The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

The Student Newspaper of Poly Prep Country Day School

The Polygon

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Balancing Equations and Real Estate: Mrs. Vir’s Journey


Geeta Vir and her husband found themselves standing at the doorstep of a small, one-bedroom apartment in East Haven, Connecticut. Vir was overwhelmed by a surge of intense excitement and anxiety. This moment marked not only her initial physical encounter with the property but also her first face-to-face meeting with her realtor, due to post-COVID restrictions. Despite the virtual communication and countless online viewings, there she stood, immersed by the presence of the actual house, face-to-face with her realtor – despite staring at her completely masked appearance.

As her mind raced, Vir couldn’t help but think, “Oh my gosh, what am I doing trusting people I don’t really know?!” The final walk-through began, and with cautious steps, Vir meticulously analyzed the stove, noting that the burners weren’t fully functional. It wasn’t a fear of losing all the money – her math background ensured everything was calculated with precision. Instead, it was the fear of the many little things that could go awry, a fear that kept her heart pounding. 

However, in the end, “We felt almost giddy taking a picture of the small one-bedroom apartment. Our agent gave us a ‘homeowner’ sign to hold, and it was a very memorable photo in an empty, carpeted apartment,” said Vir. 

Since her senior year of college, Vir acknowledged that her passion for math might not secure the financial stability she sought; together with her husband, they realized the need for additional income to achieve their envisioned family lifestyle. So, Vir and her husband started a real estate business, acquiring and leasing properties. However, as Vir continues to progress into the realm of aquiring multi-family homes and even commercial properties, she finds herself at a loss of time. Between managing calls with tenants in need of new appliances while also grading geometry tests, Vir has been forced to adapt: something she has become accustomed to throughout her unconventional journey in the world of real estate. 

Growing up on Long Island, New York, Vir developed a passion for math when she was five years old, thanks to her mother’s influence as a math teacher. According to the Poly Prep Employee Directory, Vir’s mother played a pivotal role in inspiring her love for the subject by making math come alive. The directory states, “Geeta didn’t realize she was doing math games while counting on the swings or eating breakfast.” From these early experiences, a lifelong fascination with math began.

“I always loved math. I always loved teaching other people something new whenever I could,” said Vir passionately. From a young age, Vir, the oldest among her siblings, began instructing her cousins in reading and math at just ten years old, laying the foundation for her future teaching career.

After graduating high school, Vir attended St. Joseph’s College in Long Island, New York. She met Dr. Maria DiCarlo, now Poly’s math department chair, as a professor. Additionally, she met one of her best friends, Dr. Stephen Bates, now a colleague of hers as a math teacher at Poly. 

Bates mentioned how Vir was able to successfully balance her academic pursuits, a social life, and the challenges of an extremely busy family life. Bates said, “I know it wasn’t always easy because everyone’s family is very demanding. I think that being able to keep your identity in your family, but also have an identity of your own…might have been a struggle. However, I think that she did a really good job at building herself as an individual.” The ability to manage various aspects of her life was a skill that would later be invaluable for Vir as she entered the realm of real estate.

After completing her undergraduate major in Secondary Education Mathematics and a minor in Speech Communication in 2015, Vir pursued a master’s degree in Mathematics Education. Immediately after college, Vir landed her first job as a math teacher. 

When she was 24 years old, Vir met her husband. Early on, Vir and her husband had collectively decided that they wanted to find an avenue to earn passive income. Initially, they attempted to invest their money in the stock market and cryptocurrency but found it to be less passive than expected. They were constantly checking in on the value of each stock and coin purchased. Vir said, “we also realized that we weren’t going to gain enough value without taking significant risks, which we didn’t feel very comfortable with.” 

After dabbling in those markets, Vir said, “We then decided that we wanted to build something that we could eventually pass along and leave as some sort of family legacy.” They finally settled on purchasing real estate. With Vir’s husband already having the educational background in real estate and all the certifications required, they were well-equipped for the road ahead.

Three years later, at the age of 27, she and her husband purchased their first home in New Haven, Connecticut. According to Realty Hop, a website that tracks real estate records, Vir purchased another apartment in Connecticut just two weeks later, in August of 2021. 

Vir and her husband initially purchased apartments, due their relatively lower prices compared to multi-family homes. This allowed for less risk and minimized constant phone calls, as Vir pointed out that Homeowners Association (HOA) fees shouldered much of the burden by taking care of maintenance. Vir strategically avoids purchasing property in New York due to the highly competitive and expensive market. “The rate of return I’ve found in other states is so much more worth it. So I actually don’t at all invest in properties in New York. All my properties right now are in other states,” said Vir.

However, Vir would gradually assume more significant responsibilities as increasingly complex issues arose. For one particular property, Vir and her husband were forced to take a tenant to court as the tenant had failed to pay her rent on time for six consecutive months. “Emotionally, I understood how she felt but, from a business perspective, it was important that I set a boundary for myself and said this is unacceptable,” said Vir. She also expressed that, in addition to a financial burden, this situation was extremely time-restricting, as she had another responsibility as an educator which she needed to focus on as well.

Vir and her husband would continue to purchase increasingly expensive properties in larger amounts. With more properties, came an increase of tenants and lawyers making frequent calls concerning rent, electrical issues, appliance issues, and more. Due to Vir’s full-time job as an educator, she’s unable to take calls throughout the day. Her time is consumed by teaching or grading assessments, as well as by preparing for her next lesson. 

“If I’m teaching three classes in a row, that’s three plus hours that I haven’t been able to get back to somebody who’s literally waiting on me to make their next move. So, sometimes it’s really tough to manage my time and communicate effectively with everyone on the real estate side,” said Vir. 

Now, Vir has found effective ways to manage her time between multiple commitments, helping her alleviate anxiety and create a balance between real estate and teaching. In doing so, she’s established boundaries for herself, helping her limit how much work she takes home. This has enabled her to focus on real estate when she isn’t in a school setting. 

A shift in her daily routine, for example, has helped her manage both worlds. This involves driving to school instead of taking the subway, affording her the flexibility to handle calls while she’s commuting. Additionally, Vir and her husband have hired an assistant to handle some of the “day-to-day” aspects that they simply don’t have the time to complete on their own.

Using her knowledge and experience in the real estate world, Vir has begun sharing her knowledge by teaching a middle school Financial Literacy class. In this class, Vir primarily focuses on topics such as credit cards and banking, with the goal of helping students understand how to manage their finances as they mature. “I decided to do the middle school level because there are so many topics that feel inherently basic as an adult now, knowing what I know. But students in eighth grade have no concept of them because they haven’t really been exposed to them,” said Vir. 

Vir continued, saying, “It boils down to this simple idea that it is so beneficial for students to be exposed to from a young age, just so that they can start thinking that way and so that you don’t have as many what I call ‘financial fears,’ as a lot of people in my generation do.” She attributes these “financial fears” to her generation’s lack of exposure to financial education opportunities and emphasized the importance of early exposure to instill a proactive mindset.

Vir encourages anyone to follow their passions and see where it takes them, just as she did with math and later real estate. “Whatever your passions are, you have the time to try it, even if you think it’s too late… It’s really important that you give yourself a shot because no one else is going to unless you do first,” Vir said.


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