Director of Real Estate

Job Type

Full Time




1035 Cambridge St., Suite 12
United States


Just-A-Start Corporation (JAS) seeks a Real Estate Director to join our senior team, and lead our active Real Estate Department.  

Our Organization and Our Activities

Just-A-Start is a fifty-year-old nonprofit community development corporation (CDC) based in Cambridge (MA). Just-A-Start is dedicated to building the housing security and economic opportunity of low-to-moderate-income people in Cambridge and in nearby communities. JAS’s vision is a better future for each and every community member through a safe, secure home, a sustaining career, and engagement in the community. 

Through its Real Estate Department, JAS works to develop and preserve affordable housing, and to expand housing opportunities. Through Housing Services, JAS helps families stabilize their housing and assure safe, long-term housing security. Through Education and Training, JAS assists young people and adults as they develop knowledge and skills to take advantage of opportunities for a better future and attain economic stability. 

Cambridge has been the focus to date of JAS efforts in the development and preservation of affordable housing, as well as home improvement, while our education, training, mediation and homeless prevention programs are available to residents of neighboring communities, including Chelsea, Everett, and Somerville.

Just-A-Start is a financially stable nonprofit with a 2018 agency budget of $5.5 million and a staff of 45 people.  

Real Estate Development at Just-A-Start

JAS currently owns 598 rental units, housing 1,500 individuals, and has plans to build over 150 new affordable and workforce housing units in the coming years. JAS has been actively consolidating and improving several of its properties, including: rebuilding 16 units lost through a fire; restructuring and renovating the Close Building; and working to combine two properties and creating 26 new units at Squirrel Wood. In the pipeline are plans to develop over 100 units on two separate properties currently owned by JAS.  

JAS works closely with the City of Cambridge to expand the supply of affordable housing in our strong market area. We have also begun to explore development opportunities outside of Cambridge.


We develop, preserve, rehabilitate, and sell deed restricted housing for income-eligible first time homebuyers in partnership with the City of Cambridge. JAS has developed 130 homeownership units and coordinates the resale of about 12 units every year. There are more than 500 homeownership units in Cambridge currently subject to Affordable Housing restrictions. 

The real estate team currently consists of five full time and two part time people, with skills in real estate development, construction, design, asset management, and law, plus knowledge of and commitment to Cambridge. The department has a current operating budget of $1.2 million.  

The Real Estate Director

The Real Estate Director will lead and manage Just-A-Start’s real estate team. The Real Estate Director will provide strategic direction for our development, preservation, and effective operation of affordable rental and homeownership housing in Cambridge and beyond. They will work closely with JAS senior team members, City leaders and staff, our Real Estate Committee, and other key partners.

Specific duties will include:

Affordable Housing Development

• Maintain a pipeline of real estate projects, including performing or overseeing site search, site assessment, and initial feasibility analysis

• Coordinate JAS activities with Cambridge Community Development Department

• Oversee and ensure the success of all JAS real estate development activities 

• Perform direct project management as needed

• Oversee purchase and renovation of city controlled, deed restricted units by JAS

Asset Management

• Oversee the development and maintenance of an asset management plan

• Organize and oversee the property and asset management functions at JAS

• Understand and respond to relevant laws and regulations

Management and Administration

• Coach and supervise Real Estate Development staff 

• Prepare the department’s budget together with the Director of Finance and the Real Estate Financial Consultant 

• Assure the preparation of monthly operating requisitions

• Hire and direct volunteers, interns and staff as needed

• Ensure that all program and project reports are completed in a timely manner

Senior Management

• Represent JAS at inter-agency and public sector levels

• Be part of the JAS Executive Team and attend meetings of the Board of Directors.

Our Ideal Candidate

Our ideal candidate will enthusiastically embrace our mission, and welcome the opportunity to lead a dedicated team within an agency that has grown, and is well positioned for continued growth. They will appreciate our strong market area and be a voice for affordable housing in our community. The Real Estate Director will enjoy building and maintaining supportive relationships with local government and other key partners.

Our ideal candidate will possess many of the following skills and qualifications:

• B.A. in real estate development, community development, or a related field

• At least five years of experience working as a project or program manager in affordable housing, including demonstrated experience completing a number of projects from start to finish

• At least three years of staff supervision

• Excellent team building, leadership and management skills  

• Demonstrated ability to develop and maintain positive working relationships with a diverse set of colleagues, funders, investors, community stakeholders, government officials and partners 

• In depth understanding of local and staff affordable housing regulations and financing tools, including Low Income Housing Tax Credits, and experience completing the Massachusetts One Stop

• Comfort developing and managing project and departmental budgets and schedules

• Commitment to quality real estate that meets community needs

• Strong communication skills including capacity to listen well and present clearly both orally and in writing 

• Strategic thinking and problem-solving skills, and

• Proficiency in MS Office Suite. 

The Selection Process

Please submit one PDF document containing a cover letter, detailing your interest and qualifications for this position, and an up-to-date resume to: Address your application to: Just-A-Start Real Estate Director Search, c/o Ann L Silverman Consulting, Consultants to Just-A-Start. 

Please see for more information about Just-A-Start and its programs.

Just-A-Start offers a competitive salary and benefits package. Applications will be reviewed and acknowledged as they are received. We aim to fill this position by early 2019.

Just-A-Start seeks a diverse pool of candidates. We are committed to a policy of equal employment opportunity without regard to race, color, national origin, religion, disability, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, or age.  


Just-A-Start offers a competitive salary and benefits package.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

Please submit one PDF document containing a cover letter, detailing your interest and qualifications for this position, and an up-to-date resume to: Address your application to: Just-A-Start Real Estate Director Search, c/o Ann L Silverman Consulting, Consultants to Just-A-Start