Home Is Where the Heart Is for these Long Island Real Estate Agents

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Who says Valentine’s Day must be about flowers and chocolates? Home is where the heart is. Many real estate agents just love their job. We were wondering what is it exactly that makes these agents have such a passion. It’s surely not as romanticized as it can seem when the market is good. So even when the market slows, why do you just love, love, love real estate?

Barbara Leogrande

Home, after all, is where the heart is. As a local Real Estate Professional, I can attest to the fact that my love for this field goes beyond the ups and downs of the market. While it might seem romanticized during booming periods, for me the passion persists even when the market experiences a slowdown. Real estate is more than just a transactional business; it’s about connecting people with their dreams and creating homes where memories are made. First, there’s the satisfaction of helping individuals and families find their perfect home. Witnessing the joy and excitement in their eyes when they walk into a property that feels like “the one” is truly priceless. Moreover, real estate allows us to play a vital role in shaping communities. The challenges that come with a slow market also offer unique opportunities for personal and professional growth. During these times, we have the chance to refine our skills, and find creative solutions for our clients. The love for real estate transcends market conditions. It’s about the people, the communities, the challenges, and the rewards that make every day in this profession fulfilling.

Donna Spinoso-Gelb

I just love, love, love real estate because it’s a profession that allows you to wear so many hats. Whether it’s your decorating hat for staging a property, or your marketing hat for creating a great tagline for your next bus stop campaign, or your accounting hat for preparing your annual budget on an Excel spreadsheet, this career is never boring! But the BEST part of real estate is the many “mini-series” you get to star in. Each and every client is different than the one before, each one is a very personal connection, for a few months you are a part of someone’s daily life until you close the transaction. We get so close to our clients that sometimes it’s hard to say goodbye. Growing these bonds and helping others meet their goals is where the passion comes in for me.

Ann Ciardullo and Keith Green

Ann Ciardullo and Keith Green

There are three things that we love for sure. We love people, we love hard work, and we love the Hamptons. 1) We love the people we work with. Finding them a home, or selling their home. No one has worked with more wonderful people than we have through the decades. In fact many of the clients we’ve served are now loving parts of our lives. 2) We love the thrill of working hard and coming through for the people to whom we’ve dedicated ourselves. Good market or challenging market, this business is hard work. Part of what brought us together at Sotheby’s and in life is our shared work ethic. 3) We Love the Hamptons. Many of the brightest, most interesting, and wealthiest people in the world have chosen to make the Hamptons central to their lives. And here we are sharing the same sand, surf, and sky while making a good living. As we always say “If you’re lucky enough to be in the Hamptons, you’re lucky enough.” How lucky are we?!?


Jennie Katz

Valentine’s Day reminds us that love comes in many forms, and for me, the love for real estate is at the heart of it all. People often ask why we are so passionate about this field, even when the market fluctuates. The truth is, real estate is more than just transactions; it’s about helping people find their perfect homes and creating spaces where they can build their dreams. The excitement in real estate isn’t solely driven by good market conditions. It’s the joy of connecting with clients, understanding their unique needs, and guiding them through one of life’s most significant decisions. Every home has a story, and being part of that journey is incredibly rewarding. It’s about the thrill of negotiation, the satisfaction of finding the right match, and the love of seeing a family settle into their new home. While it may not always be as romanticized as it seems, the love for real estate is a genuine passion that keeps us going. It’s about building relationships, not just homes, and that’s why we continue to love, love, love what we do, no matter the season.

Valentine's Day, real estate, Long Island

Karen Richter 

I love my job simply because I love helping people! Residential real estate is about finding the perfect home– the place where families grow and memories are made. It is about people realizing their dreams and finding spaces where they can truly thrive. Whether it’s helping a young couple find their first cozy apartment or helping a family find their dream home, the feeling I get when making these connections is unparalleled. My commitment is never about the transaction. In addition to my passion for helping people, I love design and I find it thrilling to connect what a person wants and needs in a home, with what looks and feels good to them. My love for real estate transcends economic fluctuations and market trends. It is rooted in the joy of making a difference in people’s lives, one home at a time.

Craig Beem

Real estate is a passion that can be compared to romanticism, as it encompasses the next part of one’s life. An example is helping a family sell a three-bedroom property in Sag Harbor to move into a five-bedroom home to accommodate their expanding family or finding the next development for an up-and-coming developer. The end game and beginning game are very similar, making my passion and deep-rooted experience help find a family’s dream house or ideal development. This is a passion for me, and I am highly dedicated to always providing the best-in-class customer service.

This article appeared in the February issue of Behind The Hedges Powered by the Long Island Press. Read the full digital edition here. For the Hamptons edition of this article, click here.