In It to Win It: CENTURY 21 North Shore

A Culture of Teamwork Keeps CENTURY 21 North Shore at the Top of Its Game

“Happy agents are productive agents.” That’s the reasoning of Jim D’Amico, dynamic broker/owner and chief motivator of CENTURY 21 NS Group/North Shore of New England, a Massachusetts-based firm whose more than $1 billion in real estate sales last year is validation of his belief. D’Amico, who has overseen more than 25 years of company growth, understands that his agents are a driving force in the firm’s success. “I’ll stop whatever I’m doing to take a call from one of my agents,” says D’Amico. “I appreciate their value and I want them to know it—to know I’m there for them 24/7 and I value their success as much as they do.” But confident and comfortable agents are only a part of D’Amico’s business philosophy. In this exclusive interview, he shares the vision and strategies that help to motivate continued growth.

Barbara Pronin: Jim, let’s start with a recap of your career path in real estate, and how you came to lead your company.
Jim D’Amico:
I actually started right after college. My dad, a longtime successful property owner in Chelsea, Mass., suggested I get my training as an agent at CENTURY 21. He was a firm believer in the brand before I really knew anything about it. In my first full year, I sold only two homes and I figured I may have chosen the wrong career path. I interviewed in the corporate sector and decided to join a small, successful firm in Chelsea called Florence Lipp Real Estate. Florence was not only a leader in the market; she controlled the market. There, I was trained and mentored by Diane Cambria, who helped me list and sell over 50 homes in my second full year. Then, in 1995, my dad heard the CENTURY 21 agency in Chelsea was up for sale. I rushed over to talk to the seller and made my way through a long and shaky process, but finally, at the ripe old age of 25, I was able to close on the sale with franchisor approval—and the rest, as they say, is history.

BP: How many offices and agents does the firm currently have?
We have 725 of the industry’s best agents in 41 locations throughout New England, and more to come.

BP: How would you describe your firm’s positioning in your marketplace? What sets it apart from the competition?
We are a top company both regionally and nationally, and I’m thankful for that, but what sets us apart from others is our agent-centric value system and our teamwork culture. Teams have been an overused term in our industry recently, but what I consider a team culture is people who help one another and root for one another even when they don’t get a financial benefit. That is teamwork. When it comes to our value proposition, we keep it simple. We don’t charge our associates for every little this and that. Charging for errors and omissions coverage, technology, copies, sign installations and more just gets in the way of an agent’s success. It’s very simple for us. Our agents get a great split and we provide great tools. We allow our agents to build their teams as they see fit. We don’t micro-manage. We are here to support them. We thrive on what I call “uber-communication.” That’s the reason I answer my cellphone every time an agent calls me, and if I get an email with a concern from an agent, I pick up the phone and call them. We have a two-email rule: If you have to send a third email on the same topic, don’t. Pick up the phone. I don’t want to ignite some kind of email chain of thoughts that can somehow get misunderstood. It’s all about directness for me, and getting to the root of the agent’s concern and working through it to everyone’s satisfaction. It’s the same kind of thoughtfulness and problem-solving we bring to our customers. They know we’ll do our level best to make their real estate goals a reality.

BP: How have you grown the company over the years in terms of offices and agents?
We have been very successful both in recruiting top talent and in being a resource for company leaders in the area who are looking for an exit strategy. Since 2016, we have added 24 locations and more than 390 agents to our company.

BP: What attracts agents to your firm, and why do they stay?
Two things, actually. First, our culture is very strong, as I’ve already indicated, but also our value proposition beats the competition hands down. We offer finite training from the best in the business, unbeatable support, including our own call center, and 100-percent reimbursement for training and retreat participation.

The second big focus is technology. We lead the charge on CENTURY 21’s ZAP and Business Builder lead-generation programs, and provide the best in lead flow technology to our agents from the new® stack of FiveStreet, Top Producer, etc. In short, we deliver over 2,000 leads a month to our team, and while many owners are out selling homes, I’m out there assisting our team members in the field or overseeing operations to ensure our people are being properly supported and getting paid promptly. Our business model is no secret, so the best agents want to be with us.

BP: Can you expand a bit on how your business culture works—and on your leadership philosophy?
For one thing, we have a 100-percent happy rule. In my view, you can’t be successful if you’re not happy, so the rule is, if you aren’t 100-percent happy, you need to pick up the phone and call me so I can see what we can do to change that. For another thing, we lead by example. We don’t ask any of our staff to do what we wouldn’t do ourselves. I was raised with the rule that if you see a scrap of paper on the ground, you pick it up—and that’s the kind of “we’re in this together” culture that we’ve built with our agents and support staff. We’re here for each other every day. Our agents have a say in all we do, from office functionality to décor to systems to policies and guidelines. A lot of company leaders say they listen to staff, but here, we actually do. We don’t manage in a vacuum. We run a transparent and fun operation.

BP: What’s your strategy for effectively marketing the firm and best serving the needs of prospects and clients?
While other companies market the brand or the company, we market our agents. It’s a fact that all the best agents work at CENTURY 21 NS. That’s what we want prospects to know, and our customers back that up. It’s why our referral and repeat business rates are as high as they are, and why we are consistently on a growth curve.

BP: How do you stay ahead of the curve on technology, online marketing and social media?
We have great managers and great tech people who are focused on putting the needs of our agents on the table and researching the best ways to make them happen. We are presently working on converting to a paperless environment. We use Lone Wolf Technology’s operating system and dotloop, for example, to help us streamline procedures and move us into a paperless world.

BP: We understand you’ve joined forces with Led2Serve as a way of giving back. Can you tell us a little about that?
Led2Serve facilitates local and global service projects with a focus on the environment, education and housing—projects like painting a school, building a ramp for the disabled or manning an environmental clean-up effort. We donate a portion of every transaction to help support efforts like those, and our agents, friends and families are able to get personally involved in projects that directly help to better our communities and the world around us.

BP: So, what’s on deck for Century 21 NS?
In three words: grow, grow and grow. Life is short. We have one shot at this thing, and we are committed to offering the best service to the most people by growing our strength in our current markets, and being the new kid in town in as-yet untapped markets. In short, we will continue to acquire and expand our locations through judicious acquisition, and also to attract and support the industry’s best agents—career professionals who are happy in their work and who are totally focused on understanding and helping to fulfill the real estate needs of their clients.

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OPEN HOUSE – 46 Lake St, Nutley, NJ

46 Lake St, Nutley, NJ

June 04, Sunday 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM

$ Click for current price
4 BEDROOMS | 3 (2 full, 1 half ) BATHROOMS | 2900 SQUARE FEET

This home backs Nichols park in the Spring Garden Section of Nutley NJ, In-Ground Pool, Finished Basement and more.

Elite Homes

Nutley, New Jersey’s Quiet Little Secret & NYC Commuters

Well, the Nutley Real Estate Market is on fire! actually any home from 300-400k especially a 3 bedroom 2 bath home in any section of Nutley people are jumping on, we have some out or area brokerages that are trying to start bidding wars and we have the town of Nutley which is still in flux with a new mayor and also the development of the old ROCHE property.

I heard that PRIZM the new owners of the ROCHE property do have 2 other companies that are moving into the property and they are going to be putting some high-end residential units on the former site, I think that it will improve this side of town and it will be a positive thing for Nutley as well.

Here are some homes that just went Under Contract in Nutley and also some homes that were Just Listed in Nutley Also, Nutley does not have a lot of Bank Owned homes in town but the neighboring town of Belleville & Clifton NJ Does You can see bank owned & short sales in Belleville Here and then you can also take a look at Bank Owned Homes in Clifton & Short Sales in Clifton New Jersey Also.

What Nutley does have is a great Parks system and probably one of the best police force in Northern NJ, the Fire Department Is Also Top Notch, Nutley is only 3 square miles but these fine ladies and men keep the streets of Nutley safe for families and businesses, Nutley is NewJersey’s quiet little secret only 12 miles from NYC  it is a great town for New York City commuters who want to raise a family, good schools, good shopping and great restaurants in and around Nutley, I’m going to name a few here!

Bella Luce Italian Cuisine, Luna Firewood Tavern, MEAL, Cubanelle (Cuban Food), Brix (Technically Belleville. Jamies Cigar Bar & Fine Dining (Clifton) Matthews (Clifton), NUOVO, American Bistro and a ton more of Pizzerias & other ethnic foods as well as chain restaurants.

I also have to mention that were are moving to our bigger, larger office in Nutley at 653 Franklin Ave on May first see our new office photo below:

Nutley Real Estate OfficeWe will now be one of the largest Real Estate office in Nutley NJ and have the best online presence when you are searching for a home or a rental in Nutley NJ and if you are an agent looking to do more and make more money in Real Estate, find out more about Realty Executives Elite Homes.

If you want to learn more about real estate in Nutley NJ you can listen to The Nutley Real Estate Show!

How We Attract NYC Buyers To Nutley New Jersey

Wait a Year to Buy in Nutley…It Won’t Matter?

There is a frequently quoted expression “more money has been lost from indecision than was ever lost from making a bad decision.” Regardless of the extent of its accuracy, most people can recall when procrastination has cost them money.


There are markets so short of inventory that buyers have become frustrated after losing bids for several homes in Nutley and have decided to wait until more homes come on the market. In the meantime, the shortage of homes in Nutley is driving the prices up more by the month.

There are buyers who can’t find the home in Nutley what they want for the price they want to pay and think that waiting will somehow change things. In some cases, what they want just keeps moving farther and farther away from them.

The other dynamic in play is, of course, the mortgage rates. While they’ve remained low for several years, most experts agree that they’re going to rise; it’s just a matter of when. If you look at what positive increases in both of these would do, it becomes apparent that waiting will matter.

A $250,000 home purchased today on a FHA loan at 4% for 30 years will have a principal and interest payment of $1,151.76. If a buyer were to wait a year and the price increased 5% and the rate went up by 1%, the payment would increase by over $200 a month. In a seven year period, the increased payment alone would cost the buyer over $17,000.

Use the Cost of Waiting to Buy calculator to see how much it will matter based on the home you want to buy and what you think the prices and rates will do in the next year.

Easy Chicken Little: Homeownership Rates in Nutley Are NOT Crashing

Home Ownership in Nutley

The Census recently released their 2015 Q1 Homeownership Statistics, and many began to worry that Americans have taken a step back from the notion of homeownership in Nutley.

The national homeownership rate in Nutley (Americans who owned vs. rented their primary residence) increased significantly during the housing boom, reaching its peak of 69.2% in 2004. The Census Bureau just reported the first quarter of 2015 ended with a homeownership rate of 63.7%. Many reported on this and began to question Americans’ belief in the ideal of homeownership as a major part of the American Dream.

Everyone Calm Down…

It is true the homeownership rate has fallen over the last several years in Nutley. However, if you look at the national rate over the last 30 years (1984-2014), you can see that the current homeownership rate has returned closer to historic norms. The 63.7% rate is less than a percentage point under the rate in 1985 and 1995.

Home Ownership in Nutley

What Will the Future Bring in Nutley?

In a Housing Wire article this week, Ed Stansfield who manages the housing market research at Capital Economics said:

“The homeownership rate fell further at the start of the year to a 22-year low of 63.7. However, with credit conditions now loosening and employment set to continue growing strongly, we suspect this long downward trend may not last for much longer.”

In the same article referenced above, Jonathan Smoke, chief economist for, explained why the homeownership rate will probably begin to increase:

“The homeownership rate is likely to bottom this year or next not far from where we are now. By historical patterns, the rate could indeed go up. The simple math behind what it costs to rent versus buy shows that if you can afford the down payment and qualify for a mortgage, it is cheaper to buy rather than rent in 80% of the counties in the US now.”

Bottom Line

With interest rates and prices still below where experts predict, perhaps we should get together and evaluate your ability to purchase a home.

Homes for sale in Cambridge Heights in Nutley NJ

Just Listed in Nutley on Crestwood Ave

Just Listed in Nutley on Crestwood Ave. Nutley Home For Sale, 4 Bedroom 2 Bath, this home has everything a new home buyer could want, Whole house generator as well as a home warranty for more info on this home call us at 973-846-0065/

Just Listed in Nutley NJ Nutley Home For Sale

Realty Executives in Nutley : Better Faster Stronger.

If you have not noticed lately most of the mom and pop Real Estate offices in Nutley have been closing, over the last 10 years Nutley has lost some of the agencies that have been in the town since the 1950’s and maybe even longer. Why is this? I’ll tell you why because the Real Estate business has changed in Nutley and so have the consumers,  with the Internet and Mobile Phones consumers now have the ability to consume information at record speeds and most of the brokerages in Nutley are playing catch up or just masking their technology  short falls when it comes to the faster paced online market and demands of the consumer.

Even some of the offices that claim to be “The Largest” are not really and even if they do have a large roster of agents or a bigger building only 5% of them actually are active in the town of Nutley.

I would rather have an office of ten agents where 9 of them are actually working, producing and using the latest technology to service clients rather than having 30 agents and  only 2 are actually working, the new modern Real Estate practice is here that is why at Realty Executives Elite homes in Nutley we are a Tech Savvy Brokerage, every agent has the latest tools and means of communication for the Tech Savvy home buyers and homes sellers, our Marketing reach is stronger, better, faster and streamlined and we have the best web presence in Nutley NJ and our agents benefit from that as well we are unique as we are a warm boutique type agency with a International reach.

All of our agents at Realty Executives Elite Homes are trained to use the latest technology and use it to market clients homes so they get the desired result faster, Happy Clients mean better business and better business means Happy Agents our agents also benefit from our Online Marketing in the form of leads, YES! we actually give our agents leads without referral fees! if your an agent and you are interested in our unique business model give us a call today.

Former Dot Com Executive is now a “Realty Executive” in Nutley

Real Estate in Nutley was the furthest thing from Matthew DeFede’s mind during the hey days of the Dot Com Bubble.

The year was 1996 and the Dot Com’s where flying high a new website company sprang up on a daily basis, Matthew had worked his way up to Sr. Art Director for (then forming his own design firm defede media) in New York City and he was not thinking about Real Estate at all, until a friend one day suggested he take the money he was making and invest in Real Estate and that is exactly what he did and has not looked back since.

Matthew said “I started with buying one single building then I bought another and another and another, I was working with several Real Estate agents and I thought too myself you know what I think I would enjoy doing this” Matthew had become a Real Estate Investor.

Matthew caught the Real Estate bug and noticed himself more and more loving looking at homes, viewing homes and more, he started using his online marketing skills to promote other Real Estate firms while consulting with other companies such as MERCK, Hoffman La Roche, NBC, JP Morgan and more all the while thinking about Real Estate more and more as a career.

He became a licensed agent in 2006 while starting his own design firm defede media and slowly morphed into a full-time Realtor and Broker Owner or REALTY EXECUTIVE’S Elite Homes, he has a unique Real Estate business model drawing from his years of experience in the design field and working with many Advertising Agencies he calls it a “Agent Centric Model” Matthew says he runs his office like he is the Chief Marketing Officer his agents are his Account Executives and their clients are considered accounts.


“I want my agents to thrive, I use my background and experience to promote the Executives (Agents) in my office so they are happy make a good living and all they have to do is sell, I handle all the office marketing, social and online campaigns as well and deploy media and marketing as needed to promote the Brand and Agents”


As Matthew states there is no other office in New Jersey with the capabilities to market themselves and clients homes without hiring their own design agency and having a large budget, Matthew says Realty Executives Elite Homes has it done all in house.


For more information about REALTY EXECUTIVES Elite Homes Call: 973-846-0065 or go to

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    MLS#: 3173514
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    679 Bloomfield Ave
    Nutley, NJ
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    Totally Renovated Colonial In Nutley

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    2 BATHROOMS ( 1 full, 1 half )


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      Homes for sale in NJ: The Most Successful Listing I Never Sold

      So you know that listings are gold to a real estate agent, selling a listed home is even better because we don’t get paid unless a home sells right? but here is a little story that will prove that even if you don’t sell a home for a client and you do your best and your client likes you it’s really worth it’s weight in gold, allow me to explain.

      It was the summer of 2010 I was an agent at Coldwell Banker Franklin Realty in Nutley, I got a lead on a house on Celia St in Belleville so I did the usual analysis and priced the home at 289k I believe it was a nice 3 bedroom expanded cape in a great area of Belleville, we had a full asking price on the home within 2 weeks but for some reason the seller would not accept it I really forget the reason why but anyhow the house did not sell, fast forward a year later the seller liked and appreciated all the hard work I put into selling his home he offered me his grandfathers home in Nutley which I listed and sold within 60 days and then he had a spec home he was building on Celia in Belleville and I listed and sold that home within 45 days and at that time it was the highest priced home that sold in Belleville for the past two years, then he saw a For Sale By Owner on Grove in Belleville and he gave me the number I called got the listing and sold that home (I’m also still working with the grove st client on 679 Bloomfield Ave in Nutley) then a couple of months later he called me and asked me to speak to his friend in Cambridge Heights, I met with Mr. and Mrs Sullivan great couple and I listed and sold that home and they bought another home through me in West Caldwell NJ, then after all that I got a call from my GREAT client Jarret and we re-listed his original home and we just closed on it about 3 weeks ago.

      See you never know where that one listing is going to take you I started off by not selling Jarret’s home and it led to all this other business, so it just goes to show one good client can do for your business I cannot thank Jarret enough he is a great client and became a great friend.

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