Experience the Home of Your Dreams with Lauren Parrella

Admired Women in Business, 2023


When Lauren Parrella started Realty Executives First Class in 2021, she did not imagine that within a year, she would be looking for a bigger office space. A broker by trade, as well as CEO and President of the organization, Lauren is on a mission to provide outstanding, five-star brokerage service to her clients while going above and beyond their expectations every single time.   

“The goal is not only to sell homes but also to remember behind every sale is a person(s) whose life we will change. All of my agents will practice ethically, honestly, and with the highest integrity in order to build long-lasting relationships. Our mission is to make people’s dreams come true,” states Lauren.

After receiving her broker’s license in 2019, Lauren established REX First Class at the age of 31 in a small basement room. Her honesty, professionalism, dedication, and hard work, have brought her so much appreciation and success that she had to move into a newer bigger location in 2022 where she currently operates, with plans to further expand.

With the vision to perform with the highest level of customer service, while providing a one-stop shop that the clients can trust, Lauren is committed to creating a positive, successful, environment where all affiliated agents work hard, learn every day, grow their business, but also smile. “As a whole, we will create a system for our clients during the home buying and selling process that is easy, comfortable, and that sets us apart from the competition. Once clients work with us, they will never want to go anywhere else. My vision is ultimately to touch people’s lives and make a difference,” shares Lauren.

A Real-estate Collective

Lauren prides herself in the office she has created. “We are not just agents who work together, we are truly family,” she says. The amount of support, guidance, trust, and loyalty among the REX First Class team is unlike anything ever seen in an organization. “It is so rare these days to find an office that is truly 100% drama free, where everyone supports one another and cheers each other on and you can wake up every day knowing you have an army of people who have your back not only in business but also in life,” says Lauren. 

While always scouting for hard-working and successful agents, Lauren only works with those who fit into the culture she has curated. A team that works together and parties together, the REX First Class culture is remarkable in every aspect. They often go on vacations together and have health and accountability group chats, with the spouses or partners included, with the aim to build bonds with each team member.   

Lauren shares, “I have worked since 2018 (before we opened) building this group of truly remarkable people & nothing will get in the way of that… When someone is sick, everyone is willing to cover, when an agent loses a loved one, we are at the funeral, donating money and food, or even just when an agent needs a helping hand, 10 more go up volunteering their time.”

Experience the Home of Your Dreams with Lauren Parrella
Lauren Parrella

"You cannot possibly thrive in anything until you failed first. And then failed again. Then again. I learned when I was just starting out that failure is a massive component of being a real estate agent."

Staying Ahead of the Curve

A disruptive and fragile industry, the real estate market is constantly evolving. With new technologies, regulations and competition, while it has become near impossible to win bidding wars, Lauren and her agents are still putting houses under contract daily. They do this by thinking outside the box and doing things differently. “We go the extra mile every single time. We have the most amazing team of affiliates who have our back every step of the way. We have a strong team from working together for many years with our attorney, inspectors, the title company, and we have a 100% close rate with our lender in 8 years,” states Lauren.

Over the last 10 years, Lauren has forged wonderful relationships with other agents who trust her for any kind of backup, support, ideas, experience, & knowledge. All agents are highly respected in their areas so when clients get an offer from a Realty Executives First Class agent, they already know that it’s going to be a pleasant, smooth, and enjoyable experience. “My agents work with their hearts on their sleeves but are also bulldogs in the industry. Our clients know we care and that goes a long way in the way of success. We just do things differently,” shares Lauren.

The Road to Success

An all-star student and softball pitcher, Lauren attributes her success to her parents who were and still are phenomenal role models to her. Lauren always did well in school and started working at the age of 14. Initially deciding to be a lawyer she received her Bachelor’s Degree in Law & Society and graduated with honors from Ramapo College while working three jobs and playing sports. 

After graduating, Lauren realized that Law School was not her passion but saving people was. She thought about becoming a police officer and joined the Upper Saddle River Police Department as a full-time dispatcher in 2012. “I worked the evening shift and honestly, I just got so bored sitting around all day. I was 23 years old. I should be out busting my butt, not watching TV! I missed the hustle,” shares Lauren.

One day, Lauren decided to apply for her real-estate license and signed up for school. Once licensed, she won the Rookie of the Year award during her very first year in the business. “While building the RE business I worked to get my Master’s Degree (the first in my entire family to do so) in Human Services Counseling,” shares Lauren. She soon realized that law enforcement was not where she wanted to be. “I felt lost. I was wasting my potential sitting at a desk. On the other hand, I promised myself I would never ever work a job just for the money. I had to work somewhere I loved and do something I felt passionate about.”

With constant determination, dedication, and encouragement from her husband Craig, Lauren soon had 6 homes under contract and became one of the top agents in her company. In 2019 she decided to get her Broker license when it hit Lauren that her passion is and always was helping people. She shares, “I was always the team captain, the point person of the project, the one leading instead of bossing people around. I was the trainer at every single job I worked. People listened to me… Being a Broker was my calling, not just a cool designation. I spent two years recruiting, learning, and growing, and in 2021 at the age of 31, I opened my own Brokerage”

Today, REX First Class operates out of a gorgeous new location in Pine Brook, NJ. The company is also officially a licensed Brokerage in the state of NY. Additionally, Lauren has spent the last two years building an app that will be launching sometime this year. “I am living my dream life at the age of 33. My husband was able to retire early from the Police Department at the age of 42. I get to watch other people around me succeed and there is nothing like it. Everything is possible if you put your mind to it,” shares Lauren.

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Addressing Biases

It cannot be denied that being a woman in any industry comes with challenges. The real-estate industry, although predominantly women, has its own share of gender-related inequalities. Back in 2013 when she got into the real estate career, Lauren was not only a woman, but a young 23-year-old woman going up against much older men and women agents & dealing with predominantly male attorneys and lenders. She remembers promising herself that she would never allow anyone to bully her at work.

“There are two main challenges I would say women face in this business,” states Lauren. “The first is the lack of respect from some men. Ironically my long-time lender and attorney are both men, but many of the other agents and especially attorneys will try to talk down to you no matter your experience level. They will bully you, discredit you and even put you down or insult you.” 

Lauren feels that sometimes women are not viewed as serious businesspeople. A lot of times she has noticed that fathers of clients do not respect the agent if they are women because they feel they know better. 

“The second reason is the opposite. I have lost many clients when a significant other did not want their partner to communicate with me because I was a woman. Whether it be a lack of trust or jealousy, I am not sure. On the flip side, males reach out with false pretences all the time pretending they want to buy a house but really, they want to take you on a date… Even facing these challenges though, women are fierce, resilient, creatures and are absolutely killing it in this industry despite the roadblocks,” states Lauren.

 A Resolute Leader

To Lauren, one of the most important qualities a leader can possess is knowing the difference between a leader and a boss. “A boss, well they boss people around, they dictate, they manage, they set rules. A leader guides their people and leads by example. A leader listens, takes recommendations, and is open to ideas and suggestions,” shares Lauren. 

As a leader herself Lauren believes in motivating and supporting her team, and picking them up when they are down. “I was always a leader I think from when I was a kid. I was the captain of every sports team, I was the one who picked everyone up when they were down, motivated them, and believed in them. I wanted them to be the best version of themselves. I still do that to this day.”

At REX’s First Class, all agents and team members are encouraged to have a voice and to express themselves. Lauren practices transparent management and an open-door policy and is always up for suggestions from her team. She says, “A leader is someone who puts themselves second so their tribe can come first. In our office, I care about you as a person and a friend first. I care about your health, your family, your struggles, and your life. As for business, I am your number one fan, your biggest cheerleader, and I love bragging about my agents for all the world to see.” 

Another thing that Lauren has learned from her experience is failure is a part of a leader’s journey and a part of life. She shares, “You cannot possibly thrive in anything until you failed first. And then failed again. Then again. I learned when I was just starting out that failure is a massive component of being a real estate agent. You can either let it destroy you or you can embrace it. I chose the latter.”

During her free time, Lauren enjoys reading personal development books in order to keep growing as an individual and leader. Whenever she feels like she is falling into a slump Lauren seeks her husband’s advice and that helps clear the fog. “The other day he came home with flowers, we danced and made muffins and boy did we laugh. He just knows when the real estate roller coaster is on the downhill, I need some help,” mentions Lauren.

Lauren’s mother also plays the role of her executive assistant and has been a constant support to Lauren throughout her journey. “I would not be anywhere near where I am without her support, encouragement, and all her hard work,” says Lauren.

Words of Advice

To other entrepreneurs on their own journeys to success, Lauren says, “Be yourself, always! No matter where life takes you or what job you land. Never change the person you are for your boss, your co-workers, your clients, or anyone in between. Also – Embrace the haters. There will be a lot of them. Success breeds it.”

Admired Women in Business, 2023