Wednesday, March 16, 2011

The Real (And Distressing) Reason For Vita Realty's Relocation



I just received a rather distressing email regarding the real reason behind the closing of Vita Real Estate from Court Street to a smaller annex office on Smith Street . Read on:
I read your post about Vita Real Estate and wanted to give you all the details.
In the fall Angela Vita had surgery on her knee. She offered to sell the business to her 15 year plus agents Frances Kopito and Amy Leone.
They were not interested. In December she got an infection in her knee and had to stay home for an extended period of time. She learned that Frances and Amy had been telling people she sold the business to them and wasn't returning... this is not true.
Angela soon received an eviction notice from the landlord asking her to leave the premises which she had occupied for over 10 years.
She learned that Frances and Amy had negotiated the space for themselves with the landlord in the Vita space on Court Street! She is outraged.
So the sign in the window that says Amy and Francis are staying is a reflection that these 2 people kicked Angela out of her own space.
She can no longer sell the business as it has been devalued by her ungrateful employees and has decided to move everything to Smith street until she figures it out.
As a fellow real estate agent I am shocked at their actions. I have never had a positive experience with them and these actions only fit the bad stereotype that real estate agents have.
I have been working and helping Angela in this difficult time to get her stuff in order and deal with the circumstances. I am deeply saddened by her situation and have helped her in any way I can. I know she is devastated to see her life's work manipulated and basicly stripped from her.

It's pretty appalling behavior from two employees who have been working for Vita Real Estate for a very long time. Let's all remember this when we are in need of a realtor.

You can find Angela Vita at:
296 Smith Street
718 222 1187
on the web here



Anonymous said...

There are always two sides to every story. I know Amy Leone and Francis, they have only been respectful and kind... Showing me the best properties of any other realtor in the neighborhood. Would always go back to using them. They have always been honest and the most helpful.
Surprising to me to hear this story, hard to believe!

Anonymous said...

I believe it! Think twice before listing your property with Francis bc she is rude & not accomodating to outside brokers which means substantially less exposure for your property. Sellers should know that she is outright difficult to work with!

Anonymous said...

Angela Vita has been a respected resident and business owner in the neighborhood for over 25 years. The landlord will regret loosing her as a tenant and these agents are a disgrace to the real estate industry.

Anonymous said...

Katia, this blog is many things, but this post is just trashy gossip. Do you really want this playing out on PMFA?

Katia said...

Hi Readers,
I have no problem publishing Amy and Francis' side of the story. I also do believe that there are always two sides.
However, my husband and I have known Angela as a valuable and committed member of this community for many years. Pushing someone out of their own business is never cool in my book.
But as I mentioned before, I am willing to post a statement from Amy and Francis.

JoeyL said...

I normally wouldn't comment on nonsense but here is the truth. My wife has been an Agent at vita for over 15 years and Francis much longer than that and both were completely and utterly loyal to Angela. They have put up with nonsense and out and out disrespect by this woman, they have lost thousands of dollars because of the way Angela has done business and never would they say or do anything against her, they would stay loyal no matter how bad they were treated. When the time came for Angela to retire and maybe reward my wife and Francis for their many many years of loyalty she wanted them to give her a huge sum of money for a business that they themselves
built and ran for many years. I myself have donated many
many hours to this woman repairing and maintaining
network computers and anything else she may have
needed. Keep in mind that this was not for any other
reason than my wife and I and Francis looked at Angela
Vita as a mother of sorts. In return for this loyalty, love and
respect my wife and Francis were asked to put themselves in debt to buy a name, there was no lease, the was no agreement with the landlord so they both decided to start their own business and God Bless the both of them.

Anonymous said...

Frances helped me find a wonderful rental two years ago. I really enjoyed working with her and was impressed by the warm relationship she had with my landlord. When we walked around the neighborhood to look at apartments, people were always stopping to talk to her and say hello.

Anonymous said...

Another positive review for Fran here. Having experience with her as a broker and buyer, I found her to be a class act. Very sorry to hear about angela's illness, but I believe there are certainly two sides to this story. these boutique shops are often not simply the product of whose name is on the sign, but the agents that are there day to day, year after year... Certainly, much of the value of the company that ms. Vita projected was established by these agents - it's a shame a more amicable agreement wasn't reached where this value was taken into consideration, but you can't blame these agents for going out on their own. Real estate brokers are always quick to tell their agents that they are in many regards 'running their own business' as agents. Good luck to Amy and Fran in their real opportunity to do this now.

Anonymous said...

If Amy and Fran were on the up-and-up, why did they not start their own real estate business at another location?
No one would have faulted them for that. But
negotiating a lease for a space that has been associated with Vita Real estate for a very long time, basically assuring that it would kick their former boss out, is deceitful and unethical.

I, for one, will not ever give these two my business, no matter what their justification.

Frances Kopito and Amy Leone said...

Amy and I have served this community for two decades.

The people in this neighborhood know how reputable, caring and dedicated we are. Over the years, our relationships with our many clients developed from just being real estate agents to having wonderful lasting friendships.

This community knows that our door was always open to them if they had questions, wanted to talk or just sit down to take a load off their feet.

We will not stoop down to the level of that email by responding to it or continuing to fuel this ridiculous 3rd party gossip.

We will comment however that it is so transparent that the realtor who wrote this email under the guise of defending Angela Vita, had the ulterior motive of attempting to ruin our reputation in this neighborhood to further her own agenda.

All she has managed to do was ruin the reputation of VITA REALTY and show her 'true face' as the type of agent that she herself in actuality is.

We were taught that bad mouthing and pointing fingers at another human being speaks volumes about the person doing it.

Though we had a parting of the ways, we will always have a deep respect for Angela Vita.

Frances Kopito and Amy Leone

Casandra said...

Does the gossip stop now that Frances & Amy have responded or can we continue?

Katia said...

No sure this is gossip. Obviously something happened between the parties that they need to work out between themselves, but I agree that this is a good time to end the discussion.

Anonymous said...

Gotta agree with #4. This comes across as petty squabbling, and not at the kind of thing I enjoy reading about here.

Anonymous said...

I agree with Anon 10:24 they can split but should have open their business in another location.
Thank you Katia for keeping us informed on the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

I also agree with Anon 10:24... all they had to do was open their open business in their own spot. Opening in the same location looks really bad.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone realize that Fran found the spot for Vita and Angela named it. They went into business together and have done well over the years-as partners and as friends in the Court St. location. No one has taken anything from anyone accept TIME itself. Few of us have an easy time embracing change. This situation should have been a handing down of the sword and instead has become a fight to the finish. Neighborhood Realtors are valuable in their communities and all those at Vita Realty should be commended for there service.

Sue said...

Partnership implies equal responsibility. So Anon 12:24 are you saying that Fran shared the debt, overhead, insurance, day to day bills etc with Angela?
Doesn't matter if Fran found her the space, Angela had her name on the door, and paid the bills etc, even when times were bad. She took all the risks and it was her business. If the agents were that unhappy JoeyL, they should have left, not manipulated a situation for their benefit. If you considered her a mother figure, you obviously treat you own mother with little respect as well.
Also asking them to go into debt is exactly what she did for them. You go into debt when running a business which they will soon learn. She had every right to try and sell the business as it did have value that she established. She should have been able to sell the business and now there is little chance that can happen considering the position Francis and Amy have put her in.

Anonymous said...

As we see in this example from nature, the wolves circle the wounded deer and pounce when the deer can no longer stand. Crouching, then pushing off from their positions the wolves lunge at the deer, their fangs tear at the flesh and rip it up all while snarling and spitting. Bits of flesh stain the grass as the carcass is dragged away. Oh, sorry, I got the animals confused with real estate brokers preying on naieve hipsters in Carroll Gardens...
Anyway...isn't there a saying, don't look a gifthorse in the mouth? Or never kick a man when he's down? or what? Survival of the fittest? or Let the best man win? Or nobody said life was fair? or everyman for himself...or never trust ANYONE.

Anonymous said...

Angela has been a respected business owner, community board member and friend within our district for decades. These two should go work at Rapid Realty and if they have gained such valuable relationships with their clients - their clients will go with them. There was no need to hurt Angela in this situation. They obviously are devoid of tact and karma will catch up with them. Being a broker is not difficult and is much more about reputation and credibility than anything else.

Anonymous said...

Fran Kopito is currently showing a rental apt on 1st Place which has severe structural damage and not disclosing the level of damage to prospective tenants. I think that speaks volumes about her integrity level. The place is still "on the market" and I'm sure she'd have no problem showing it to you if you are interested in a 1 bedroom apartment.