March 1st 2014
What do you credit your success as a broker to?
As with all professions, I believe that the key to success is diligent hard work and organization. I’ve applied these principles to all my endeavors and found that it always works.
You were recently awarded Warburg’s top 10 agents of the year. Congratulations!
When I began my career as a real estate agent eight years ago, I had the fortune of being rookie of the year. Since then, I’ve consistently been a successful broker, but I have to say it’s exciting to reach the level of No. 4 company-wide. My background has a lot to do with my success—I’m fortunate to have a long history in highend sales, including before I began working in real estate. In my 20s, I was a successful fashion model, which gave me a strong education in marketing and selling luxury products. After that, I attended Columbia University and obtained my degree in art history. Fashion, art and highend real estate are all very aesthetic industries that cater to the luxury market. The fact that I now have a 20-plus year background in catering to a high-end luxury market and clientele has proven to be an invaluable asset to my success in real estate.
You were also on the show Selling New York. What was that like?
Selling New York was a lot of fun. Before I started filming, I have to admit, I was a little nervous, but as soon as the camera started rolling, it all became natural. I can talk about real estate all day, because I love it so much. And because of my previous modeling career, I felt very comfortable in front of the camera.
Did the show impact your career?
The episode on terrace properties gave way to some nice feedback. Several buyers and sellers with an interest in those properties were quick to reach out.
Where are you from originally?
I’m originally from L.A., but I left at 18 to live in Paris for three years as a model. After that I moved to New York, where I’ve been for 20 years now.
Tell me something you consider a specialty.
I cater to two primary market segments, high-end luxury properties and the terrace market. On the luxury end, I sell everything from high-end luxury condos and coops to multimillion-dollar pied-à-terres. On the terrace end, I am literally the only broker that caters to this niche. I decided to service the terrace market, because people looking for terraces are completely uncompromising — they have a very specific idea about the types of terraces they want, which is tied directly to their particular lifestyle. It’s very important for some people to be able to step outside on their own private outdoor space and do something as simple as sip a cup of coffee under the open sky without being bothered by anyone else. The only way to do that in NYC is to have your own private terrace.
Given the demand and specificity that comes along with a terraced property and the needs of those buyers and sellers, you have to have a broker who really understands that niche market. And to be honest, most brokers are very confused on values of terraces and what constitutes a terrace. A balcony is not a terrace to a terrace lover!
You’ve created a system for categorizing outdoor space? Impressive!
Yes, I started building a database for tracking all terrace properties in Manhattan. The database categorizes the properties according to what kind of terrace it has and the terrace’s square footage. Is it a set-back terrace, wrap, roof deck, patio or garden? Does it have a pool or a greenhouse? With this level of detail, I can see how these properties are selling and the price per square foot that they’re obtaining. This plays to one of my strongest suits—I’m good at determining values.
Do you have any other specialties?
I’d say I add value through increased knowledge. For one, I’m a very data- and research-oriented broker. I take the time to really dig in and look at the sales trends, how neighborhoods are developing and where the best values are. Also, because I’ve been living in Manhattan for 20 years, I literally know every neighborhood. As a result, I’m able to help buyers decide what neighborhood and even building will best suit their particular needs. And on the sell side, there isn’t a neighborhood or building I can’t handle, because I already know them.
Do you have any new listings about which you’re particularly excited?
I’ll be listing a celebrity pied-à-terre in the Village. As a full-service, prewar condo, it’s already very rare, but it’s also a stunning jewel of a home with every square inch of it finished in the most beautiful materials. It’s not surprising it’s so special—it was designed by the famous designer Kelly Wearstler, who The New Yorker once called “the presiding grande dame of West Coast interior design.” The apartment itself is really a work of art, and I’m beyond excited to be selling it.
Are there any particular neighborhoods you think are hot right now?
I think Madison Square Park is well on its way to being the price leader of Downtown Manhattan. It has always been a great neighborhood due to the gorgeous park and central location. But there are some exciting changes that are setting it apart from the rest of the market. The two most expensive Downtown condos are nearly sold out and will become occupied over the next year: One Madison Square Park and 10 Madison Square West. In addition, there are more and more amazing restaurants and amenities coming to the neighborhood, not to mention the iconic MetLife Tower is being converted into a highend hotel. Once all these changes are completed in the next couple of years, I think this neighborhood will be one of the most coveted in the city.
Why should a buyer or seller choose you?
I think the most compelling reason is in the feedback from my past buyers and sellers. All of my past clients have either referred their friends and colleagues to me or come back to me to either sell or purchase again. I figure I must be doing a good job if I’m making my clients happy enough to come back for more or make the referral.