Joe Rand’s mother started Rand Realty 28 years ago. A nurse by training, Marsha got into the business because a nurse’s hours were not conducive to raising a family.
By Robin Jovanovich
Joe Rand’s mother started Rand Realty 28 years ago. A nurse by training, Marsha got into the business because a nurse’s hours were not conducive to raising a family. In the mid-1990s, two of Joe’s brothers went to work for the company, and 10 years ago, so did Joe.
“I was a law professor at Fordham and Brooklyn Law schools, and I wanted to satisfy my educational bent but work in real estate,” said Rand, who’s now Managing Partner and General Counsel of Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty.
Rand is the No. 1 real estate brokerage firm in the Greater Hudson Valley. It offers buyers and sellers the complete package — a mortgage company, a title company, and an insurance agency.
Joe Rand, 45, spends his days traveling from the corporate office in New City to the company’s 27 offices in Westchester, Rockland, and Orange counties and northern New Jersey. Last week he stopped by the Rye office on Locust Avenue, where we met for a lengthy conversation on the business.
“For most of my career I lived in Manhattan but kept getting jobs in suburbs. Three years ago, my wife, who worked for Prudential Douglas Elliman in the city, and I moved to the suburbs,” he said. “I decided to write a blog about moving to a hot, new neighborhood called SUMA (Suburbs of Manhattan), hoping it would help ease the transition.”
He and his wife have an 18-month-old and are expecting their second child. That part of the move proved successful.
Success is what Rand teaches. “The way to be successful is to be good at your job and make sure clients have happy experiences.”
As a big broker, he feels a compelling mission to professionalize the industry. “We should aspire to be service professionals, not sales people. Any great professional makes the most difference on the margin. I don’t think real estate training is good enough. The industry enforces only a bare minimum.”
Furthermore, he doesn’t feel most sellers think long enough before choosing a realtor. “You should pick the person you’d hire to make your investments, not the person you know from your club. Be discriminating.”
The best way to sell a home is to make sure you have all the fundamentals down first, advises Rand. “Great photos, you can’t take enough; a well-staged home; an extensive property description (too many read like classifieds); video (which all agents need to learn); and reliable data” are at the top of his list.
Rand tells sellers, “If you’re going to be moving, start now. Get rid of the skis you haven’t used in a decade.”
At the end of a sale, Rand likes to give clients a little memory book. “I do believe in bells and whistles.”
Mostly, he believes in keeping the days a house is on the market to a minimum and providing good service. “We’re aggressive and we have smart people in our organization.”
His strategy is working. Rand has only been in Westchester for ten years and they’re already No. 3 in the county.