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Meet a D.C. member: Mordecai, a Commercial Real Estate broker in Shaw

Mordecai may have only been a Common member since this year, but he’s loved living in Washington D.C. for almost a decade. From volunteering on multiple boards to organizing city-wide Carolina Panther football watch parties, Mordecai’s D.C. life is anything but boring. We caught up with him to hear more about his experience in the city, and why he chose to live in a coliving space during the pandemic. 

Hi Mordecai! What originally brought you to DC and encouraged you to stay? 

To be fair, I never expected to stay in D.C. for this long! I’m originally from Charlotte, North Carolina and love the outdoors and friendly culture of my home state. It all actually started after my ex convinced me to give the city a try — let’s just say the city stayed and the relationship didn’t! However, I couldn’t be more thankful for my life in D.C. The city’s job market is thriving and there’s an overwhelming amount of opportunities. There’s truly never a shortage of things to do, and the city has a way of captivating people based on the lifestyle they want to live and the impact they want to have on humanity. 

At the beginning of the pandemic, I missed the lively D.C. I’ve enjoyed it over the past years! The city definitely felt like a ghost town at the beginning, but activity started to return in June and July. In terms of new client opportunities, I personally was still getting opportunities to bid on new projects even during the pandemic. This is a true testament to the D.C. culture of never giving up and pushing forward despite difficult times. Certainly a work hard, play hard city. 

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What do you love about living in DC? 

My favorite part of the city is the seemingly limitless career and social opportunities. I work as a Commercial Real Estate broker, and love it so much that I’ve only switched companies once during my time in D.C! It’s incredibly challenging and fulfilling, while I mainly work in D.C, Maryland, and Virginia, I’ve been able to coordinate projects in Miami, Houston, Boston, and Cancun. 

In my free time, I’m the President of the Northern Virginia Carolina Panthers Watch Club Parties and VP of the DC chapter. We have chapters all around the world, and I love bringing people together to watch the Panthers. I even used to be the resident DJ in D.C. for all of our watch parties. It’s truly something that’s fun for the sake of community and enjoying sports together. For my job, I have to make a lot of cold calls, but being a DJ is something that allows me to feel like I can meet new people while making sure they’re having a good time without hoping to convince them of something. 

Why did you choose to live in a coliving apartment during the pandemic? 

At the beginning of this year, I was undecided about whether or not I wanted to stay in D.C. or settle in the suburbs of Virginia, it seemed like a poor decision to sign a long-term lease or commit to a mortgage when I was still unsure of where the market was headed. My goal was to find something flexible in Shaw, the only neighborhood I hadn’t fully explored even after 10 years in the city. Common gave me the flexibility to explore Shaw, with only signing a 6-month lease. It gave me the freedom to plan for the future without making a long-term commitment, and I’m actually extending my lease for another 6 months!

Many people often assume that in a coliving apartment we’re living in close quarters but, there’s a surprising amount of space for everyone in my suite! In my coliving suite at Common Richardson, we each have full bathrooms, double-doored wooden closets, and spacious private bedrooms with enough space to have privacy when needed. My balcony has to be my favorite part — it’s been perfect in helping me step away from my computer for a second, breathe in some fresh air, and maybe even do some cloud spotting! From a community aspect, the other Common members that live in the building help me feel safe and settled during this time. We’re either checking in on each other or baking each other delicious desserts to help deal with the stress of the world. It’s also incredibly relieving to know professionals are cleaning our unit and the building’s common lounges every week; Common truly took care of my COVID worries. 

How are you involved in your local community? 

As busy as my current life is in DC, I also make it a priority to give back. I volunteer on three boards: one focuses on lowering dropout rates for inner-city youth (Communities In Schools of Northern VA), another on helping community college students raise emergency funds and scholarship money (Foundation of Northern Virginia Community College), and the last one organizes hiking excursions for scholarship recipients to help teach them leadership skills (Outward Bound of Greater Washington). When I was in high school, I was fortunate to be the scholarship recipient for two of these wonderful organizations. 

Some rapid-fire questions!

  • Favorite neighborhood: Navy Yard
  • Dream celebrity roommate: Michael B. Jordan
  • Favorite local spot: Truxton Inn — Think sophisticated bourbon cocktails, 90’s Film nights, Frozen Adult Pops, and free popcorn during baseball games.
  • Go-to coffee shop drink: Chai tealLatte
  • “You can never have enough ____ when living in D.C”: Free time
  • Ideal Friday night in DC: Nationals or Capitals game followed by an evening of dancing in Clarendon
  • One thing I would change about D.C: More people from the Carolinas!

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Interested in what life could look like for you in D.C?

We have stunning fully-furnished coliving apartments with utilities, household goods, weekly cleanings, and member events in the heart of the city. If you want to explore what your life could look like in the nation’s capital, check out our Washington D.C. homes.

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