Margaret Grasso Needed No Learning Curve
By Robin Jovanovich
Three years ago, Margaret Grasso decided to get a real estate broker’s license. A former elementary and nursery school teacher, she was ready to learn.
She needed no primer as she’d been a behind-the-scenes helpmate to her husband Jeff, a third-generation developer, for a number of years while raising her three children.
What’s remarkable about her realtor path is that she went straight to the top. “I had friends who worked for Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices and friends at all the other top agencies, but when Berkshire asked me to open an office for them in Rye, I jumped at the chance.” She added, “It was a leap of faith on their part, and a conscious choice to distinguish myself on my part.”
In helping to build Berkshire’s residential brand locally (BH is now the second largest brokerage in the U.S.), Grasso received a hands-on education in management, from recruiting talent (she hired ten agents) to holding a successful open house for a seller. She also learned that every company associated with Warren Buffet is perceived as high-quality, well-run, and geared for success.
Grasso has derived enormous satisfaction from building relationships with buyers and sellers and making sure their next move is the right move for them. On Halloween, one of her clients, who’d just moved up to Harrison from Florida invited her to go trick or treating. “My kids are grown, so I hadn’t done this for a while. We had lots of fun and caught up between knocking on doors with her children,” she said.
In three short years, Grasso opened a Berkshire office on Purchase Street, moved the office to bigger quarters on Elm Place, and recently made another notable move. She decided it was time to become a true realtor, her initial goal.
“Susan Janart came over from Julia B. Fee Sotheby’s to be the manager of the office, which is running like clockwork. I now have time to be there for my parents, and Jeff, whose dad — his partner, role model, best friend — is turning 80,” she explained. “I’m a good scout and I know I can find more renovation projects, like the eight major ones Jeff’s done and the one he’s just starting on the Westchester Country Club grounds. His reputation speaks for itself, but I can provide backup.”
Margaret and Jeff Grasso grew up on the same street in New Rochelle but didn’t meet right away. Once they did, they both knew they’d found the person they wanted to marry. For the last 20 years, they’ve lived in a Tudor in the Sunnyridge neighborhood in Harrison. “You’d think we would have added on or moved by this time, but we’re happy and settled.”