When I ask Keren Gonen about how she became an agent, she told me it was a funny story.
(Funny- ironic, not funny- humorous.)
Her boyfriend was flipping houses while she was contacting agents to list them. Agents were not being responsive and were uncommunicative; they were not returning Keren’s calls or emailing her back. She was irritated and frustrated. While she was venting over dinner one night, her boyfriend said to her, “Why don’t you just become an agent?”
So, she did.
In her first year she sold nineteen houses; in her second year, she sold twenty six. This story about Keren, I believe, is truly indicative of her personality. When considering her character and what to say about her before writing this, words like “no-nonsense” popped into my head. Just like her actions in becoming an Agent, Keren is the type of person who fixes problems instead of making them or allowing them to linger.
Keren has been in the industry for two and a half years, which comes as a surprise to me when she tells me. Her cool, calm confidence gives the vibe of someone that has been working in the field longer. Although Keren has only been in Real Estate for a few years, she’s been in sales for many years. She admits that she probably “should have been in real estate a long time ago,” as she enjoys the closer connection with the clients that it affords her.
Keren works as an agent in both New Jersey (Sussex, Passaic, Bergen Counties) and New York (Orange County) and has varied clientele, but the first-time-buyers always stick out in her memory. Keren has a warm, caring affect especially as she talks about her first-time buyers. There’s something assured and secure about her — as though if you are one of her client’s you know it’s all going to be okay because she’s on your side. With a reverent chuckle in her voice, Keren says that all of her first-time buyers are “special because they are all freaking out.” She adds, “they are all on the phone with me at 11 at night, and I talk them off the ledge. Everything is the end of the world because it’s the first house they are buying.” And I have a moment of self-reflection and appreciation for my past realtor considering the ledges she talked me off throughout our last home purchase. Anyone can expect to get a little unhinged or nervous during a process such as this one, especially a first-time buyer. As Keren says, “it’s the biggest transaction” they have ever done.
When it comes to her personal philosophy, Keren says “treat everyone the way I would want to be treated.” Keren really enjoys the connection with her clients. “I like helping people,” she says happily. For Keren, working in Real Estate offers an opportunity to “form a connection that you have with another human being that you don’t get at any other point in time.”
Keren is clear; she doesn’t mince words. So, when I ask her what she finds most challenging about being in the Real Estate industry, she doesn’t balk at the question at all. “Probably working with other agents,” she says. But, for good reason — she says, “many people in our profession are so jaded — it’s difficult for me to contend with.” But, this is one of the very reasons that Keren gravitates toward and believes in the REALLY platform. REALLY “connects Agents instead of separating them.” In a way, Keren believes Agents have been kept away from one another, whereas REALLY bring Agents “together and makes a better industry.” Keren would like for Agents to work to support one another because, as she said, “we are all in it together.”
AGENT CONTACT INFORMATION
Keren Gonen, SFR, ABR
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson in NJ & NY
Green Team New Jersey Realty/Green Team New York Realty
293 Route 94/7 Main Street
Vernon, NJ 07462/Warwick NY 10990
(cell) 551 262 4062
Lindsey Quistgaard is the Content Marketing Director at REALLY. She has experience writing and curating marketing content and materials for various companies including NLyte DCIM Software Company, Orange-Ulster BOCES, and REALLY. Lindsey is also freelance writer, adjunct college professor, and published poet.