How’s the Air Up There?

Aug 18th, 2015 | By | Category: Claire Bisignano Chesnoff

What does it take to be a consistent, high-performing REALTOR® in today’s market?
Several CRSs share their secrets for achieving super success.
By Regina Ludes

Claire Bisignano Chesnoff, CRS, was working as a substitute teacher in 1997 when a family friend who was selling her parents’ home suggested she work in real estate. “I had earned my license in 1995 but hadn’t done anything with it,” says Chesnoff, a broker/owner with Claire Properties in Staten Island, New York. It took her three months to compile her book of business and six months to complete her GRI. After earning $27,000 in 1998, her first full year in real estate, Chesnoff earned six figures her second year, earned her CRS in 2000 and has never looked back.

While some agents like Chesnoff have realized their goals early in their careers, many others struggle for years before reaching even the most modest levels of success. But top producers say what sets them apart from subpar performers is a proper mindset, a clear vision of their goals and the expectation and confidence to reach them. The Residential Specialist talked with several CRSs to find out how they became top producers in their local market and what average performers can do to reach the highest levels of success.


Chesnoff attributes her success to education. “Working as a substitute teacher, I understood how important education would be. I was constantly attending classes and earning designations because I wanted to make sure that I had the knowledge to provide top-notch service to clients,” says Chesnoff, who lists nine different designations after her name.

Agents should be prepared to work hard and respond quickly to opportunities, adds Chesnoff. “If your phone rings, answer it. If you get a text message, respond to it. You need to be in the thick of things at all times,” she says. That may mean starting your day one hour earlier than other agents in your office or making your to-do list the night before. It can also mean working 12-hour days for 23 consecutive days to keep the business moving forward, like Chesnoff did in 2007 during the housing market crisis. That kind of dedication paid off later when the local market improved and clients called her when they were ready to buy or sell their home.

chesnoffTop Producer Tips
Claire Bisignano Chesnoff, CRS

Claire Properties, Staten Island, New York

  1. Continue your education and learn everything you can to excel in your market.
  2. Review your business plan often and make adjustments that will help you achieve your goals.
  3. Work with more experienced agents to learn what works for them.
  4. Don’t be afraid to work longer hours and hustle for business.


From residential-specialist