How This Realtor Leverages Discipline & Boundaries in Real Estate

June 28, 2022

Staten Island-based real estate agent Joe Lebron is no stranger to the real estate industry. Having gotten his foot in the door at age 21 in 2003—and even going against his parents wishes – he’s now one of Staten Island’s top-producing agents. Real’s CEO Tamir Poleg sat down with Joe to talk about all things real estate, the power of boundaries, lessons he teaches his team, and how he operates his work-life-balance.

Tamir: Why did your parents try to persuade you not to go into real estate? What were they afraid of?

Joe: I think, like most parents, we want our children to have more than what we had. And college was one of those conversations that was a big one. I never really did great in school, even in high school. I did well enough to get by, but what really kept me there was my passion for playing football and being a leader on the football team. So as I started to wrap up high school and graduated, I went to St. John's University. I wasn't very bookish. I didn't love to study—at least not the subjects that were being taught. So when I told my parents that I'd like to leave college, it wasn't a happy moment. I felt like I had a different calling. I loved people. I was inspired by someone—my first mentor—to get into real estate, and seeing his early success as a child, it inspired me to enter the field. The rest was history.

Tamir: Well, it takes a lot of courage to follow your calling. So, well done on that. When you were talking about being 21, 22 in real estate and trying to gain your client's confidence, it reminded me of one of my first jobs in my early 20s. I was in a sales position with a tech company and all of my peers were in their 40s. All of them were engineers, I was not an engineer. All of them had 20 years of experience and I was brand new to the industry and I didn't have any competitive advantage. So I asked myself, "What can I do to really stand out and make sure that the clients actually put their trust in me?" And the one thing that I could find was service. And I did that. And I think that helped me a lot. And I guess it worked for you as well back then?

Joe: It did. I think the mentor that I chose was critical. I had a lot of people saying, as naturally most of us do when we're that age getting into real estate, "Don't do it. You need to get a real job. You need benefits. You need a salary. You're going to have a family, how could you do this?" And I think that sort of ignited me a little bit more to prove some people wrong. And I saw things in myself that I don't believe others did, and I was determined to prove them wrong.

Tamir: What are some of the most important things that you teach your team members? You're getting younger talent that were licensed for just a couple of years coming into your team and it's your responsibility to help them build their future. What are those key things that you think you're teaching them that will be vital in their careers and life?

Joe: The number one job of a real estate agent is to solely speak to people. And without customers you don't have a business. Without clients you don't have a business – or income. So it’s important to get familiar with the dialogue of real estate. One of the questions I ask in my interviews is, "Why real estate? And how much money do you want to make your first year in real estate? And are you willing to commit to this as a full-time business?" If you don't get into this industry and decide that this is going to be what you concentrate all of your efforts on, there's really no such thing as a part-time real estate agent.

Tamir: How do you manage work-life balance? We are living in a very demanding world and a super demanding industry. And we constantly want to serve and provide great service to our clients and do good by so many people and have an impact on so many lives. But at the end of the day, you also need to make sure that you allocate sufficient attention and time to your family. How do you manage to balance that?

Joe: Honestly, if it's not in the schedule, it doesn't exist. Discipline and you know, the way you treat it. One of the first things my real estate coach had me do was create my calendar and my schedule. And he said, "This life you're creating right now is not going to work if you don't get very clear about when you're going to be on and when you're going to be off. And if you let this business and your clients dictate how you run your schedule, you will never have a life for your family, or yourself. And what will happen is burnout syndrome will set in. And when you burn out, you're no good to your family, clients or yourself.”

Looking for a new home in the Staten Island or Brooklyn region? Contact Joe Lebron at or (347) 386-8498.

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