Bozena Grzywaczyk always dreamed of owning a business. One coincidence and 13 months later, her dream is not only a reality; it’s also a success story.
It started when her husband, Witold Giermasinski, drove past a storefront on Brunswick Avenue and noticed something strange. The property was home to a real estate company called HomeEx Realty. Grzywaczyk, then working at Weidel Realtors, had talked about opening a real estate business with the same name and in the same area for a few years.
“What a coincidence,” Giermasinski said. “She was talking about it for years. Same name, some location.”
Grzywaczyk believed this was some kind of sign and approached the owners about purchasing the property. They agreed, and Grzywaczyk, the broker of record, and veteran salesperson Betty Dziegielewski started HomeEx Realty in March 2007 with Giermasinski and Steve Dziegielewski, Betty’s son.
The business has flourished more than a year later, despite the real estate market’s downturn and the normal struggles associated with launching a new firm. The number of HomeEx agents has tripled since last year, with 12 associates — including two Circle of Excellence winners — covering Mercer County and the surrounding areas. HomeEx also boasts a high turnover rate for listings, selling eight of every 10 properties. While the firm takes pride in its home area of North Trenton and Lawrence, HomeEx routinely brokers deals with clients from New York, and even had a client from Argentina.
Giermasinski attributes HomeEx’s rise to the firm’s insistence that a client is treated like a person and not just another appointment or sale.
“We are an independent-based office,” Giermasinski said. “We don’t have a lot of corporate pressure. We pick up the phone ourselves. We invite every client to the office. We want to know the person. We’re a family business.”
Part of that family business is helping any person that walks into the HomeEx office. HomeEx has sold properties worth millions of dollars and ones that were worth $40,000. Either way, the HomeEx staff treated the clients equally, Giermasinski said.
HomeEx also specializes in completing sales in languages other than English. Much of the staff speaks Polish, and the firm wants to add more bilingual agents.
All this also has helped grow the business.
“I measure success by a long line of customer satisfaction,” Giermasinski said. “We do business by word of mouth and repeat clients. We started in the worst market possible. To survive is success. To expand, that’s great.”
The success has caused HomeEx to expand its hours, as well. Officially, the office is open Monday through Saturday and by appointment on Sunday. But Steve Dziegielewski said, because the agents are so busy, someone usually is in the office on Sundays and beyond posted hours during the week and the staff at HomeEx is happy help anyone that visits the office or calls.
After all, the HomeEx staff is plenty happy the area has embraced them.
“There was no real estate office in this area,” Steve Dziegielewski said. “It was an uninhabited area. We came in and filled that need. We sell the majority of properties in this Lawrence-North Trenton area.
“It’s been great. The market is just phenomenal here. There’s always something going on in this area.”
HomeEx Realty is located at 1046 Brunswick Ave. It is open Monday-Thursday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Friday from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Sunday by appointment. For more information, call (609) 278-0035.