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Saturday, October 01, 2022
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Marc Stein Brings His Youthful Ideas to the Real Estate Business

When Marc Stein was a high school student growing up in Teaneck, he said he wasn’t really into the books and classwork. Instead, he wanted to get going already. He wanted to get his feet wet in the business world. Most of all, he wanted to be a success.

It was that kind of energy that coursed through the phone when Stein was interviewed by the Jewish Link recently. He oozes success and uplifts the very person he’s speaking to, even on the phone. Seriously.

Back in high school he worked for Main Event Catering in Englewood, cutting foods in the back, because he wanted to learn about the food and restaurant business. It was when he was in college, though, that he started to look at and think about houses, buildings and property.

“I started then to think about real estate,” he said. It was his mother who told him to get a real estate license to fall back on. He’d start part-time with Russo Real Estate in Teaneck. That was in 2001.

Now he’s the owner of Links Residential Real Estate. He’s opened offices in Teaneck, Hoboken and Maywood. He’s 34 years old and he’s got 24 employees.

“When I started in real estate, it was different, easy to get into. To do well took a lot of time and diligence built up over the years,” he said.

The Internet, he said, has been a game changer for the business over the years.

“When I first started you needed a real estate agent to get information,” he said. “The Internet back then was useful, but not like today. It was the real estate agents who controlled the information. Now you can search on the Internet for anything. Real estate has become a service and product management business. We are the product manager for our seller. We need to make sure that the information going online is 100 percent accurate. Buyers already know the specifications on a house before they call us. We protect our customers with a broad range of services. We help them find the right attorney to the right home inspector.”

He added that because every buyer or seller is a unique customer, they have different needs and expectations. Stein spends a great deal of time listening. His goal is to develop a game plan that will help guide the customer’s expectations of what is going to happen as smoothly as possible.

Starting out young in the real estate business, Stein admitted, can be difficult. Most of his colleagues are 10–20 years his senior. Part of the challenge, he’ll tell you, is that the business is based on commission. It takes a tremendous amount of patience and persistence, but he’s seen it pay off over the years.

“I think it was a challenge for my first three years,” he said. “I was learning the business. I was young and I didn’t have the maturity that this required. I had the challenge of being a young person in an older person’s industry. Once I was well educated and understood the process, I gained respect quickly.”

It was in 2003 that Stein quit his catering gig and became a full-time agent.

“Nothing took me by surprise,” he said. “What you see isn’t what you get always in life. You never know people’s financial situations. You can drive by a $2 million house, and then you find out that the people living there don’t own the house. You sometimes end up dealing with owners who are parents of the people living in a particular home.”

Stein has made it his business as well to know what is happening in terms of real estate in Jewish communities throughout Bergen County. Stein first lived in Highland Park, then moved to Teaneck, and now lives in Bergenfield and davens at Keter Torah.

“You have to keep your eyes open within the Jewish communities,” he said. “I keep track of the real estate around every shul. Indeed, even on his company website, Linksnj.com a buyer can take a look at eruv maps, synagogues, Jewish community centers and even schools.

Nina Eizikovitz had recommended so many friends and acquaintances to Stein for help finding homes, that he urged her to get her real estate license so she could earn commissions. She and Stein were long-time friends from their NCSY days. Eizikovitz works part time as a website liaison for the Yavneh Academy. Now she also works in Stein’s Teaneck office. “I could only do this because of Marc’s support,” she said. “I sometimes would call him six times in a half an hour, and he had all the patience in the world. Every day I learn a little bit more. He is the backbone of this business.”

Patience. He’s got it in endless amounts. He says without joking that he tells buyers they will run out of patience before he will.

“I’m helping buyers find a home for their family,” he said. “Sometimes people need a second or a third time to look at the same home. It’s so important that we have the patience and that we have the information for them. Listen, as agents we signed up for this. I do a lot of speaking engagements and I always tell people, what I do is not a job, it’s a lifestyle. People want to see real estate when they are off from work or on Sundays. If you want to do well in this business, you have to be ready at any time.”

Debbie Koch speaks with high compliments about Stein. Koch was the executor of the estate of her late cousin David Blau of Ridgefield. Blau’s home had historical value, and therefore was difficult to sell, she said. What made it even more difficult was that Koch lives in Takoma, Washington. So, Marc, she said, was helping her at a long distance.

“But Marc was so diligent,” she said. “He never gave up. I don’t know any other realtor who would be prepared to endure what he endured. He invested so much of his time, because the property was so difficult to sell. He was honest and trustworthy, and he went above and beyond what you’d expect an agent to do.”

He’s looking for people who are organized and diligent like he is. Because it is a commission-based business, he said it takes a certain person who can handle that. There are, he said, “many ups and downs. But overall you can make good money if you are a hard worker.”

Because of his young age, he’s often selling houses that he played in as a youth or where he hung out as a teenager. He and his wife Elysia have been married for 10 years, have two young daughters and live in Bergenfield. When he’s not building his business, he a self-admitted “foodie.”

He loves cooking and as he said it, “fooling around in the kitchen.” He’s also a serious Jets fan and loves winter sports such as snowboarding and skiing.

Is it unusual to see a young person succeed in real estate? Stein said that the average age of agents he works with is somewhere in the mid-50s. He added that there aren’t enough young people going into the real estate business. He sits on the Eastern Bergen Board of Realtors and the question asked is often how does the industry reach out to younger people.

The future?

“I’m always looking to see what new technologies that are out there,” he said. “We have a great website, and we are in the process of creating a real estate app.” That app would be for customers who could see a house for sale, hit an app and get the information on their iPad or smartphone. Also, the painstaking process of signing names to contracts will, he said, one day be replaced totally with electronic signatures.

His business is active on social media as well. But with social media and Internet, his customers have available buyer and seller education, floorplans, brochures and amazing virtual and physical property tours and more.

He said that even with the success of his three offices, he’s looking to expand.

“There’s so much to be done,” he said.

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