By Roslyn Lo
When Brooklyn native Lawrence Wong first stepped into the Franzese Group offices at 1524 84th Street, he was a new graduate, disenchanted with his current job and looking for a new opportunity.
Fast forward two-and-a-half years, and Wong has just collected the top honors at Weichert Realty’s annual award ceremonies. Along the way, he has racked up accolades that include Rookie of the Year, #1 Agent Council-Wide, and a place in the franchise’s Presidents Club.
He insists that there is no big secret to his success, just months of hard work, perseverance, and resilience.
“Getting stated was the hardest part,” said Wong. “Brooklyn is a tough difficult area to break into, even though I was born and raised here. I went everywhere for business, looking at foreclosures, driving all over the place.”
Wong graduated with a degree in Hospitality Management from the New York City College of Technology with honors before working as an executive level agent for the Hilton and a corporate implementation specialist for the MICROS System, Inc.
“At the beginning, traveling everywhere was exciting,” Wong recalled. “Then it started draining me. I thought to myself, ‘I’ve seen what’s out there, I want more’.”
He found his place among Weichert one evening when he noticed a career night sign posted outside the door of the Franzese Group’s new 84th street firm, and decided to check it out.
Anthony Franzese, owner of Weichert Realtors – Franzese Group, and Wong’s personal mentor, said their chemistry was instant. “When he walked out, I thought to myself, ‘I got my man’,” Franzese recalled.
“Anthony and I connected right away, and I felt it was the real thing,” agreed Wong. “I’d been working so many jobs since I was a kid, and it’s hard for me to just follow anyone. I saw leadership by example and a realness in Anthony.”
Franzese decided right then and there to take Wong under his wing. His six-year-old firm has experienced a growth spurt of late, expanding its staff and operations to Bath Beach, Bensonhurst and Dykers Heights.
Wong’s recent listings include a six bedroom home at 200 Bay 17th street, a three bedroom on 20 Drive, and a five bedroom house in Coney Island.
It took him months to secure a million dollar listing on 47th Street but, in an example of his perseverance, Wong said he cultivated the seller for a year and a half.
“I kept in touch with her and, a year and a half later, I listed the property. Within one month, I got in contact for $1.1 million.”
While no doubt a stand-out, Wong said Weichert works for him because of the team approach.
“I believe in teams. A team functions better when everyone plays together,” he said. “There’s a we in Weichert. We are stronger than we are with an ‘I’.”