A SENSE OF PLACE: The business woman shows property from Kingston to Ocho Rios to Florida.
PAULA ‘Suzie Q’ Bonner is truly a woman of many talents. Many of us grew up watching her on TV as she helped launch numerous reggae/dancehall careers as the affable host of the music countdown show, Reggae Trail TV. She took a break from that project and relocated to Florida, re-emerging a few years ago as a new woman in Christ – and the host of Gospel Trail TV, which she eventually brought to local audiences after a successful stint in the States.
Seasons change, and Suzie Q is now on to fresh, rewarding challenges. Chief among them is the launch of a real-estate business.
How many of her longtime fans know that Suzie Q has been dabbling in the real estate biz on the side for years, even doing a stint with industry giants Century 21? Now, with years of experience to her credit, and steadily increasing demand for her services, she is intent on making Suzie Q Real Estate a force to be reckoned with, a major player, in the local and North American sectors. Call her ‘Jamaica’s property guru’. She likes that.
“I was with Century 21 up to last year, when I got the idea to open my own business, start my own company, and I spoke with a few people about it,” shares the hard-working woman who got her Jamaican license in January. “I’ve taken my time learning the ins and outs of the business, and I decided that I wanted my own office space. Because of the person I am, I want to do it right.”
She’s been seeing clients in her new digs on Haughton Avenue, a prime spot in New Kingston with a sweeping view of the business district. “This location is very central. I especially like the fact that I am surrounded by banks,” she says, chuckling.
But Suzie’s work takes her across the island and to Florida, where she still maintains connections because of her successful practice. A few weeks ago she was in Ocho Rios showing a property. Her growing clientele includes customers from several parishes, England and the States. “At the moment I mostly do listings. I deal with owners trying to sell their property or trying to buy a property,” she explains.
Given her expertise and longevity in the biz, what would Suzie Q say is key to success in real estate? “The key for me is to care about your clients. Don’t try to throw anything at them just to make a buck. Understand the needs of your clients and try to, as close as possible, meet those needs,” she advises. “Sometimes a client might want to downsize or sell that six-bedroom house because the kids have moved out, and you now have a big house that’s irrelevant. So you want to help them sell the property and find another property.”
Along the way, there are those extra-special moments. “It’s great to see a home-buyer purchase their first property,” Suzie says, “and to see the joy on their faces.”
Suzie Q has a few ideas for projects she’s toying with. For instance, she really wants to coach future real-estate practitioners and also open a home for abused women and children. But that will be in her next chapter.
For now, she is acutely focused on building up her real-estate portfolio and growing the company. “Real estate can be a glamorous, elegant job you can grow old in,” says the doyenne, who declares that she is ‘still young, not quite 50 yet.’ “People get to build up a relationship with you. Your responsibility is to help them get the best price, the best deal for the money they have. Doing real estate is not about the commission that I get paid. My heart is in it.”
>> Connect with Suzie Q online at www.suzieqrealestate.com.