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Amorelli Realty wins Best of the Boro for sixth consecutive year

Amorelli Realty
For the sixth year in a row, Amorelli Realty in Astoria, won the Bethpage Best of Boro award in the best real estate agency category. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

For the sixth year in a row, Amorelli Realty in Astoria won the Bethpage Best of Boro award in the best real estate agency category, while Amorelli’s very own real estate salesperson Joseph Vaccaro took home the Boro’s Best Real Estate Agent award for the third consecutive year.

Marie Tornali, chair of Community Board 1, and George Stamatiadis, president of Astoria Local Development Coalition, presented the realty company with the awards outside its office on Wednesday, Oct. 26.

For the sixth year in a row, Amorelli Realty in Astoria won the Bethpage Best of Boro award in the best real estate agency category. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

The real estate company, located at 36-1 30th Ave., is a family affair.

In 1978, Anita Halvatzis bought Amorelli Realty from her former employer, who, six years earlier, had hired her without any real estate experience after her divorce. Halvatzis’ vision that 30th Avenue would one day become a central spot in Astoria proved to be true. And with hard work and dedication, Amorelli Realty became one of Astoria’s largest real estate companies.

Anita Halvatzis’ two sons, Paul and Jim Halvatzis, now manage the office, and Paul’s son Nicholas came on board as a real estate salesperson four years ago. The company employs 12 brokers and salespeople.

Paul Halvatzis, who has been in the business for about 45 years, explained the company’s success comes from treating customers with integrity and because they enjoy helping people.

“We have an open-door policy. We’re not secret agents,” Halatzis explained. “We’re available. If somebody wants to come in and talk to us, we’re here to talk to them. We’re here to solve your problem if we can.”

Halatzis said COVID-19 was a trying time because prospective buyers couldn’t tour homes. He shared the apartment vacancy rate in Astoria was around 30% to 40% during COVID-19 because people went elsewhere.

(Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

Post COVID-19, the vacancy rate in Astoria is less than 1%.

“Now that COVID is over, businesses have started to bring people back either full time or most of the time,” Halatzis said. “All vacant units have been absorbed. People have come back. There’s not even that many houses for sale.”

However, the real estate sector is now faced with rising interest rates, which have more than doubled since February.

“That is now creating little difficulty in the market because people aren’t qualifying for the homes,” Halatzis said. “They may want to buy, but they’re not going to qualify. Or the payment is a lot higher than they anticipated, and people want to wait to see if the rates go down, which they may not go down too quickly.”

Nicholas Halatzis emphasized that Amorelli Realty was definitely a family affair where he got to work with his dad and uncle, and he was grateful to work with such a tight-knit group.

“We’re a family business,” the third-generation Halatzis said. “Everyone that works with us is like family. The community is like family as well. My other uncle is in the business as well. So there’s a lot of family atmosphere.”

He explained the company’s success because of its consistency.

“We always are trying to do the right thing and the best thing for the community,” the young Halatzis said and shared that the company is part of organizations like Astoria Civic.

“We’re always at different fundraisers and events that are being held throughout the community,” he said. “We also network with a lot of the homeowners and help them as best as we can and people move into the neighborhood. We help them the best we can.”

Joseph Vaccaro, who has been with Amorelli for eight years, credits his success to the team and Paul and Jim Halatzis, who have shown him “the ropes.”

For the sixth year in a row, Amorelli Realty in Astoria won the Bethpage Best of Boro award in the best real estate agency category. (Photo by Gabriele Holtermann)

“Learning from the greatest real estate people in Queens history — Paul, his brother Jim, too. The family itself has many generations of real estate,” Vaccaro said. “They have seen it all. They know what to expect.”

He said that the younger salespeople like him and Paul’s son Nicholas were bringing in new aspects and a more modern way of conducting business.

“We like to do virtual tours, 3-D tours, all of that,” Vaccaro said. “Lots of digital online marketing, flyers, all that kind of stuff. I think we just helped bring it into the digital age a bit. And you know, we’re continuing to grow that side of things because a lot of the audience now is online.”

Bethpage Best of the Boro is awarded by Schneps Media, QNS’ parent company. Thousands vote for the hundreds of nominated businesses each year.

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