As a young child you aren’t overly concerned with whether your parents are rich or poor. When your parent tells you they are unable to buy you a new toy or candy, your mind doesn’t immediately jump to the idea that they have no money to buy those items. Instead, you might think they are simply being mean and unfair. As you grow older you begin to learn how things work as far as money goes. You understand that your parents might be considered poor in the grand scheme of things. Some kids aim to change that as they grow older and begin earning money or find a promising career. They want to give their parents the life and opportunity they never had. Having the ability to buy your parents a nice car or even go so far as the purchase them a home is a huge way to give back to parents, or those who have supported you. For Anthony Lolli, CEO of Rapid Realty NYC, a promise to his mother at the tender age of six instilled in him the drive to give back in a big way.
Lolli’s beginnings were humble. His father, a first-generation Italian American and mother, an Ecuadorian immigrant, lived in a tiny one bedroom apartment in Brooklyn, NY. At the age of six, after being denied a watch by his mother because they couldn’t afford it, Anthony then made a promise to his mother to make his family rich one day. It was a promise he kept and exceeded. At the age of 19, Lolli got his real estate license and quickly established himself as an agent in Brooklyn. A few years later he paired that with a broker’s license and started his own company – Rapid Realty NYC.
Rapid Realty NYC was born from Lolli’s desire to go into a territory nobody else was looking at. Instead of making a dash for the same slice of pie other firms were focused on, he started from scratch and went after the hidden gems. Having grown up in Brooklyn and lived there his entire life he knew the area was on the verge of something great. So he got in early, began making connections with landlords, and when the great awakening of Brooklyn happened his foot was firmly in the door. When the housing market crashed, his safety net was the fact that he had focused on rentals, which people were looking into after the crash. As a full service real estate brokerage firm, the business has flourished into nearly 60 offices with over 800 agents working all over New York City and even in New Jersey. The praise for what Lolli has created is continuing. In 2012, Rapid Realty NYC earned a spot on the Inc. 5000, Inc. Magazine’s list of the fastest growing companies in America. Along with this, Lolli has received the “King of Queens” award from Queens Courier in 2011 for his efforts in creating jobs and empowering the community.
For Lolli, inspiration comes from seeing someone in his company achieve success. When he sees one of his agents fired up and reaching their goals, it pushes him to work harder and build bigger to give them all ample room to grow. The entrepreneur he admires is none other than Wendy’s founder Dave Thomas. Anthony says Thomas always led from the front, putting himself out there as the face of the company for all those years. Thomas had a lot riding on his shoulders and he continued with it day in and day out, something Lolli admires.
Not to rest on his laurels, Lolli has big plans for the future. A nationwide expansion is in the works for cities outside of NYC because, of course, those in other cities could use help finding a place to call home as well. Because of the success and energy of the company, not one but two reality shows are also in the works. One follows the incredible women of Rapid. Out of their 60 franchises, almost half are owned by women. It is an amazing feat for women in an industry still dominated by men. The other will put focus on Lolli and Rapid’s COO, Carlos Angelucci. It will show the men busy with the daily tasks of running such a promising and hectic firm.
Beyond all this, Anthony Lolli has kept his promise. Having bought his mother that promised mansion and giving her the opportunity to never go without; Anthony has completed his task and gone beyond that. To Lolli, the definition of being an entrepreneur is, “It means maximizing every opportunity that you have around you and consciously creating opportunities for others. It’s all about innovation, not only in terms of creating a unique product or service, but in finding ways to boost others up alongside you.”
And when given the opportunity to express his favorite quote, Lolli sums up the spirit of his entire company quite well. “Entrepreneurship is living a few years of your life like most people won’t so you can spend the rest of your life living like most people can’t.”