SPOTLIGHT ON: Roseann Paggiotta
Mary Prenon | July 2019
The Long and Winding Road to Real Estate
Roseann Paggiotta, associate broker with Houlihan Lawrence’s Yonkers office, is gearing up to take over the New York State Women’s Council of Realtors presidency for 2020. A longtime member of both the local and state WCR organizations, Paggiotta served as secretary for New York’s WCR in 2017, treasurer in 2018 and present-elect for this year.
It was back in 2008 when she first got involved with the Empire Local WCR Chapter in Westchester, at the insistence of her current Houlihan Lawrence branch manager Terri Crozier. “It’s all her fault, and I remind her all the time,” joked Paggiotta. “She just asked me if I’d like to get involved, and that was it.”
As next year’s president, Paggiotta will be busy visiting the WCR’s seven networks throughout New York State, while still remaining active with the Empire Chapter, as well as several HGAR councils and committees. “I’m really looking forward to it,” she added.
Paggiotta is also celebrating 22 years in real estate. She earned her license in 1997 and joined Nick Wolfe Century 21, where she spent about five years. Her next stop was Century 21 Mancuso, where she served as the administrative manager, and in 2005, she became manager of the firm’s Yonkers office.
Later she moved over to Prudential Rand, where she became the manager of its New Rochelle office, but then decided to go back into sales. She joined Houlihan Lawrence’s Yonkers office in 2017.
However, Paggiotta’s path to real estate was somewhat of a winding road. She actually began her career in Manhattan, where she worked as an administrator and office manager for a textile company for more than 21 years. “I did a little bit of everything, but when they planned to move to Mobile, Alabama, I wasn’t interested in leaving New York,” she recalled.
Later, she found herself working in hospitality for Formula 1 race cars. With her new position came many perks like traveling to Canada and Mexico, as well as throughout the U.S. “I actually got to sit in a race car once and it was pretty exciting although it wasn’t going anywhere,” she quipped.
By 1990, Paggiotta decided to give sales a try when she opened “Roseann’s Lingerie and Boutique” in Yonkers. Her aunt had operated the former “Fanny’s Lingerie” in the same location, but the store closed in 1989. “I just thought to myself, ‘I can do that,’” she said. And she did.
The store was in operation through 1997, and Paggiotta took classes for mastectomy fittings and alterations to add more options for her customers.
However, the introduction of larger chain stores created more competition and she was working longer hours and six days a week. “It became frustrating because you have to buy all of the stock and there was a lot of money hanging on the walls,” she said.
What finally piqued her interest in real estate was shopping for farm properties with her partner, Bob. “Again, I thought to myself, I could do this,” she said. Shortly afterward, Paggiotta was working towards getting her real estate license.
Looking back, Paggiotta admits her career decision was challenging in the beginning. “It’s totally different than running a retail business. People would come into the store and just buy what they wanted, but when you’re selling homes it takes a lot more time,” she said. “Until the sale closes, you have nothing.”
Over the years, though, Paggiotta has become not only a successful Realtor, but a well-known horse rescuer throughout Dutchess County. It all started when Bob retired, got involved with farming, rebuilt a milk house on their property, bought some cows and actually won first prize at the Dutchess County Fair.
They raised five generation of cows before selling them, then got two Clydesdale horses. When Roseland Ranch went out of business, the couple rescued 11 horses. Today, they also operate Robert’s Ranch, where they board horses for others, while continuing to care for rescued horses. Some of their horses are older – in their 30s—and a recent rescue brought in four baby horses.
“I’ve always loved animals” said Paggiotta, “and sometimes I think I should have become a vet.” She admits she doesn’t know how to ride horses, and is probably not going to learn. “They’re just beautiful animals. I have people telling me all the time, ‘I want to come back as one of your horses, because you take better care of them than you do yourself!’”
Paggiotta divides her time between Yonkers and Dutchess County, but lists and sells mostly in Westchester. “Real estate is a commitment like anything else, but I really enjoy helping people find their dream homes,” she said. “That’s what makes it all worth it.”