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From radio to real estate: DJ opts for connecting homebuyers with homes

From radio to real estate: DJ opts for connecting homebuyers with homes

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Corey James Moran

After juggling the responsibilities of two full-time jobs for more than a year and half, Corey Moran is leaving radio to concentrate on a full-time career in residential real estate.

Known as Corey James to listeners of WPXY FM’s morning show, Moran will sign off the airwaves for the final time on Dec. 16.

He’s leaving broadcast media on his own terms, something a great many former radio personalities can’t say, in order to take his passion for real estate to an even higher level.

“I feel blessed that I’m able to walk away from radio and not feel jaded,” said the 39-year-old Moran, a member of the Mark Siwiec Team Real Estate.

The decision to turn off his microphone for a final time has been in the works for a good two years. Nothing is permanent in the world of broadcast media conglomerates. The media landscape has changed greatly in the past two decades, with downsizing and consolidation. WPXY is owned by Audacy (formerly Entercom), which operates more than 200 stations across the country.

“During the pandemic, no one knew how things would play out and there was no guarantee this job would always be there,” Moran said. “I had always thought throughout my nearly 20-year career, ‘What would I do without radio?’ ”

So he decided to do a little exploratory research on another industry of interest, real estate, gaining invaluable insight from Mark Siwiec of The Mark Siwiec Team, a Keller Williams affiliate.

“We met for a drink and I picked his brain for a couple hours and at the end of the meeting Mark said, ‘I have had these meetings maybe once a month for 30 years and only four times have I ever said I think you’d be incredibly successful if you chose to go into real estate.’

“Then he said I was the fifth.”

That made the decision to leave radio much easier for Moran. He joined Siwiec’s agency — an affiliate of Keller Williams Realty Greater Rochester — in April of 2021 and closed on around $2.5 million in sales volume by year’s end. That’s a pretty good year for a novice.

“It’s certainly not lost on me how lucky I was to be part of this team,” Moran said. “It was important to get myself in a position where I was learning from really good people.”

He apparently learns quickly. This year, Moran proved helping homebuyers find their dream house was truly his thing. As November neared a close, his 2022 sales volume was $13.1 million.

“In over 30 years of selling real estate, I have never seen anyone achieve this kind of success in such a short period of time,” Siwiec said. “To put it into perspective, there are over 3,600 agents in our region and most successful agents sell $3 million to $4 million annually. To sell what Corey has so quickly is­ unheard of. His ability to connect with others is extraordinary.

Of course, he’s been doing that with listeners at WPXY as Corey James for nearly 10 years, so that ability to connect comes somewhat naturally. Still, there’s very much a personal touch in what Moran does as an agent, Siwiec said.

“He obviously has the personality based on his career path, but I would attribute his success to his ability to relate, listen, problem solve and just being a kind, genuine person,” Siwiec said.

Selling residential real estate is a commission-based industry. Like today’s media scene, there are no guarantees.

“But sometimes you have to bet on yourself,” Moran said.

It’s a little easier to do in a stable market like Rochester, where the economic swings are moderate. There are no deep lows or super highs. The buying frenzy of 2021 has cooled but not nearly as dramatically as other parts of the country.

“We haven’t seen a lot of price drops, maybe 1 to 2 percent versus some areas where it’s 10 percent,” Moran said. “We’re not seeing 20 offers per listing but it’s still five or 10.”

Since he’s obviously media savvy, Moran said he will ramp up his use of video for his business, including on Facebook and Instagram.

“The average age of the first-time homebuyer is 36 so I rely heavily on social media to reach that age group,” he said.

He and Siweic also host a podcast, Open House with Mark Siwiec and Corey James Moran (found wherever listeners find their podcasts). Episode 73 launched on Nov. 25.

One thing he won’t be doing after Dec. 16: getting up before the birds. There will be no more 4 a.m. alarm clocks every weekday morning. He and his wife, Courtney, have two sons, Mason, 3 and Ashton, 1, and live in Canandaigua. He’d like to see them grow up.

“I’m excited about getting to spend my mornings with my kids,” he said. “You don’t get that time back.”

He actually could have left WPXY in September, when his contract ended. But he said he agreed to stay on until a replacement could be found. “I care about this place and I care about the people, and didn’t want to leave them in a bad place,” he said.

He’s very much looking forward to the future, however.

“I’ve done $13.1 million with everything on [my] plate,” Moran said. “If I’m able to focus exclusively on real estate, how much more can I grow this thing?”

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