around daily, I not only learned about the extensive
architectural history and development of Jersey City, I learned the real estate business from
the bottom up. Within only a few months, I presented Mr. Sacks with a proposition: I would
continue to chauffer and assist him in every way I had previously, but I also wanted to work
for him as a real estate agent. Mr. Sacks accepted my deal and sent me to real estate
school, which I passed with flying colors to begin selling homes immediately. However, my
running start as a newly minted real estate agent was cut short when my Army National
Guard unit was called to war in Iraq.
At the start of my service in Iraq with “The Fighting 69th” 1st Battalion out of the 69th
Regiment Armory on Lexington Ave in New York City, my fellow soldiers and I were flown
into war in jump seats that lined the interior of a cargo plane, whose pilots purposely
employed a strategic nose dive and zig-zagged during the plunge to a landing strip to avoid
getting shot at or struck with missiles that specifically targeted U.S. aircrafts full of soldiers.
That entrance was enough to give even the bravest soldiers the scare of their life. I was
stationed on a base near “Route Irish,” which at the time was one of the most dangerous
and deadly areas in Iraq due to its proximity to Baghdad airport. In the blink of an eye, my
dreams of growing my real estate business and starting the family I always wanted were
instantly interrupted by war, including numerous daily missions where some of my best
friends were killed by IEDs (Improvised Explosive Devices) and constant gunfire and
missiles (some of which successfully reached our base and resulted in fatalities of my
comrades) rang through the air. In Iraq, it was easy to resign from hope and succumb to
despair. Even so, I had an unshakable urge to work day and night to be productive and
build up my unit. However, instead of building up tangible assets like I had back home in
the real estate business, the thing I was challenged to increase in Iraq was morale.
Following my daily missions, I used my laptop and various photos and videos I captured
outside of the wire to create videos that quickly went viral within my battalion, made it up
to the Commander, and ultimately landed me a new MOS (Military Operating Specialty) of
“Combat Camera”—another term for a war videographer. With that, I continued to go on
missions; however, instead of having two hands to carry my weapon, I began carrying my
weapon in one hand and a video camera in the other. In addition to using my documented
photos and videos to uplift fellow soldiers and commemorate fallen soldiers (including
some of my closest friends who were lost at war), the images I captured became official
photos for the United States of America, saved and archived to preserve history.
When your daily life drastically changes from chasing the American Dream to spending an
arduous year at war and seeing and experiencing unthinkable things that bring you to the
brink of complete hopelessness and despair, you change. I returned from Iraq with
gratitude for my life, deep personal pain from the loss of dear friends, and severe PTSD.
During my first days home, I often woke from sleep in a panic, reaching for my weapon and
forgetting where I was if I heard a loud sound from outside my rented apartment in Jersey
City. As days and weeks passed and I reacclimating with civilian life, I never forgot the
critical life lessons I learned in Iraq, the greatest of which is: tomorrow is not promised to
anyone. We must life our best life now.
You see, back in Iraq, a good friend and fellow soldier named Kenneth G. Von Ronn chose
to take his leave (a 2-week vacation from war that every soldier receives) and go home for a
visit earlier in his tour than most soldiers opt to. When he returned to Iraq from that leave
and I asked him why he didn’t wait a little longer so that the tour didn’t feel so long to him,
he replied, “Because you never know what can happen.” That same night, on January 6th,
2005, the vehicle Von Ronn’s team was traveling in was hit by an IED and all of the
passengers, including my friend Von Ronn, were killed. That day, more than anything,
taught me the extreme fragility of life. From that point on and to this day, making the most
of every moment became paramount in my life.
During my own leave from Iraq when Jane Hansen asked me during a segment on New
York’s Channel 4 nightly news, what I wanted most when I returned from war, I didn’t mince
words. “Babies. I’m definitely ready to start a family,” I told her. Within two days of returning
from Iraq in September of 2006, I hit the ground running, requesting to be cut loose from
the Army two days after my return (instead of the standard two-week out-processing
period) and I immediately reported back to Mr. Sack’s office when vacation was the focus
for most other soldiers. Not much longer, I not only shined as Mr. Sack’s top-seller, I
created and spearheaded a strategy to expand Mr. Sack’s business in the areas of property
management, new constructions, and remodels. And in the spring of the following year, my
first child arrived.
Today, I am married to the most beautiful woman, inside and out, I have ever known and I
am the proud father of four handsome and charismatic children, two of whom we very
proudly and gratefully adopted.In the thirteen years since my return from Iraq, I have made
good on my distinct personal business mission to consistently help my clients avoid what
can feel like a rat-race of a real estate market and allow them to fully enjoy the experience
of purchasing their perfect home while I take care of less desirable business responsibilities.
For over a decade, I have meticulously refined my expertise in real estate sales while hitting
the streets and extensively networking with everyone I meet. I have created strong alliances
and I have built from scratch, lasting and mutually lucrative relationships that have stood the
test of time and are still thriving today.
In 2006, I met a doctor and his wife and presented a plan to complete the build of their
investment property and execute an exit strategy to quickly maximize their investment
return. Today, I consider that family my own. Not only have we collaborated on hugely
successful and profitable business adventures (new constructions, investment property
purchases and sales, property management, and contractor deals) we have spent over ten
years attending each other’s family gatherings, celebrating success, and supporting each
other during life’s inevitable hard knocks. Truly, I don’t just look at my career as a business;
I look at it as my life. Because of this perspective, my clients often become my friends.
In my past as a licensed real estate agent, I have turned millions of dollars of profit for my
clients and found the perfect homes for families who are building and making the most out
of their lives. Today, now that I am a licensed real estate broker and have formed Allure
Realty, I look forward to leading a team of real estate agents who I will hand-select based
on their outstanding individual merits, expertise, and alignment with my business credo:
At Allure Realty, our success is not measured by what we gain in a
transaction; our success is measured by how we improve our clients’ lives.
At Allure Realty, we deeply care about providing you with a high-quality experience using
our vast background, expertise, and resources to find you the perfect home and
investment for your future. We don’t just view you as a client. We view you as our
friend-in-the-making and we value your successful sale, lease or purchase, satisfaction, and
quality of life as much as our own.
Through the example of my parents and my own journey, I know first-hand how hard
you’ve worked to better your quality of life. My greatest joy in my profession is to be the
most valuable contributor to your realized dream of home ownership.
Thank you for the time you’ve taken to learn about my story. I can’t wait to learn about
yours and I greatly look forward to the opportunity to help you make your home-owning
dreams a reality!