Joe DeLorenzo, owner of ReMax In Town, outisde the Franklin Corner Road office.

From the time he was a 13-year-old paper boy in Corona, Queens, Joe DeLorenzo has always been dedicated to customer service. Now, he aims to provide that same service to his clients at ReMax In Town.

“The perception people have of selling real estate is not the reality,” he said. “People think you’re going to sell somebody a house. It’s really delivering a high quality of service and understanding what people want and need and helping them get there.”

DeLorenzo has been selling real estate for 23 years, first at ReMax of Princeton. He branched off and opened his own franchise in Lawrence 12 years ago. He says he always makes it a point to keep in touch with his clients, and sometimes that comes full circle—the son of his first-ever client recently reached out to DeLorenzo for help purchasing a home of his own.

The first thing that DeLorenzo and his staff do when a client comes in is discuss financial ability.

“I remember a long time ago when I lived in New York, I went looking for my first house,” he said. “I told the realtor what I could afford. They showed me everything that was more expensive, thinking I could go home and ask my parents. When people tell me what their affordability is, we stay in that window. I never go over that window. If they’re frustrated with what they’re seeing, that’s what their affordability is.”

Before real estate, DeLorenzo went to trade school as a teenager and earned his airframe mechanic license to fix planes. He served in the Air Force and ended up at IBM afterwards, where he started out repairing office equipment and moved up into a management role. He enjoyed his work there, but he knew that “the world was changing,” so he retired early and started up at ReMax soon after.

“I was very creative at IBM,” DeLorenzo said. “I use my creativity and my analytic ability to put it all together. People stop me all the time and say, ‘I see your signs all over, which really is great, because Joe D has actually become a brand. It’s a culmination of all my skills brought together here.”

He also developed a love of technology in his previous career, which he has used with ReMax since the ’90s. He remembers a time when realtors had to print out individual fact sheets for each home listing, order prints of a photo of the front of a house and paste them on each sheet.

DeLorenzo knew the process could be more efficient, though, so he purchased an early digital camera—it stored a maximum of 20 pictures—and a color printer. He says he was the first realtor in the area to provide fact sheets with a color photo printed right on the page. He learned how to use the internet and set up email campaigns early on, too.ReMax In Town was also one of the first, he says, to have an in-office flat screen television capable of hooking up to a computer. This allowed him to host seminars and large-scale presentations, something many offices weren’t doing at the time.

DeLorenzo recently earned his FAA drone license to take overhead photos and videos of listed homes, which he then posts online.

“I’m not a bragger, but when somebody comes through that door, it’s actually one of the best days of their lives,” he said. “We take a listing seriously and try to provide a high level of service. By that, I mean having every possible marketing tool that’s available. I’m a big believer in technology.”

That, coupled with DeLorenzo’s affinity for numbers and customer service, has helped make him one of the top agents in terms of sales in the county (top 20), state (top 1 percent) and country (top 1,000). ReMax In Town’s office of five, he says, does as much business as an office of 50.

“I like helping people,” DeLorenzo said. “I said to my daughter once, ‘We actually affect people’s lives.’ Buying and selling a house is a major event in someone’s life. We never have an unhappy customer at closing.”

ReMax In Town, 181 Franklin Corner Rd., Lawrence. Phone: (609) 895-0500.