Al Iaquinta, retired UFC fighter, opens true estate business office in Wantagh
As Extended Island customers struggle around much too handful of homes on the current market, some locals may well quickly be searching to incorporate expert muscle to their facet.
Retired blended martial arts fighter Al Iaquinta, 36, held a grand opening very last 7 days for his real estate brokerage in Wantagh, stepping out on his have following about seven decades as an agent at HomeSmart Leading Residing Realty in Williston Park.
Iaquinta rose as high as No. 4 in the Top Combating Championship lightweight rankings, going 14-7-1, together with 7 knockouts, during his almost 13-yr qualified career.
In 2018, he stepped in as a substitute on one particular day’s discover to get on Khabib Nurmagomedov, regarded as 1 of the sport’s best fighters, in the Octagon, the UFC equal of the boxing ring. He lost the bout at Barclays Heart in 5 rounds by unanimous decision but gained praise for his tenacity from UFC officers, his coach Ray Longo and Nurmagomedov, who became the lightweight champion and defended the title a few times till his retirement in 2020.
Opening his own brokerage will set Iaquinta in competition with some of Nassau County’s major brokerages, which include Keller Williams, Douglas Elliman and Charles Rutenberg Realty, which have hundreds of agents. Iaquinta worked with both the consumer or seller on 15 discounts given that 2022, principally on Nassau’s South Shore but also in Suffolk and Queens. He’ll be operating to establish on his brand as a fighter, which has assisted him get far more than 120,000 followers each and every on Instagram and Twitter.
“It’s an uphill fight breaking in, but there is no person that is going to outwork me,” Iaquinta mentioned. Shifting into trash-communicate method, he included: “If I can get into an Octagon and battle someone, Douglas Elliman ain’t got almost nothing on me. Douglas Elliman, Keller Williams — line them up. Convey it on.”
Big brokerages aid agents with paying out on technological know-how, marketing and education — investments Iaquinta will have to make himself to compete for listings. The regional housing sector has also slowed down this year. There were being 37% much less shut income in April in Nassau than all through that month a yr ago, as increased mortgage premiums and fewer listings have damage gross sales.
Kevin Leatherman, who started out the Rockville Centre brokerage Leatherman Residences in 1996, was in a comparable situation to Iaquinta’s almost 30 years ago. He stated doing the job independently has permitted him to make enterprise decisions swiftly and with out interference.
But brokers like Iaquinta who go out on their possess ought to be well prepared for the greater demands of doing the job as a broker-operator. There are new expenses for hire, insurance policies and staff as properly as the continuous have to have to keep present on market place tendencies and truthful housing rules, Leatherman claimed. He also was shocked Iaquinta experienced opted to open a brick-and-mortar workplace. “The character of this business enterprise is there’s incredibly number of wander-ins,” he said.
Iaquinta, nicknamed “Raging” Al in the UFC, started in true estate in 2015 though he was recovering from a really serious knee operation that kept him out of competition for two years. He turned interested in the business soon after shopping for a home in Seaford in 2014 and took lessons at the New York Real Estate Institute in Syosset prior to finding his license. He retired after a loss in November 2021 at Madison Sq. Backyard garden.
“I sort of observed the writing on the wall that preventing can not last eternally, and for me, it may well conclusion a minimal quicker than it’s meant to, so I dove headfirst into true estate,” said Iaquinta, who lives in Merrick.
He started out at HomeSmart in 2016, balancing his fledgling genuine estate profession with an eventual return to the Octagon, an April 2017 knockout of Diego Sanchez.
“I’d be answering calls on the way to coaching and placing up appointments waiting around for physical remedy,” Iaquinta recalled. “In preventing, I was a single of the best fellas in the entire world but to get started some thing new in revenue intrigued me … I was unquestionably in in excess of my head, but that’s type of how I like to do matters. Here, I’m opening the business, and a whole lot of people today may possibly consider it is outrageous, but that is what it’s all about … Environment targets and attacking them.”
Debi Lucas, a actual estate agent and staff chief at Compass, worked with Iaquinta at HomeSmart for the duration of his MMA job, giving tips, co-listing attributes with him and displaying buyers properties when he was traveling to compete.
Lucas, who attended Iaquinta’s 2018 battle in Brooklyn, stated she could see the link amongst his technique to battling and serious estate.
“Al’s a quite competitive male, whether he’s in the Octagon or providing residences,” Lucas claimed. “He’s laser-targeted irrespective of whether he’s door knocking or producing chilly phone calls on the cellphone. He are unable to be deterred.”
Iaquinta will need to have that persistence in the latest market place, with some of his recent clientele shedding bidding wars to other people offering tens of 1000’s above asking costs. He recommends likely customers get pre-accepted for a house loan to commence their lookup, so they can transfer swiftly when they find a residence they like.
“It’s absolutely a combat out there,” he mentioned.
In the Octagon
Career document: 14-7-1
Optimum rank: No. 4 lightweight
Staff: Very long Island-based Serra-Longo Fight Group
In the sector
Income: Represented purchaser or seller in 15 deals since 2022
Greatest sale: Represented buyer in $1.25 million sale in Massapequa final yr
Group: Iaquinta Real Estate in Wantagh