The best part of our job is that we get to meet some really great people every day. Our blog “Friend Request” is a chance for you to get to know them as well. On today’s blog we talk to real estate mogul and overall amazing person Jennifer Parham of Lighthouse Realty.
LOCAL 219: So Jennifer thanks for joining us today!
JENNIFER: Thank you for having me!
L219: So what do you do?
JP: I am a realtor, and I’m the managing broker and owner of Lighthouse Realty in Crown Point. We are at boutique real estate firm and I am also the president elect for the Board of Directors for the Greater Northwest Indiana Association of Realtors MLS. I know that’s a whole lot.
L219: So you’re based in Crown Point, where did you grow up?
JP: Actually I was born and raised in Gary, and then I graduated from Merrillville High School in ’98. Go Pirates! [laughs] But I’ve spent the majority of my life outside of a few years that I spent in Indy, but [outside of that] I’ve always been in Northwest Indiana.
L219: What do you love about Northwest Indiana?
JP: This is a better question for my husband, he’s originally from Indy and he refuses to move back, so that should tell you about Northwest Indiana. He just loves the community feel, so we currently live in Merrillville looking to perhaps another part of the Region but we just love it. We love being able to raise our our son here and one of the biggest things I love about Northwest Indiana is that I am 20 minutes from anywhere.
L219: Awesome. How old is your son?
JP: He’s 12 and in the 7th grade.
L219: How’s balancing work with being a mom?
JP: That’s probably one of the hardest things about, and all the working moms now what I’m talking about [laughs], but that’s one of the hardest things in life, because it’s better now that he’s older, but that was one of the reasons I went into real estate, because I want to have a flexible schedule and I have the time if my son or my husband needs me.
But being a small business owner is all about balance, and about the relationships we make. I am a relationship realtor so about 75% of my business is by referral, and that’s one of the awesome things that I love and that makes me give them better customer service because I know that they’re referred to me out of love.
L219: So I’m going to switch it up a little bit. What’s the one restaurant you would recommend to our readers?
JP: I just took my friend, and there’s so many restaurants that I love, but we just had lunch yesterday at Prime Steakhouse in Crown Point, which people forget that they have a great lunch menu. If you want to have a quiet business lunch then that’s a great spot to go to. Also, AVGO. Tell Theo’s to pay me some sponsorship money! (Laughs)
L219: (Laughs) What would you like to see for the future of the Region?
JP: I would love for us, and I think Hobart and some other places are doing it, but I want us to start having more food truck festivals, and things that are outside so we can get a diversity [of events], especially because so many businesses are popping up and it’s getting so congested. I really think communities like Valparaiso, Hobart, a lot of them that have downtown areas are really using their pavilions and downtowns to a T. It’s one thing I don’t like about Merrillville is that we don’t have a downtown.
L219: That’s true.
JP: We have route 30 and Broadway, but we don’t have a downtown so we don’t really have a spot to have those community events, but that’s one of the great things about Northwest Indiana: every weekend, every few days, someone is having a farmer’s market, or a blues fest. So you can’t really say that there’s nothing to do out here.
L219: What’s something that nobody knows about you but it’s ok to share publicly?
L219: Do you have a hidden talent?
JP: I cannot sing. (Laughs) But I do have a secret. I used to have a horrible stutter and a lisp.
L219: How did you get over it?
JP: Years of speech therapy, and my mom (being a church mother that she was) forced me to do all of the plays, all the Christmas speeches, all of the Easter speeches, and encouraged me to get up and sing. So that would probably be the one thing that nobody knows about me. (Laughs)
L219: So how can people contact you if they want to reach out?
JP: You can contact me on Instagram and on Facebook for business at Lighthouse Realty NWIN, and personally I’m Jennifer Parham so feel free to contact me there.
Oh…there is one thing that people don’t know about me. Recently, my husband and I will be starting a small church, so you can find us on Facebook at Restoration Assemblies Ministries.
Alan didn’t know that you should see his face! (Laughs)
L219: No! It’s awesome! (Laughs) So what made you start that? I know that’s kind of a big question.
JP: Yes! It was something that was probably years in the making, but just our love for people and we’re currently looking for a physical space. But we just wanted a community church. Something where you don’t have to be a member, get community services, feel the love, feel the joy, and congregate as a community.
L219: Well, good luck. Thanks for joining me!
JP: Thank you Alan! Thank you LOCAL 219!
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