By Steve Sears
Russo’s Real Estate office is located at 242 Bellevue Avenue in Montclair. She also has a Main Street office in Little Falls that she and her consulting group work from, but all real estate business is conducted in Montclair.
Russo both aids her clients in buying and selling homes. “We do the selling side a lot,” she says. “The perfect, typical client would be somebody who is down-sizing and they need to sell their house, someone who is relocating to a new area whether it be southern New Jersey or even just a few blocks away, or maybe another state. I have realtors all over the country that I work with and I refer business to. So, it’s really somebody who is looking to sell their property and they’re trying to get into something smaller or something bigger.”
Russo’s area of coverage is primarily from Montclair to Wayne, but she has served clients beyond the area. “Even going into Bergen County a bit, even going into Morris County a bit, and up on Route 23.,” she responds when asked where others have benefitted from her skills. “I sold something up in Riverdale, I’ve sold something in Wyckoff, so we’re really spread out. But the real area of our expertise is from Montclair to Wayne.”
Russo feels the area she serves is perhaps the top real estate spot on the east coast and maybe even the United States. “It’s very unique. You’re so close to New York, but you’re even further away enough to have a nice backyard. I consider it the metro area of northern New Jersey. People are just flocking to the area,” says Russo, who has also sold homes in Bloomfield, Cedar Grove and Verona.
Russo, who primarily deals with residential real estate, feels the most important thing she delivers to a client is full communication. Whether buying or selling, she wants them to understand the process as she does. “When someone hasn’t moved in twenty-something years, they really need that hand-holding experience where they need to be told, ‘This comes next.’ I see a lot in my industry that people assume that other people know these things, and they don’t. You really have to be transparent and very detailed.” “Detailed” is exactly what Russo is. “I have checklists and I have books and I have information to give my client in abundance because I feel it’s very important for them to understand what’s going on. It’s usually their biggest financial decision, whether they’re buying or they’re selling, and I really want them to understand what comes next, what’s going on, understanding the market, pricing, all of that.”
First-time home buyers are a huge segment of Russo’s business. “They’re moving out of their homes, out of their parents’ house, or a rental. You sit down to a consultation with them, you want to make sure they understand the process, what they’re really looking for, how to deal with multiple offers, how to win a house without somebody else coming in and bumping them out of the deal. In 2018, Russo paired with Lakeland Bank, Bank of America, and Totowa’s North Jersey Federal Credit Union to present first-time homebuyer seminars. “It helps me give the foundation of that first-time homebuyer and how to deal with them, so that’s a huge segment of who we help as well.”
Russo, a Passaic Valley High School graduate who has a background and degree in Interior Design and a bachelor’s degree in Marketing, puts those learned skills to great use by also offering a complimentary home staging consultation. “My goal for a homeowner is to really get them a maximum profit. I make sure that the house looks perfect. You don’t run a marathon and just start running, you prepare for it. It’s the same thing with a house. Should someone choose to work with me, I do a consultation, go through the home seeing what needs to be done, what needs to be given away, and then I do staging. I want to alleviate anything they (the seller) has to do except decluttering and cleaning, and then I come in and place fresh flowers and make things look nice. A good stager could cost around $500 for them to come in and do all that, and I do it complimentary.”
The number of real estate agents in the Garden State is roughly 50,000, so Russo stays ahead of the pack – and she does so with a key focus. “I don’t ‘sell’ anything,” she says. “That’s the difference. It’s more like an advisory or consulting. I want to make sure that they’re getting the most money, I want to make sure that their house looks fantastic, I want to make sure that I’m talking to them on a weekly basis regarding what’s going on. I’m a very easy person to talk to because I listen, and I’m always going to be looking out for people’s best interests because that’s just how I am.”
In addition to business going well for Russo, she as well has a personal special celebration later this month as she weds the love of her life, Bloomfield resident and Montclair attorney, Frank Materia.
The true heart of it all is the communication, which Russo values as highly as she does her client. “When people first talk to me, I’m looking in their eyes, focusing on their conversation, listening, not thinking of my next question or looking around. It’s a connection; I really do care about people. You don’t get that all the time.”
For more information about Jocelyn Russo or to contact her, visit www.jocelynsellsnj.com.