SOMERS, N.Y. - When Lawrence Zacks was growing up, his family owned a dental laboratory in northern Westchester County. Thanks to that business, he knows the region like the back of his hand. It’s just one of the many reasons that today, Zacks is one of Westchester and Putnam counties’ premier real estate agents.

“I know the area extremely well; it’s one of my strengths,” he said. “When I was a teenager, I drove all around the region meeting doctors and making deliveries for my family’s business. I know all the back roads and the short cuts and all the communities within 30 miles.”

But knowing the territory is just a part of being a successful Realtor, said Zacks, who works as a licensed broker associate for RE/MAX Classic Realty based in Somers. You also must be a “people person” and a good listener. He honed his people skills as a young man after his parents bought a summer home and began inviting friends and business clients to come visit.

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“My parents loved to entertain, and I was the tour guide on Lake Mahopac driving people around on the boat and teaching people to water ski,” Zacks recalled. “People were coming up from the city and lower Westchester—lots of friends and lots of dentists. Dad had a dental laboratory business. I loved it. That planted the seed [for a career in sales].”

When Zacks graduated from college in 1982 with a business management degree and minor in psychology, he decided he wanted to go into business for himself. He began working in the real estate industry after landing a job with Frances Billingsly Realty before winding up with RE/MAX where he’s been for the past 25 years. Starting with Billingsly, he really learned the Somers real estate market, including the Greenbriar development and the Boniello homes. But his penchant for real estate sales began long before that.

“As a kid, during the summers, I had a lawn business and did handyman work taking care of homes for people who needed things done,” he said. “When my family bought a home it needed a lot of work and I worked with the contractors to help renovate it. That experience has helped me as a Realtor. I know the mechanical systems and structural systems. That comes in handy when resolving issues that constantly pop up during a sale.”

Zack’s comprehensive knowledge of how homes are constructed enables him to speak intelligently about the houses he helps to sell. That knowledge and experience has enabled him to accumulate an array of honors and accolades as a RE/MAX broker. He was named to the RE/MAX Hall of Fame and received the company’s Lifetime Achievement Award for a record number of sales in just 10 years.

“It’s been 37 years since I started and I have over 2,500 happy customers,” Zacks said. “Through booms, busts, bubbles and recessions, I’ve seen it all.  I’ve sold a 133-acre farm, commercial and industrial properties and almost 800 vacant lots from Harrison on north.”

Zacks is good at what he does because he loves what he does. And he knew early on he would go into sales.

“I started selling when I was 6. I had a Boys Life magazine and it said if you sell these seeds, you can get these toys and I wanted those toys,” he recalled with a laugh. “I started going door-to-door selling seeds when I was 6.”

Zacks said he stands out in a crowded field because he loves his work and he is good at making the transaction go smoothly for his clients and help them realize the American dream.

“I always loved selling because it gave me a chance to get out and meet people and talk and engage with them. And if you really believe in your product, it comes across.,” he said. “I believe in real estate. It’s the American dream. Having your piece of land and controlling your destiny is one of the most empowering things anyone can have.”

Zach’s high level of experience and ability to overcome issues, whether it is titles, water, septic, roads, credit, or finance, is what separates him from the competition. Because of his extensive experience, he can find solutions to complex problems in order to make his clients’ lives easier.

“When [problems] come up, we are able to get them resolved so they don’t have to be all stressed out,” he said. “Why would you want to experiment with someone who has less experience? I am sophisticated in that I have built homes and renovated homes. With me, you are getting a real professional. I love helping people with something I feel strongly about.”

Zacks’ territory includes everywhere from Chappaqua to Putnam County—including, of course, Somers.

“I am a local guy and I know the region very well,” he said. “I know the homes extremely well. I understand not only construction but all the other details of this area. When problems come up, I’ve probably been through it before. I know how to find the solutions; I have the contacts to get people through it more quickly. It’s that experience coupled with the passion I have for this and the love of helping people that sets me apart.”

Zacks said he has a “terrific professional team” that helps him do things “quicker and more effectively.”

 “One of my strengths is I can make the process easier. I know what I’m doing, I’ve done it thousands of times,” he said. “Let my experience work for you instead of trying to reinvent the wheel or trying to figure it out on your own or with an agent who is part-time.”

Zacks loves living in the Hudson Valley region, a place where the natural beauty makes it all that easier to sell property. And he believes in giving back to that community.

“We donate a part of every transaction to the Children’s Miracle Network, especially the Maria Fareri Children’s Hospital,” he said. “We support the local Chambers of Commerce and Lions Clubs, and the Community Cares organization. We are part of this community. It’s important to give back.”

You can reach Zacks by calling him at 914-628-1010 (office) or 914-557-6073 (cell) or emailing larryzacks@msn.com. He handles all aspects of real estate; residential, vacant land, industrial and commercial properties.