Story and photos by Alice Gerard
The office of The Sokody Sales team, located at 1939 Grand Island Blvd., is more than just a workplace; it is a place where “work would be considered like home,” said owner Jason Sokody.
The Grand Island Chamber of Commerce celebrated that office, which has been open for a year, with a ribbon cutting on Oct. 20.
Sokody, who said this is his 16th year in real estate, had rented space “down the street” prior to purchasing his current workspace. “I was with Hunt a few years ago, and now I’m with my favorite company, Howard Hanna. I’ve never owned a building or had my own spot before. This is our first one, and we’re super-excited. I know it took a while for the grand-opening, but we needed a little bit of time to get the building ready.”
According to Sokody, having this office has “been a wonderful experience. I love Grand Island, grew up on Grand Island. This is where I call home and where I will always call home. As far as business is concerned, we sell real estate out of here. We have long-term rental with Frank Brown Towing and Frank Todaro Collision Masters, so we’re very pleased to have a fully occupied building; and we’re even more excited to have the vacant lot next door, which allows us to relax and throw the football out there and listen to some water.
“I wanted to create a pond, where people could relax and enjoy the sounds of the water. We have hammocks back there that are sitting between trees so people can just relax and enjoy. They can work on their computers outside and not be stuck in a stuffy office. That’s why there are only four walls in this entire building. It’s a nice, big, open communal space.”
Sokody expressed gratitude to Carmen Laurendi and to his wife for their support: “I really want to thank Mr. Laurendi, because he helped build the real estate career we have today, and all the opportunities we share together all started because of my guy here. I’ll always be in debt for that. I appreciate that, and I love you, man. I also want to say thank you to my wife because everything that I am as a man today is everything she’s helped us become.”
Selling real estate is his passion, Sokody said. Of his clients, he explained, “They tend to be just as grateful as we are in allowing us to work with them. Real estate is an amazing commodity to own, and it’s a wonderful commodity to buy and sell. It tends to be people’s largest investment, so it has to be treated with care, the same as the people.”
Sokody’s other passion is physical fitness. A 1997 graduate of Grand Island High School, Sokody was a running back on the football team. He still holds a school record in football. After high school, he enjoyed bodybuilding, winning classes in the Mr. Buffalo competitions in 2007 and 2011.
“Physical fitness is a great way to relieve stress, and also a great way to challenge yourself and continually improve,” Sokody said.
During the ribbon-cutting, Chamber of Commerce President Eric Fiebelkorn said The Sokody Sales Team has the full support of his organization: “If we can help you in any way … the Chamber of Commerce is 295 businesses on the Island. And more importantly, a relationship with our elected officials, our business owners, our board members – who are our leaders in our community. We just create connectivity. There’s no magic. We have good folks, and we try to help other good folks. So, we can do that in your business. Reach out to us, use our space. You have great space here, though. We might come and use this space.”
Sokody said he was happy to have visitors come to his office space: “I would just like to say to the Grand Island community to please stop in at any time. Come take a look at the building and share a smile with us.”
The pond on the property next to The Sokody Sales Team office is a space for relaxation and renewal.