Homes for People and Animals®
As a real estate agent who works at the beck and call of her clients, Jill Barsky carries all the usual tools of
the trade—current listings, detailed maps, a cell phone, an appointment book, a PDA, and , of course some dog biscuits.
Excuse me; did some one say dog biscuits?
Well, yes, it appears so. You see, Jill Barsky isn’t just any real estate agent. She’s a real estate agent
with compassion, an agent whose clients sometimes happen to have four legs and a body full of fur. To understand this phenomenon,
you have to understand a bit about Jill. A life long animal lover, she’s always had several companions of the canine
and feline varieties. But her sympathy for the plight of animals really began one bone chilling evening when she spotted a
Swiss Burmese mountain dog wandering through her neighborhood. Scared and cold with no place to go, the dog ended up in the
Barsky laundry room, where Jill kept her warm and safe all night. When later attempts to find the dog’s home proved
unsuccessful, the animal became a permanent member of Jill’s family.
Many years and several rescues later, Jill was managing a successful career in real estate when she decided she could
do more to help homeless animals. That’s when she began volunteering at the Montgomery County Humane Society, where
she walked dogs, played with cats, cleaned cages, organized tours, and worked with senior citizens who knitted cat blankets.
As a difficult as it is at times to witness the neglect and cruelty that some animals suffer, Jill sticks with it,
knowing that making even a small difference in the world—one life at a time—is better then making no difference
at all. “I felt like I wanted to give something back. Something was missing from my life,” she says. “If
I can get one animal adopted, play with them, give them a bed, give them toy’s, or walk them, even if I still cry, at
least I’m still doing something.”
And Jill’s devotion to animals is matched only by her commitment to her clients, who come to her because they
know she will help them buy not just a house, but a lifelong home. “I don’t want someone to buy just to buy,”
she says. “I want them to be able to come home and say, “I love my home.” For me, it’s not about the
money, it’s that feeling that it’s going to make someone happy. It’s the biggest purchase of there lives.”
Jill’s helping hand extends well beyond finding comfortable homes. She’s best known to find everything
from plumbers to personal body guards for clients in need. “Most of my clients have turned into my friends,” she
says, like the couple who invited me to their son’s graduation, or the many clients I invited to my wedding.
Jill’s generous spirits and innovative style have led to a program that helps find homes for people and animals
simultaneously. Through the program, a portion of every commission that Jill receives goes to the Animal rescue league of
the client’s choice, in the name of the client. Client are awarded certificates of appreciation that detail what the
rescue has bought with their generous donations, whether it’s a dog bed that will make a very lonely stray a little
more comfortable or endless pounds of cat foot that will help feed the thousands of unwanted, hungry cats
pouring into the rescue doors each year.
So if you want to have a real friend as your real estate agent, just look for the listings and the blue and white sign
that says “Finding Homes for People and Animals”. They’ll lead straight to Jill Barsky.
Of course, if you see a woman feeding biscuits to a dog in a neighborhood, there’s a good chance
you’ve already found her.