By Raanan Geberer
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
When Borough President Eric Adams takes office in January, one of the members of his team, advising him on small business and other economic issues, will be Anthony Lolli, founder and CEO of Brooklyn-based Rapid Realty.
Rapid Realty, founded in 2009, was the nation's first rental-based real estate franchise. During the past three years, he says, the company went from one location to 65, with agents across the country. Lolli also founded Express Real Estate School on Fifth Avenue in the South Slope, which to date has helped over 40,000 people launch their real estate careers.
Lolli, who has never been involved in local politics, describes himself as “new to the political scene. We met Senator Adams at the grand opening of our South Williamsburg office.” Adams, he said, took a liking to the fact that Rapid helps to sponsor free real estate classes and gives those who graduate a chance to work for the company.
Lolli also praised Adams’ predecessor, longtime Borough President Marty Markowitz. “He comes to all our events, and has been in communication with us many times. I think there’s a tremendous amount of respect that Marty left,” he said.
“Eric said, 'You can’t fill Marty’s shoes. You have to buy a new pair of shoes,'" Lolli said, quoting Adams. “What Eric is doing is trying to reach out to those who are still not aware of some of the tools Brooklyn has today."
Asked how Adams, whose background is in law enforcement, understands business, Lolli answered, “He has done a good job in picking business leaders’ brains.” He praised the feeling of connection that Adams gives to his partners in business and politics. “You never feel left out.”
Adams originally chose Lolli, a member of the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, to be part of his Transition Team after he was elected borough president.
Lolli went to John Jay High School, then Kingsborough College. In 2012, his firm was named as one of the city’s best firms to work for by The Real Deal, a real estate newspaper. The following year, it was awarded the Franchisee Satisfaction Award by the Franchise Business Review.
Several years ago, he made headlines when he offered his employees 15 percent raise if they got a tattoo of the company logo.