Q&A with Ann (Yuh Chyi) Lee, Charles Rutenberg Realtyís Top Performer of 2014
September 11, 2015
Earlier this year, Joe Moshť, the owner of Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc., named Ann Lee as the Agencyís Top Performing Real Estate Agent for 2014. This accomplishment was recognized at a company-wide Award Banquet held last month. This title was certainly well earned, as Ms. Leeís numbers totaled over $23 million in revenue. One of which was the regionís eighth-largest transaction in 2014, according to the Long Island Board of REALTORSģ (LIBOR).
Ms. Lee has been an extremely successful Agent with Charles Rutenberg Realty since early in 2008. After receiving the honor, Ms. Lee sat down to share some insight and advice from her 25 years as a Licensed Real Estate Associate Broker.
Q: How did you get your start in Real Estate?
A: After graduating from St. Johnís University with a Pharmacy degree, I worked as a pharmacist for several years. It was very easy to find jobs in that field back then, so I started looking for commercial property to start my own business. I had gotten my Real Estate license just for fun two years prior to that. The Broker who I was working with for my commercial property venture was very helpful, so I asked him if perhaps he would be interested in supervising my license. He mentioned that he was actually very much in need of a Chinese-speaking Agent and asked me to join his firm full-time. Knowing that I had my pharmacist career to fall back on, I decided to give Real Estate a try. I started training for six months while still working as a pharmacist and I made my first sale soon thereafter.
Q: What has been the most important lesson you have learned about the Real Estate business?
A: Listen to your clients and understand their needs; this is critical to being successful in this business. When they tell you their price range and their wants and needs, be sure to make a special note of everything, and then make sure to show them everything possible within their stated criteria and beyond. We have the ability now to put hundreds of properties right at their fingertips, and we should. You may only go to see a few in person, but send them everything that fits their requirements, as well as the homes that they may not realize they want. Iíve made so many home sales that didnít fit the exact mold a client was expecting to want to buy.
Q: To what do you attribute your success?
A: Knowledge and communication, above all else. I have a running database in my head of the demographics of most regions in Queens and on Long Island, and I rely on it a great deal to keep my buyers informed. I also use the information they give to me to figure out what could be best for them, oftentimes outside of what they are expecting. Lastly, I donít try to compete with anyone; I just do my job. Itís imperative not to lose sight of what should be most important to a Real Estate Agent Ė and that is, first and foremost, the client.
Q: What advice would you give someone who is looking to become a Real Estate Agent?
A: As I mentioned, knowledge is very important. Without it, itís hard to work with a buyer or a seller. Take courses regularly to help yourself learn more. Look for mentors to supervise you. Read up on your local markets and the neighborhoods in which you work. Be prepared to answer all types of questions and if you donít know the right answers, know where you can find the information. If a client doesnít feel you know your stuff, you run the risk of losing them.
Q: What would you say to someone considering working at Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc. (CRRLI)?
A: CRRLI is an incredibly well-established firm, No. 1 for both listings and sales. Whether youíre just starting out, or have been in the industry for years, itís very easy to have a successful career at CRRLI. Not only do they have branch offices in several areas so you can work close to home, they make it affordable to be part of their team. Having a full support staff at the corporate office also means I can keep my complete attention on my clients, rather than on worrying about administrative tasks. I have been with Charles Rutenberg Realty, Inc. for nearly eight years and it is truly a great company!