By Britney Grover
Jenna Steffens first started frequenting Wellington, Florida, at 15 when she competed there in dressage. Now, she is intimately familiar with the area not as a competitor but as the real estate advisor behind Steffens Equestrian at Douglas Elliman Real Estate. She helps her clients find the home of their dreams “Beach to Barn”—which is also what she hopes to have as she pursues re-entering the competitive equestrian world while completing her home in Jupiter, Florida.
Originally from Minnesota, Jenna still gets to enjoy the horse world through her brother, dressage Grand Prix competitor Adam Steffens of Candoit Stables. Jenna earned her bachelor of arts in political science and government from Palm Beach Atlantic University after completing studies abroad: German at the Internationales Kulturinstitut in Vienna, Austria, and international relations and affairs at the Phillips-Universität Marburg in Germany. But between the Southern Florida beach and the barn, Jenna’s found a life and career she loves.
What was your life like growing up?
I grew up in a suburb of Minneapolis, Minnesota. My mother was a busy real estate agent—I guess the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree! My dad to this day owns a commercial electrical business. My life was pretty much consumed with horses—after school, my brother, Adam, and I would head to our barn for training and be there till dark.
How did you become part of the horse world?
My mom was the original horse lover in the family. When my brother and I were young, she had a horse and would bring us to hang out at the barn. I grew up as a competitive dancer, but by the age of 12, I was burned out and wanted to give my full attention to riding. It was then I started at a dressage barn with a bunch of other kids and the obsession took off from there.
Do you still ride or show?
I grew up showing dressage mostly in the Midwest circuit and did one season in Wellington when I was 15 years old. Currently, I’m not competitively riding, but getting on my brother’s horses when I get the opportunity. You can say I’m quite the spectator cheering on Adam and my other friends in the sport. My five-year goal is to be riding in shows again as an amateur.
When did you become a real estate advisor?
After graduating from college and spending a year abroad, I was unsure on whether or not to go immediately back to Germany for graduate school, so my mom encouraged me to get licensed. Needless to say, I never looked back; graduate school never happened, and I’m happy as ever as a real estate advisor.
What part does your company play in the horse world?
I advise my clients who are looking to buy, sell or rent equestrian properties in the greater Wellington area. The fundamentals and experience I have as an equestrian certainly is a value add for my equestrian clients looking to invest in property. It’s also important to me to stay involved in the equestrian community. This year I’m sponsoring the Adequan Global Dressage Festival—see, quite the spectator!
What’s the best part about being a woman entrepreneur?
Being a part of an industry that historically was male dominated but now much more balanced is rewarding because I get to be surrounded by and empower other powerful, inspirational women.
What challenges do you face?
Work-life balance is something I’m now learning. Any real estate agent will tell you that being in this industry is all-encompassing, and it’s hard to turn off because you’re always on call. My fiancé has helped me see I need more balance as I have a tendency to be a workaholic!
What great things have happened because of your business?
Over my career, I’ve had an opportunity to meet so many great people that started as clients and now are close friends.
What are your goals for yourself and your business?
My personal goal is to complete my property in Jupiter Farms over the next couple of years. My goals for my business are to continue to expand my team and build up my new development portfolio.
What’s the best-kept secret about what you do?
Building and maintaining relationships is the life force of any business.
What advice would you give to others considering entrepreneurship?
My father gave me great advice: Do what you love and the money will come naturally. Once you find that thing that lights you up, the second important aspect is perseverance. The reward for your hard work doesn’t happen quickly, so it’s important to keep going on the days when you don’t want to.
What’s the best thing about your life?
As cheesy as this sounds to say, I am truly grateful to have found a career that I love. Waking up (most) days excited to get to work is something I don’t take for granted.
For more information, visit findmypalmbeachhome.com or follow Jenna on Instagram @jennasteffens
Photo by Studio 910