By: Virginia N. Sherry/Staten Island Advance
January 26, 2013
On The Move With Tom Crimmins Realty of Staten Island
|"I was always intrigued by real estate. It was always a passion," says Tom Crimmins, pictured with his wife, Suzanne, in their Castleton Corners real estate office. Staten Island Advance.Virginia Sherry|
CASTLETON CORNERS -- “This was a dream five years ago,” said native Staten Islander and retired New York Police Department sergeant Tom Crimmins, sitting last week in the large, beautifully-appointed Manor Road real estate office that he and his wife of 29 years, Suzanne, opened in September.
The move to the new location was from a storefront on Watchogue Road, where he opened an office in 2010, with only three agents. The business quickly grew from its modest beginning to a dynamic company that employs over 50 agents, with Mrs. Crimmins managing the office and counseling the large staff.
“We’re now the number-one real estate firm on the North Shore (in terms of sales),” Crimmins said proudly, counting 244 homes sold in 2012.
He credits success to the fact that “we have great agents who are also great people,” citing as examples his long-time associates retired city firefighter Lt. Frank Mondelli, Eileen Pinto, and Christine Parlagreco. “In two-and-a-half years, no one has left us except one person who moved on to join a family business.”
Another reason is that “we collaborate with a team of trusted local lawyers, mortgage brokers, and home inspectors,” Crimmins added.
“There’s a large inventory on Staten Island, and sellers are accepting the fact that it’s a buyer’s market,” he said. “People are fighting over homes if they’re priced right. It’s busy.”
Crimmins is happy that the expanded business is located in the center of his old childhood neighborhood.
“I was born and grew up three blocks from here, and my mom still lives here,” he said. His mother, Antoinette, was born in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., and came to Staten Island with her family when she was 3-years-old.
Crimmins graduated from St. Peter’s Boys High School and St. John’s University, where he played guard on the varsity basketball team.
“I was always intrigued by real estate. It was always a passion,” said Crimmins. “I started to invest on Staten Island and bought my first small property in 1985.”
He got his real estate license seven years ago, and the rest is history.
Mrs. Crimmins created a business for herself in 1992, when she launched Chocolate and Balloons, a party service shop on Victory Boulevard in Castleton Corners, which she later relocated to Watchogue Road in Westerleigh.
She ran the business for 18 years.
“Suzanne loved her business, but when I opened the real estate office I told her that I could not do it without her,” Crimmins said. “So she sold it to join me.”
Asked to name her husband’s top three qualities, business-wise, Suzanne Crimmins replied: “He’s a people person, has a good sense of real estate,” and relies on a large network of personal relationships and connections.
Crimmins praised his wife as a “determined, conscientious, and honest and understanding” person.
Working together on a daily basis is not a problem because “we don’t let the business come home, or our personal lives come to the office,” said Crimmins.
HOW THEY MET
Mrs. Crimmins was born in Queens, moved to Staten Island with her family when she was 5-years-old, and graduated from Susan Wagner High School.
“A very good friend of mine, Bob Moore, a manager at the Pathmark on Forest Avenue, introduced us, when Suzanne worked there as a bookkeeper,” Crimmins recalled.
“When I got a job at St. John’s, after graduation, as assistant to a dean, I saw Suzanne again, when she was a freshman,” he said. “I proposed after three months, and within two years we were married. Father Concagh, the president of St. John’s who gave me the job, married us.”
The young couple never had a honeymoon, and Mrs. Crimmins never finished college.
Crimmins ran the sports program at Blessed Sacrament R.C. Church in West Brighton for 20 years.
He also launched and coached at the Carnesecca-Sarachek Basketball Camp for Children for over 10 years, at Mt. Loretto and St. John’s University on Staten Island, and Delphi State University in upstate New York. “Over 2,000 kids came through these camps,” said Crimmins. “And now they call me, as adults, looking to buy or sell houses, saying ‘Hey, coach! Remember me?’¤”
More recently, the Crimmins’ hosted a holiday toy drive for the CYO, and raised funds for the Relay for Life cancer drive.
“We didn’t take commission when we rented to Sandy victims,” Crimmins added. And, after the storm, “we brought 500 sandwiches to Guyon Avenue and Mill Road in Oakwood.”
Tom and Suzanne Crimmins, who now live on Todt Hill, are proud parents of five children: Thomas, 26, an engineer; Rob, 24, an NYPD officer; Alexandra, 20, a junior at the College of Staten Island (CSI) who also works as a substitute teacher for the city Department of Education; William, 19, also a student at CSI, and Ryan, a sixth-grader at Paulo Intermediate School who celebrated his 12th birthday on Jan. 18. Sophia, a smooth-coated Chihuahua, rounds out the household, along with Ryan’s two frogs.
When they have time to break away, husband and wife enjoy spending time in a vacation home on Long Beach Island, bike-riding, barbecuing, “and spending lots of time with our kids — we’re a close family,” said Mrs. Crimmins, who also likes to work out. Back on Staten Island, “we love movies and quiet nights at home.”