SPOTLIGHT ON: Joseph Cosintino
Mary Prenon | April 17, 2023
Entrepreneurial Spirit from a Young Age
From the time Joseph Cosentino was in high school, he knew he would one day own his own business. The Broker/Owner of Morris Park Realty Group in the Bronx recalled selling men’s suits out of the trunk of his car as one of his earliest sales gigs. “I was working for a men’s clothing store, and I used to bring the suits around to offices to try to sell them,” he said. “There were no online stores back then, and a lot of men didn’t have time to shop so I’d just bring the clothes to them. They’d take a look and say ‘Yes, I like it, get me three of them.’ I guess I always had that entrepreneurial spirit in me.”
Growing up in the Bronx, he later moved to Rye Brook, and then attended Iona College (now University) in New Rochelle, majoring in Accounting and Business Management. Shortly after college, Cosentino opened a gas station on Mamaroneck Avenue in White Plains. He owned and operated the station for 10 years before selling it and switching to a real estate career.
Cosentino credited his experience with the sale of the station as his foray into real estate. “I was exposed to the sale and negotiating, and I really wanted something that would give me more freedom,” he said. “Plus, I saw what Realtors were making at the closing and I told myself I had to get into this business!”
While selling gas and auto services is quite a bit different from selling homes, he admitted it was a pretty easy transition. “We’d also be selling oil changes, brakes and tires, so I managed to pick up some tricks on up-selling and just put that into my real estate practice,” Cosentino added.
After earning his license in 2005, he worked as an agent for two years before taking over Morris Park Realty. Cosentino also did a short stint as an independent broker, forming AGJ Realty, specializing in new construction. The company name bore the initials of his three children—Ashley, Georgette, and Joseph Jr.
He considered changing the name of Morris Park Realty to AGJ but decided to keep the original name, adding the word “Group.”
“This business had been a tradition in the area since the 1970s,” he acknowledged. The original office still sits on Williamsbridge Road, just down the block from HGAR’s Bronx office. Cosentino has since opened a second Bronx location on Morris Park Avenue. In addition, he owns Westchester Realty Consultants in Harrison, with a satellite office in Greenwich, CT. There are 32 agents in total.
Knowing the Bronx market so well, he eventually moved back to the area. “I started to see a real change in the market around 2012 and I think the Bronx just keeps getting better and better,” he said. “We have a little more inventory here and we’re seeing a lot of people from Brooklyn and Queens, where they are being priced out.” Some of the more popular areas in the Bronx are Morris Park, Throggs Neck and Country Club.
Many of his agents are doing deals in the Bronx, and some are involved in lower Westchester, particularly New Rochelle and Pelham. In Greenwich, CT, it’s an entirely different scene where $1 million seems to be the normal price for an average home.
Most recently, Cosentino became a Westchester resident, moving to Scarsdale. Today, his wife, Georgena, and his daughter, Ashley, 23, work with him. Both are licensed agents. His daughter, Georgette, is now 19 and his son, Joseph is 15.
This year marks Cosentino’s first time serving as an HGAR Director. He had previously served for five years on the Board of Directors for the former Bronx-Manhattan North Association of Realtors. In addition, he is a NYSAR director as well as the State Political Coordinator (SPC) for New York State Senator Nathalia Fernandez, representing parts of the Bronx and lower Westchester.
As HGAR’s Area Director for the Bronx, Cosentino is already busy planning one of the association’s “County Days,” which take place in each of the five counties represented – Bronx, Westchester, Putnam, Rockland, and Orange. “Right now, we’re looking into doing something fun for the Fall such as the Bronx Zoo or Botanical Gardens,” he revealed.
Despite his new Westchester digs, Cosentino spends most of his time at his Bronx locations and is involved with many Bronx charities including the Morris Park Kiwanis Club, Morris Park Community Association, St. Clare’s Church, and St. Francis Xavier Church. His Westchester-based charities include Feeding Westchester, the Ursuline School, Iona Prep and both Eastchester and Port Chester High Schools.
“I try to take one day off per week to spend with my family,” he said. When he’s not working Cosentino enjoys barbecuing and golf. He also holds a Florida real estate license and travels to Fort Lauderdale quite often.