CLARK, NJ – Anthony D’Agostino is a war veteran, family man and vintage car buff. He’s also owns ERA Village Green Realtors, one of the state’s top realty agencies, for nearly 50 years.
D’Agostino, a realtor and state-licensed appraiser, works in an office decorated with plaques and awards, including a seven-time Circle of Excellence Award from the New Jersey Circle of Realtors. Previously, he was the vice president of the Garden State Municipal Listing Service and held presidential positions at two different realty associations in the county.
“There’s a lot of change [in the last 50 years],” D’Agostino said. “Everything changes, not just real estate – it’s good and bad. People needed us more when they didn’t have access to as much information. Eventually they get to you, but it’s a whole different world. In the old days, they had to come in to the office or call. Now, everything’s Internet-based.”
According to D’Agostino, some of the old principles, like strong inventory and referrals, still apply in real estate. However, to modernize in today’s fast-paced society, D’Agostino has incorporated websites like Zillow and Trulia into his practice. In 2017, his company merged with ERA Meeker Realtors to expand their coverage and appraisal services.
“You never know what each day brings,” D’Agostino said. “The phone can ring and someone new can be referred to you. I’ve met many new people in the business over the years. I like working with them and a new challenge every day.”
For young realtors who want to be successful, D’Agostino emphasized the importance of integrity and consistency.
“That’s important, your integrity and reputation,” he said. “If you don’t treat people right, you will never see them again. I know the neighborhoods, too. People see places online, but if you leave it up to me, I’ll take you places and get things going. I know the steps, the pitfalls and how to negotiate.”
D’Agostino also touched upon the importance of hard work. After returning from the army in 1968, D’Agostino obtained a sales license and went to work in real estate, where he would spend his weekdays going door-to-door to gather listings and his weekends selling listings.
“I used to go to 150 houses a day, five days a week with a little Steno notepad,” D’Agostino said. “That’s how you would get listings. A lot of new agents like to do part-time, but you can’t work this business part-time. It’s a 24/7 job. I created my company based on the first company that I was trained for, and that was to go out and get the listings.”
That advice led D’Agostino to open his own company in 1972. After eight years, he merged with ERA Real Estate, where he’s stayed for 37 years. While working in real estate, he met his wife, Mary, who now works with him in Clark.
“She used to work in Cranford, not here, just so we couldn’t get on each other’s case,” D’Agostino laughed.
Now, the couple have one son, one daughter and six grandchildren. In May, they’ll travel to Newport, Rhode Island for the Volvo Ocean Race. D’Agostino, an antique car collector, is president of Volvo Sports America.
“I own two 1961 Buick’s and a 1971 Volvo sports car,” he said. “They keep me busy.”
Until then, he’s focused on his work.
“If you have sellable property, now’s the time to sell,” he said. “If the weather isn’t bad, these are very good months. There are buyers out there – serious buyers. When Memorial Day rolls around, it gets pretty quiet.”
ERA Village Green Realtors specializes in residential and multi-family homes in Union, Middlesex, Monmouth and Somerset counties. The diverse, multi-lingual staff includes sales agents and licensed brokers who specialize in residential, commercial and short sales.
For more information about ERA Village Green Realtors, click here.
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