Zambito Realty expands, opens new office in Medina
MEDINA – Being a business owner is a drive Rita Zambito has passed down to her children – Mike, with whom she is a 50-50 partner in Zambisto’s Restaurant on Main Street, and Mark, her partner in Zambito Realty.
Rita admits her launch into real estate wasn’t an easy one.
Zambito was born and raised in Elba, the daughter of a muck farmer. She studied accounting at Genesee Community College and management at Roberts Wesleyan College.
Then came marriage and three children, but after a divorce, she found herself a single mom who had to make a living.
“I went to work at Stovroff-Potter, and I worked my butt off,” Zambito said.
After that she worked for Woodroe Realty for three years while Mark, her youngest son, was in college.
In December 2006, the same year she and Mike opened Zambisto’s Restaurant in Medina, Rita decided to open her own real estate office. With Mark as her partner and four agents, Zambito Realty opened on North Main Street.
“Then the market hit the fan,” Rita said. “And we were competing with five real estate agencies in town.”
“The banks started getting very strict with lending money and the real estate market hit bottom,” Mark said.
Two things helped them survive, Rita said.
One was the fact Mark was a marketing major, and real estate was all he knew. He grew up following his mother on calls and paid his way through college doing market evaluations on properties for banks.
The second reason is their willingness to help people build their credit so they could get financing to buy a house.
“Those first-time buyers that you work with and help are the ones who stick with you and are your best advertisers,” Mark said.
Zambito Realty began to grow after several new agents joined the company, including Linda Froman.
When another agency closed in town, several of their agents came to work for Zambito.
Slowly they expanded into Niagara County, Buffalo and Rochester.
“Being from the country we knew how to deal with country people,” Rita said. “We built ourselves on the rural area. We don’t like the hard sell, and we don’t like to be pushed.”
She said there were times buyers were so hard to come by they just befriended people, hoping they would eventually become a customer.
“That philosophy definitely paid off,” Rita said. “It’s not the quick way to make a sale, but it’s the right way.”
She said selling real estate is basically just helping people.
“Everyone has their own doctor and dentist,” she said. “We want to be their realtor. We are there to help with any real estate issue.”
On Jan. 1, Zambito Realty began the move to a new modern office at 11228 Maple Ridge Rd., formerly Verelli’s Used Car Lot.
They will celebrate their move with a grand opening from 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 15. Son Mike will provide food and refreshments from Zambistro’s.
With a growing number of agents from Niagara County and the Buffalo area, Zambito Realty opened a second real estate office on July 1 in Wrights Corners.
Zambito Realty is proud to announce they have been ranked 8th in Western New York among more than 200 agencies. They did more than 400 transactions last year, Rita said.
While being a business owner takes a lot of work and commitment, the Zambitos wouldn’t have it any other way.
“You can only make a limited amount of money when you work for someone else,” Rita said.
“At the end of the day you go home thinking of what else you can do,” Mark said.
“Your work is never done,” his mother said. “You go to bed thinking about what you have to do.”
Rita also has a daughter Mandy Gotham, who has two children. She lives in Orchard Park and owns a consulting business.