New London Solo Runs Real Estate Biz On Side

, The Connecticut Law Tribune

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Yona Gregory
Yona Gregory

Long before New London solo Yona Gregory even thought about going to law school, she was developing a healthy entrepreneurial spirit.

Gregory's first foray into being in business for herself was at age 12, when she started selling jewelry at flea markets. By 23, she opened a health food restaurant in Virginia. At about the same time, she jumped into buying and renovating homes, and then selling them to make a profit.

It was only then, after starting what has become a successful real estate business, that she decided to go to law school.

"Law is a more intellectual aspect of having a business," said Gregory, who in 2004 earned her law degree from the University of Connecticut School of Law.

Since she started flipping houses, Gregory has bought and sold 10 homes and currently manages 25 properties. She devotes about five to 15 hours a week on her side business, depending on whether she is looking for a house to buy or actually in the renovation stage. The rest of her week is devoted to her real estate practice. The house-flipping business and the practice of law go "hand in hand," she said.

"Some people just have that entrepreneurial bug," she said. "If I can buy something and sell it for more that's the most exciting process."

Gregory said she started practicing real estate law because of her background flipping houses.

"I gravitated toward doing landlord law and real estate law because I have a background in it," she said.

While buying and flipping properties can be stressful, Gregory said she enjoys the creative aspect of it.

"Each project is scary going into it," she said. "It's great to see the finished product, seeing it go from something in poor condition to something really beautiful. I enjoy the 'hands on' sort of experience that comes from taking a dilapidated home and making it nice again, and I think my clients appreciate that I have real experience as a landlord and property renovator so I can really empathize with what they go through."

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