NextHome expands in New Jersey

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Steven Merlo & John Dodds

Pleasanton, CA — September 4, 2020 — NextHome is pleased to announce the newest addition to the franchise, NextHome New Prospects Realty, based in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey. The brokerage represents the 11th office location opened in New Jersey for the NextHome franchise and the 508th NextHome office opened nationally.

Located just 24 miles west of Newark, NextHome New Prospects Realty is poised to serve clients seeking small-town living blended beautifully with convenient city access. The brokerage will serve clients across north and south New Jersey including Union, Somerset, Middlesex, Essex, Burlington, Camden, and Gloucester counties. 

NextHome New Prospects Realty provides professional agents who are well-versed in all types of residential real estate including new construction, first-time home buying, townhouses, condos, investment properties, and home flipping. 

The brokerage is owned by New Jersey natives Steven Merlo and John Dodds. Steven will be NextHome New Prospects Realty’s broker of record and John’s role will be in sales service and agent mentoring. Under their leadership, NextHome New Prospects Realty provides a sharp focus on customer service and a dedication to mentoring agents talent. 

Prior to becoming a real estate professional in 2008, John was a dedicated educator. Despite finding immense joy in teaching, John wanted something to supplement his income. After helping a few clients, John learned just how much he loved real estate. 

“It’s amazing when you are able to make a difference in people’s lives,” John said. “The stories you hear and the people who come to you in need of help – it’s all really gratifying to guide them through and make them feel good about the process. It is a really good feeling.”

John has been serving satisfied clients with Weichert Realty for the past 12 years. 

It wasn’t long before John joined forces with his best friend Steven. Steven and John met about seven years ago through a mutual friend. 

Prior to real estate, Steven spent more than 30 years working in customer service and telecom. In 2015, Steven’s independent contractor commitments were ending and John mentioned that a switch to real estate might be a good idea. 

Steven recalls John saying at the time, “You are such a people person, you have the personality for it, why not try real estate?”

The nudge from a trusted friend sealed the deal, and Steven has been providing people-first service to happy clients ever since. 

As their careers evolved, John and Steven realized that they wanted to open their own brokerage. 

“We looked at the numbers and the client base and they were strong,” Steven said. 

As they considered their options, NextHome stood out among other franchises. 

“I reached out to a nearby NextHome franchise owner and he spoke highly of the company’s strengths,” Steven recalled. “He said he was happy with the support, with the culture. Everything he said was 100 percent positive.”

Today, NextHome New Prospects Realty is providing unparalleled customer service to buyers and sellers across north and south New Jersey. 

“I see the client as a person, not a transaction,” Steven said. “I’m truly there for them and have their best interests at heart.”

John added that, “We are both very nurturing, and we use that skill to benefit both our clients and our agents.”

Agents who partner with NextHome New Prospects Realty can expect full access to their broker as well as the nurturing they need to reach the next level in their careers. 

“Our agents will know that I will always return their calls and make them a priority,” Steven said. 

Please join us in congratulating John and Steven on the opening of NextHome New Prospects Realty in Berkeley Heights, New Jersey!


Interested in being a part of the NextHome Real Estate Franchise? Contact VP of Sales Charis Moreno at


Each office is an independently owned and operated business.

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