Thursday, October 22nd, 2020

My Woman-Owned Company Exploded During COVID-19…But in a Good Way

Published on July 26, 2020 by   ·   3 Comments Social Buttons by Linksku - Share links onlinePin It
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I started Suburban Jungle because I wanted to tackle a super common problem for (pretty much) every city parent I knew.
Should we stay or should we go?

I get it—I was that city parent. My husband and I loved, loved, loved living in Manhattan and the idea of raising our kids with the arts, culture, activities and, of course, incredible food was incredibly appealing. But on the other hand, so was having more space, a car and not having to hold our breath every time kindergarten placements get posted.

With that, we made a move—but then wound up packing up and moving again. Why? Because our first community—while amazing—just didn’t fit our family or our lifestyle.

Using NYC alone as an example… there are over 500 towns from which to choose. How? Why? Where? And especially when…

That was then—and that was when I decided to find a solution to families like ours who, really, didn’t know where to start when it came to searching suburbia. Now, more than a decade later, it’s that same parent-on-ground insight that’s helped my company—Suburban Jungle—explode (in a good way) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Today Suburban Jungle is in 11 markets and growing—and in each of those markets, we have amazing strategists – Moms themselves – at the helm. Our Strategists are parents first, with very niche, very insider knowledge of the suburbs they serve.  

That was so important to me—having strategists who understood the wants, needs and, even, fears of the parents reaching out to us every single day. We get it because we are those parents—we were there once, not too long ago. So when a fellow parent wants to dig into all things suburbia, we aren’t just speaking as experts, we’re speaking as a friend and confidante—someone who could easily be their future neighbor, co-bake sale chair or carpool sidekick. And that makes a difference.

This has never been more pronounced than during coronavirus. This summer, we fielded 350% more requests than we did last summer, as city families packed up and left—some for a few months, some for good. For them, it was a mix of scary and exciting, all at a break-neck pace no one could have planned for. Except moms—because, let’s face it, moms get things done.

And our Suburban Jungle squad did. We often joke we’re 95% therapy and 5% real estate—but lately, it’s been more like 99% therapy and 1% real estate because that’s what our clients needed. They needed help, support, and an always-friendly, always-proactive ear. That’s what we strive to be.

That said, we’ve definitely had to be agile these last few months—who hasn’t? We’ve seen more and more clients making “lifestyle move”—moves way outside of their immediate markets, in many cases. We’re hearing tons of families say, “hey, if I can work from anywhere, I will…” as they explore Austin or San Francisco or South Florida. Being able to help them in what, ultimately, is the biggest decision of their lives really energizes us—when we know a family is happy and settled, we’re ecstatic.

Ours is, definitely, a very different COVID-19 story—but one we’re proud to own. This was a year no one could have predicted. But our mom-owned-and-operated business was able to thrive by helping clients find their unique path to home. 

Alison Bernstein is the President and Founder of Suburban Jungle, a real estate technology platform and consulting firm exclusively focused on buyers leaving the city for the suburbs. When she’s not helping families in their suburban explorations, Alison enjoys traveling, skiing and tennis as well as spending time with her husband and four children… and huge dog.

Ali Bernstein

Ali Bernstein

EDITOR’S NOTE: We love Suburban Jungle’s entire ethos – Mom run/ Mom owned! We love that the company essentially support Moms, and provides this righteous FREE service. If you don’t know where to move, or what the process looks like – they will help. Sign up here, tell them GirlieGirlArmy sent you for special love!

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