Realtor Emeritus Ray Cassano Lives Up to His Title Thanks to His Monopoly Moment!
Real Estate Broker Ray Cassano has had an amazing career in the real estate industry. For over forty-four years, Mr. Cassano has ardently worked in his chosen field. As a child growing up in Illinois, he loved the game of Monopoly and excelled at it wiping the “fortunes” of family member with a toss of the dice. You don’t have to imagine the look on his face to envision the huge grin. That same grin exists to this very day, Cassano deeply loves real estate and it shows with his every gesture and smile of pleasure as he helps someone find the exact property they require. Whether it be residential or commercial, Ray devotes his time and creativity to real estate! We caught up with him in his office shortly after receiving the prestigious Realtor Emeritus status.
REALTOR® Emeritus Status
A REALTOR® Member who has held membership in the National Association as a REALTOR®, REALTOR-ASSOCIATE®, or both, for a cumulative period of forty (40) years is eligible for REALTOR® Emeritus status.
When did you start your real estate career?
I started my career in real estate in 1973 in Peoria, Illinois. I was the top rookie in my company.
Why did you decide to be a realtor initially? What compelled you to take real estate as a career choice?
Well, I found out at an early age that I was really good at sales. A friend of my family said since I was such a good salesperson, that I should go into real estate. It was like I had a Monopoly moment. I had loved playing Monopoly since I was a little kid and suddenly discovered I could play it in real life. I said, “Real estate, YES!” I’ve been hooked ever since!
What is your purpose in being a realtor today?
Bottom-line, I was to help create Clearwater into one of the finest cities on earth. I know that sounds presumptuous, but we have all the elements of greatness here including a fantastic climate and the most beautiful sunsets in the world. Clearwater is home to two strong Tech Districts with more than 50 IT/software companies between the two areas that have created about 2,100 jobs. And that is just the tech sector. Clearwater is poised for majestic growth. I really love it here and have lived in Clearwater for over twenty-eight years.
When you truly discover the thing you really love to do, it is the last day you have to go to work. Work stops being a job and becomes a passion.
I’ve done some crazy stuff as a realtor. I mean that in the best of ways. We always go that extra bit to help our clients – commercial or residential to get the property that fits their needs.
When and why did you form Station Square Realty?
I founded Station Square Realty in 2004, initially as part of the property I was helping to develop – Station Square. It is a high-rise condominium adjacent to Station Square Park in downtown Clearwater. The first multistory residential building in downtown. And we were commissioned to sell 126 Station Square units!
Prior to forming Station Square Realty, I was an independent realtor. With the opportunity to work on the Station Square Condominiums, I created the real estate brokerage firm. It has been said that you either expand or contract. You cannot simply stay even. You must think expansion. Therefore, it was just natural to create my own office. I wanted to build my own team, incorporating the successful real estate philosophy I have developed over the years. Right now, we have our main office in downtown Clearwater at 519 Cleveland Street and we are looking at opening new offices in the Tampa Bay area. We have great stats as the prime realtor in downtown and it is only natural to expand upon it.
What was your first thought when you were awarded the Realtor Emeritus status and what does it mean to you?
Wow! I felt honored. I am very enthusiastic about this and realized I finally made it! You know in order to be awarded the Emeritus status, a realtor has to be active working for forty continuous years. That is quite a career, I thought to myself! I still pinch myself!
Why is real estate a strong career move for a young person?
Real estate is one of the basics of life (food, clothing and shelter). People have to eat, get dressed and have a roof over their head. You cannot go wrong with starting a career in real estate. The only other thing you need is a smart phone (grins), it’s a basic of life today.
I will always be thankful that I had that Monopoly Aha Moment! It holds true today as well as it did when I was first starting out.
What advice would you give someone just starting out in real estate?
My advice is very simple. Hook up with someone who is knowledgeable and apprentice with them. It is important to have a strong mentor. Go everywhere with them. Go out on sales calls. Go to openings. Go to Closings. Watch what and how they do their job.
Your job initially is to make yourself knowledgeable!
People are putting their trust in you and making the largest purchase they will make in their lives. Your clients will be comfortable with having a knowledgeable you in their corner rather than fluff and glitz. They want honesty and truth, not B.S.
What’s next for Ray Cassano?
We are in the process of developing the Station Square Creative Suites. This is a very exciting project of self-contained facilities for stylists, massage therapists, etc. They will rent for a very reasonable amount and bring more creatives to downtown.
As Ray so aptly states it:
Deals do not happen by themselves. They have to be created. Creativity is my business. I live to create!
About Station Square Realty
Consistently rated one of the top real estate brokers in the county, Station Square Realty takes its name from the Reader’s Choice Best Condo Complex (Tampa Tribune). SSR develops and builds projects, and most significantly manages, lists and sells properties of all types. Our purpose is simple: to provide our clients with the best possible care so they can get the exact property they desire. We know that purchases of this magnitude require a great deal of thought and attention and we are prepared to deliver exactly what you need and want.