SPOTLIGHT ON: The New ‘Ageless’ Face of YPN

Martin and Hernandez are striving to solidify the message of what YPN is and what it offers to agents—regardless of their age.

SPOTLIGHT ON: The New ‘Ageless’ Face of YPN
From left, Kadian Martin and Felix Hernandez, the 2024 YPN Co-Chairs

The re-emergence of the Hudson Gateway Association of Realtors’ Young Professionals Network (YPN) is continuing this year with two new co-chairs:  Kadian Martin, an agent with Curasi Realty Inc. in Montgomery, and Felix Hernandez, an associate broker with Real Broker NY LLC in Bronxville.

Following in the footsteps of last year’s YPN Chair Nan Palumbo, Martin and Hernandez are striving to solidify the message of what YPN is and what it offers to agents—regardless of their age. The duo has already recorded a video to be released to the membership soon, and their goal is to finish restructuring and grow the local YPN chapter.

“We want to make it easier for new agents to get involved and we also want to focus more on people who are young in the business or young at heart, instead of just young in age,” explained Martin.

Both Martin and Hernandez are currently enrolled in HGAR’s Leadership Accelerator Program, and both also became involved with YPN in 2023. Last year, Martin was the first recipient of the newly established YPN Award, presented to someone who goes above and beyond with his or her involvement. “It was a big surprise to me,” she admitted. “I just kept showing up at events and engaging with other people and have been able to benefit so much from that.”

For 14 years, Martin was in Manhattan’s financial world before discovering real estate as a career. She spent much of her time commuting between her home in Suffern and either Jersey City or New York City. It was during COVID that she decided she wanted something more flexible, especially as her children were growing up.

Her family had been involved in the construction business and after speaking with the Realtor who sold her the home, she began to seriously consider a real estate career. With her background in finance, she found the transition to real estate to be easier than she expected. “I knew I had to build a business, and while it was challenging to find the right brokerage where I’d fit in best, I liked the culture at Curasi, along with the training and coaching,” she added.

Most of her client base is in Orange County, and while inventory remains low, she is looking forward to the spring and summer markets.

In the meantime, she and Hernandez are focusing their YPN efforts on collaborating with other committees and supporting other Association events, as well as local chapters of groups like the National Association of Hispanic Real Estate Professionals (NAHREP), the National Association of Real Estate Brokers (NAREB), the Women’s Council of Realtors (WCR) and others.

Like Martin, Hernandez also enjoyed a previous career in finance. He spent time as an analyst and director for insurance firms and hospitals and worked with Montefiore Hospital for more than five years. A resident of Stamford CT, he also worked as a finance director with Norwalk Hospital, and again, like Martin, he began to rethink his career during COVID. “That really wasn’t the best time to be working at a hospital,” he recalled.

After purchasing his first multi-family home in Yonkers in 2016, Hernandez decided to try real estate as a part-time career. “I thought if I could get paid for listing and selling houses, then I could do this,” he quipped.

A year later, he made his first real estate sale and in 2021, he made real estate his full-time career. “It was hard at first not having a steady income, but I didn’t really enjoy working on hospital budgets and making cuts,” he admitted. “I felt like it was taking the soul out of me and now I’m actually helping people to find a home.”  Today, Hernandez has a team of 12 in his Bronxville office.

When Palumbo suggested that he and Kadian take over as YPN co-chairs this year, he was happy to step up. “I already knew Kadian from the LAP program, so I said ‘yes,’ and I’m doing things now that I never expected I would do,” said Hernandez, who also attended his first Lobby Day in Albany this year.

The new YPN co-chairs note their overall goal is for YPN to be a “connector” to help new members with successful networking and to learn more about the business. “It’s nice when they’re able to see a friendly face when they go to an event,” said Hernandez.

“We also want to emphasize that everyone is welcome at YPN—even seasoned Realtors who have been in the business for a long time,” added Martin.

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