Camaraderie via a Book Club

A spirit of friendly good-fellowship is not found in my business.   Teamwork is as foreign to Manhattan real estate agents as smoking is to a healthy lifestyle. Sure, for the most part, we—independent contractors get along in this business, but there’s something fake about it. Deep down, there’s a seed—just one, that’s “me against you,” fostering a secret jealously that grows like weeds in our souls, which is far from working with a team. It’s caused by commission—royalties that are bigger than we are.

When I hear my past colleagues speak about my old company (where I was an employee), I’m professionally lovelorn, remembering that camaraderie I once had with a great group of people in Ohio. Over the years, I’ve tried to recapture that comfort of camaraderie:  reading, studying corporate cultures, documenting case studies, while attempting to implement all of it into my field of real estate here in NYC. In spite of my hope, and all of my attempts, I’ve finally realized that it just doesn’t work in this business nor does anyone desire my sappy need—for the authenticity of camaraderie. I’ve been frustrated by this, to say the least, and searching for its counterpart.

Moving back to Ohio I knew was not the answer to my frustration.  Because I still love New York, I like what I do, I like being an advocate for my customers, and the thought of leaving all of that stirs something forlorn, too, within me.  But I’m not enjoying the professional loneliness of being an independent contractor/real estate broker in New York City, that’s for sure.  So, I’ve had to find good-fellowship elsewhere, and I’ve found it in the most unlikely form:  a book club, located in Hoboken.

Once a month, I meet with the Hoboken Bookworms, a small group of people—from all professions, ages and backgrounds, at an Irish pub called Moran’s. We discuss books, like a team.  For the most part the members of this book club are not friends of mine, nor do they really know anything about me.  But unknown to them, they have filled that void of camaraderie that’s been lacking for so many years in my professional life.

About Hoboken:  Hoboken is a city in New Jersey located in Hudson County.  The town, which is just one square-mile, lies just to the west of New York City, offering incredible views of the Big Apple skyline from across the Hudson River.  It is a seven minute commute by ferry and a fifteen minute commute by train from Manhattan.

To find a book club in your area check-out:



  1. Hi Heather –

    Once again I find myself reading your Blog for a respite from the hundreds of work related emails that I decypher between and during travels for RMR. Hence my enjoyment at readingyour posts after being bludgeoned by inane over the top web mania marketing on a daily basis.

    Your interweaving of real estate and relocation into somewhat poigant yet angst free personal blog posts are refreshingly subtle, yet effective. In regards of Hoboken – most non-NYC folk do not know it exists, its proximity and views of Manhattan, nor the amazing access to comparatively affordable real estate for NYC workers that exists there (only in comparison to NYC however).

    I had seen its funky almost ghetto self before its gentrification (no city has had a more radical rebirth – if incomplete) through its current NYC quaint and affordable haven from and for Manhattan (as long as you don’t mind an excessive abuse of Italianicity combined with a huge amount of college kids – not to mention frightful parking isues).

    Thanks for featuring real estate tidbits that would otherwuise be obscured to the outside NYC world – I hope that your web presence gains the right kind of notoriety that provides your business sustenance.

    At any rate, once again I am taken with both your writing and the topics that you write about – the beauty of the web (if there is anything beautiful about an uncontrolled virus) is that disparate thoughts, beings and business can be exposed to the ether. I am sure that you need no validation, but your musings are appreciated.

    Bob Carbonell

  2. Your thoughtful comment, support and sharing your personal experiences in Hoboken means a lot, to me, Bob. Thank you.

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