By Grace Cassidy
In 2017, Michael Furino discovered himself at a crossroads. Having grown up in Port Washington on Lengthy Island earlier than graduating from St. John’s College with a bachelor’s in finance and an MBA in advertising and marketing and administration, Furino had spent a lot of the earlier decade on Wall Road, the place he traded oil and gasoline futures on the New York Mercantile Trade.
“I simply wasn’t blissful commuting to the town each day, sitting at a desk, and doing the identical work again and again,” he stated. “It was not fulfilling.”
It was Furino’s spouse, Jackie, who urged him to make a change. With their son due in January 2018, she advised he pursue his longstanding dream of getting his actual property license. A month later, Furino was a licensed agent, and in February 2018, he joined Douglas Elliman Lengthy Island.
“If my spouse didn’t push me to make the choice,” he admitted, “I don’t know if I ever would have taken the chance.”
Certainly, the chance has paid off by enabling Furino to double down on investing in his hometown group of Port Washington.
“I grew up there, went to elementary, center, and highschool there, and have my household and pals there,” he stated. “It’s an important city, and there’s a lot historical past that I prefer to share once I work with consumers. Plus, it’s good to have the ability to drive by all of the native outlets and eating places, inform tales, and introduce shoppers to native enterprise homeowners.”
Like many markets on the outskirts of main city facilities, Port Washington skilled a bump in gross sales in the course of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Port Washington was at all times a scorching spot for actual property, however I feel post-2020, it exploded much more than different cities on Lengthy Island due to the simple commute to the town,” Furino stated. “I feel a number of the consumers that normally have been hesitant to make the transfer out to Lengthy Island determined to maneuver ahead of anticipated as a result of they have been now capable of earn a living from home. They knew sooner or later they must return into the town, however with the categorical practice, it wasn’t as a lot of a priority.”
As in lots of cities and cities, the combo of excessive rates of interest and financial uncertainty is inflicting potential consumers and sellers in Port Washington to attend and see, making stock available in the market scarce. However Furino is bullish on his hometown’s worth and resilience.
“I feel Port Washington actual property will proceed to thrive within the coming years,” he stated. “The city has a lot to supply, between the environment and city-like really feel on Principal Road, mixed with tons of actions for all ages. Entry to water is the icing on the cake.”
Furino’s ardour for Port Washington additionally comes by in his dedication to community-building and fundraising for native initiatives. Along with volunteering his time for native organizations, together with The Rotary Membership of the Gold Coast, he based his personal nonprofit, Be the Best Sport, in 2010. Impressed by the story of a pal’s autistic son who was unable to take part in annual Thanksgiving soccer video games together with his cousins, Be the Finest Sport gives adaptive sports activities and socialization applications for kids, teenagers, and adults with developmental disabilities and bodily impairments.
“I at all times performed sports activities rising up and met a few of my finest pals by basketball and baseball,” he stated.
Furino drew on his enterprise and advertising and marketing background to create applications, safe funding and rent educated workers. Over the past decade, this system has grown past Port Washington and now presents providers throughout Lengthy Island’s Nassau and Suffolk counties and Queens, permitting hundreds of youngsters to have entry to sports activities and recreation actions all year long.
“I’ve a ardour for elevating cash for various causes, particularly ones involving kids,” he stated. “There are such a lot of kids who’re both not nicely, disabled or have some type of want in life that raised funds can help with. Having two kids of my very own now, I consider them and the way lucky I’m and the way I might do something to maintain them protected and supply for them.”
For Furino, the possibility to work with shoppers throughout Lengthy Island has been particularly gratifying—and a far cry from the monotony of his Wall Road days.
“The most important reward for me is having the ability to promote in all completely different areas and actually find out about Lengthy Island and be a useful resource for consumers and sellers throughout,” he stated. “Day-after-day is completely different, and I’m continuously busy.”