Property Brokers

From left: Charles Rutenberg Realty’s Carmine Avellino Jr., Riva Nahmiyas, Joe Moshe, Ann Lee and Kevin Leung  (Photo by Chris Boyle)
From left: Charles Rutenberg Realty’s Carmine Avellino Jr., Riva Nahmiyas, Joe Moshe, Ann Lee and Kevin Leung (Photo by Chris Boyle)

Charles Rutenberg Realty is quickly making a name for itself as the place to go for anything and everything real estate—whether buying or selling property and the structures set on that land.

Joe Moshe, Hauppauge resident and owner of Charles Rutenberg Realty of Plainview, has been in the real estate game for the past 30 years. Previously, he handled mostly independent commercial and residential brokerage, but said he got involved in Charles Rutenberg Realty through his uncle.

“Charles Rutenberg is a builder known for superior, quality work and my uncle went to him to use his name for the company in 2004 because he was so well-regarded, as opposed to having to start from scratch and build up a reputation,” he said. “We now have offices in Tampa, Chicago, Long Island and Manhattan. Here in our Plainview office, which I opened in 2006, we have close to 1,000 agents, and we have branches elsewhere on Long Island as well, including Huntington, Sayville and Oceanside.”

Rutenberg handles just about any type of property you could care to name, from high-end residential and commercial—including condos and shopping centers—to affordable homes for first-time buyers. In addition, Moshe notes that they are immersed in short sales, which are properties that are selling below what their mortgage is. In those cases, approval must be obtained from the bank before the property can be sold. It’s this versatility—and their approach to corporate culture as it pertains to their agents—that sets Charles Rutenberg Realty apart from their competitors.

“We’re celebrating an important milestone this year—our 10-year anniversary and we’re proud of that. We’re continually growing, and our numbers are increasing every year financially. We have more branch offices now than we’ve ever had,” he said. “When we entered the industry 10 years ago, everyone said we wouldn’t survive, but we did because the culture of our company is very unique. Our first loyalty is to our agents, to make sure they make a good living, are supported well and that we care for them as individuals.”

When they first opened for business a decade ago, Rutenberg quickly shook up the industry due to their (at the time) unique commission model for their agents, Moshe said, as well as a level of employee support that is second to none.

“We have a 100 percent commission model for our real estate agents, which is unheard of. We charge a small monthly fee and small transaction fees but give our agents a 100 percent commission, which gives them an opportunity to make good money,” he said. “Back when Rutenberg started doing this, 50 percent commission was the norm. And in addition to our payout, we offer a tremendous amount of training for our agents, record all their documents, supervise their activities and do whatever else a conventional brokerage company does.”

Riva Nahmiyas of Plainview has been with Rutenberg for the past year and specializes in residential transactions, as well carving out a personal business niche for herself by establishing connections with U.S. builders and overseas investors.

“This company provides me with flexibility with all the negotiations that I have so I can make more money,” she said. “That’s why I love working here. They really help me be the best agent that I can be.”

Syosset resident Ann Lee is a veteran real estate agent and has worked at Rutenberg for six years and counting. She said that when she first came there she had her doubts, but after experiencing the work atmosphere first-hand, she said she’s now a believer.

“I thought, what can they do for me with such a small monthly fee and 100 percent commissions? How much support will I get? But we do get great support and training, and in 2014, I was the number one agent in this office,” she said. “I have sold 68 new constructions in Woodhaven, Queens, as well as in Jericho, Syosset and other areas. I sell residential, commercial, whatever comes to me.”

Kevin Leung, also of Syosset, has a foot up on the average agent that comes to work at Charles Rutenberg Realty. Ann Lee is, in fact, his mother, and he said that when he saw how successful she was in the company, the knew this was the career path he wanted to follow as well.

“After college I figured I’d join mom and pick up some good knowledge from here since she’s been doing this so long. I’ve been here for a year now and I’ve learned a lot more,” he said. “I have to say, in the past year they’ve done nothing but support me. Any questions I have, if mom can’t help, help is always just a phone call away. They’ve really helped me grow in this field.”

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