One of My Favorite Clients Awarded Realtor® of the Year!

Miguel Berger, broker/owner of TechValley Homes Real Estate in Albany, New York was just awarded Realtor® of the Year by the Greater Capital Association of Realtors (GCAR).

Miguel Berger of TechValley Homes Real EstateGCAR is a trade association resulting from the merger of two individual associations: The Albany County and the Rensselaer County Boards of Realtors. The merger occurred in 1992, but the two associations themselves dated back to the 1920s. This association of 3200 members gives annual awards including community service, unique transaction, and committee recognition awards. The two primary awards are the Realtor of the Year and the Ralph P. Dupont Award for community service.

I caught up with Miguel this week and asked if he would be willing to answer a few questions on his award, the real estate market in New York and across the nation and his own business. He agreed to the interview.

Wicked:
How did it feel to be awarded Realtor® of the Year, Miguel?

Berger:
I was floored, they had told a couple people in my office that I was getting an award and my wife was there – she knew I was getting one. But no one knew which one and nobody told me anything, so it was a complete surprise.

It really surprised me to receive this award, especially after receiving the Ralph DuPont award last year. That was quite an honor as well, and I never expected a second award.

I am extremely proud to be recognized by GCAR. I work hard for the industry, and in particular for this region, and it’s wonderful to be recognized, but it’s even sweeter to be honored by my peers.

Wicked:
Well, congratulations! Now that you have this award, what do you plan to do this year, different than in the past?

Berger:
I will always push the envelope, it’s who I am. I like working to get realtors more in-tune with our customer’s needs and demands. I’ll be investigating even more innovative tools and technologies to make it easier for our clients to get what they need and our industry leaders to be able to deliver these tools quickly and efficiently.

We cannot stagnate, the real estate business is built on cutting edge methods for service and marketing. Realtors in Tech Valley cannot wait for someone else to come in with ideas and new ways to deliver what our customers need. We have to do it ourselves. We must know our clients, understand their needs and work to serve them in the ways that make doing business with us enjoyable, profitable and effective.

Wicked:
Just out of curiosity, where is the award now?

Berger:
It’s at home. I had to take it home to show it to the kids! (*laughs*) The plaque is on the kitchen table at the moment, but will be prominently displayed in the office later this week.

Wicked:
If I were starting a Real Estate career in the Tech Valley region tomorrow, what advice would you give me?

Berger:
Just be aware that it takes awhile to get going in this business. Be persistent, hard-working and be sure you keep customer satisfaction as your primary goal. Know the market and help your clients price appropriately for the market at the time.

It’s not a career that will take off immediately, but it’s a great business to be in, and anyone that builds a good foundation and works hard will be successful.

Some people who came into the business in the last year or so have done unusually well, but the market itself is unusual and that is changing.

Wicked:
As a family man, what’s your favorite part of living and working in Tech Valley?

Berger:
There is a lot to do, it’s a relaxed atmosphere and there aren’t any traffic jams. The area is low key. You know your neighbors, you can enjoy walking around on our sidewalks and green areas without worries, and it’s a great place to live.

We have the only school of nanotechnology in the United States and we have a great number of high tech companies relocating to this area. We have not overbuilt, and it’s a planned community so there are green spaces and welcoming areas including Lake George just a half-hour away. We really do enjoy the best of all possible worlds here.

Wicked:
So you would recommend the region to those seeking a new location?

Berger:
Absolutely! That’s why we have developed TechValleyRelocation.com to help people learn more about our area and to make any potential move as easy as possible. I live here with my family and highly recommend it to others. It’s a wonderful place to live and raise children. Higher education and employment opportunities abound. I love it here.

Wicked:
Other areas, nationwide, are experiencing variations in the real estate market, what’s the market like in Tech Valley right now?

Berger:
It’s stable. We experienced a slowdown on timing to sell a house, although price didn’t dip. As a company, we are about at the same point now that we were last year for volume. It think our company will shine in a slower market, because the knowledge base of our agents and their real-life experience will make the difference. Newer agents have only known the peak of market conditions, but our agents have weathered both ups and downs in this market and know how to make the most for our clients under any conditions.

Wicked:
Thank you for taking the time to talk with me today, Miguel, and congratulations on your most recent award!

Berger:
It’s always a pleasure, thank you, Angela.

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