Demystifying the Word “Commission” in Real Estate

Image via Home Real Estate of Kearney LLC

The Head of Business Development at 4 Stories, the Marketing and Consulting Division for New Developments at LG Fairmont, Leah Azizian discusses about how “commission” is a word that gets thrown around A LOT in the real estate field…

Whether it’s by:
– Starting agents who don’t fully understand how much commission/money they will make
– Clients who like to use our commission as a negotiating tool/tactic toward a price they should accept
– Seasoned agents who like to “advertise” their earnings

Therefore, Leah figured that it’s about time that we break down how much money real estate agents actually make – not out of “spite”, but to provide some more clarity around this term.

So let’s say we’re looking at a property that is $800,000. The average commission in New York City is about 5% to 6% of the purchase price. Six percent of $800,000 is $48,000 gross commission.

  1. A majority of your deals will be co-broked. The first thing to keep in mind is that 90% of the time, you are co-broking your deals with another brokerage.
    • 50% of the gross commission will be split amongst 2 brokerages.
      • So the $48,000 will get split down the middle amongst both sides.
      • That leaves your brokerage with $24,000 (that is how much your brokerage takes).
  2. There is another split within your brokerage based on what you negotiate with them.
    • So take 50% — 50% of $24,000 which will leave you $12,000 (your net commission).
  3. You will be splitting your net commission accordingly with whoever you partner with.
    • Could be your colleagues
  4. Your partner/colleague will be deducting marketing expenses. This goes for:
    • Photography
    • Videography
    • Listing platform expenses
  5. You will also have your taxes to keep in mind.

Don’t get caught up with all the glamour and glitz that you see. Your net commission is usually about a quarter (1/4) or 1/3 of the gross commission.

Leah has also cleared up misunderstandings from clients who made comments or had questions below. Hopefully some of these questions answer yours!

  1. People always tend to grab big numbers by guessing…
    • Leah: Always… the gross numbers by us tend to get marketed frequently, leading to lots of misunderstandings. Time we clear things up!
  2. Great post! A vendor/supplier should never have to break down their numbers for their clients. If the client doesn’t trust you, then he’s not a right fit for you. Of course there are always basic negotiations guidelines, but to get down to your actual numbers? Never!
    • Leah: Agreed, precise/actual numbers should never be disclosed. This post was meant more on the conceptual side, for people to see that there’s more beyond the gross numbers. It is easy to calculate a 5-6% commission. But in reality, that’s not what we take home…
  3. On behalf of all realtors, thank you Leah! It’s imperative that the public understands the commission structure, perhaps it will bring more clarity and perception to light.
    • Leah: Agreed, there are plenty of more conversations to be made…

If you have any questions for Leah regarding New Developments, learning more about the real estate field, or even working in the real estate field, please reach out to her via LinkedIn or!
LG Fairmont is hiring a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, then you may be the ideal candidate. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

Sales Tips and the Number One Mistake Sellers Make

Like many of you, Leah Azizian (The Head of Business Development at 4 Stories, the Marketing and Consulting Division for New Developments at LG Fairmont) get a ton of messages where people just automatically pitch their service or product before saying hello or introducing themselves — it is something that everyone will see more and more as LinkedIn grows.

Image via

Leah’s Sales Tips

According to Leah: As a real estate advisor, the word SALESPERSON has always invoked mixed feelings. It may come off as a surprise to many of you, but I think it gives off an impression that we’re just there to make money and that we’re there to sell you. Which is why I think salespeople usually have a bad reputation of being dishonest. Ultimately, I think it overlooks all the time, attention, and care that we put into every single relationship and deal that gets across the closing table.

When pitching your product, it’s super important to:

1. Understand whether your product or service is even suitable to that person. That person may just get automatically turned off because that product is just not attractive or appealing to them. And I think you have to keep in mind that it may not be attractive to them, but it may be attractive to a friend or a family member.

The best thing to do is to…

2. Try a build a relationship with this person that you are speaking with — even if it’s over messaging. They may not be a client — but their friend, sister or brother may be. Be curious. Be genuinely interested about the person. You know, you see them in a certain type of field — ask about it. Ask what inspired them to get into that field.

Important Note: Try and build some type of thread of relatability because once you it’s SO much easier to tell them about you and who you are, how you can grow your business together and just network with more people.

People just tend to forget this and if it’s not a way of doing business in real life, it’s definitely not a way of doing business over messaging.

Leah also highlights the importance of the POWER OF COLLABORATIONS. This doesn’t just apply to those who are in the real estate field, but wherever. If you are in the sales field, you understand that there is this stereotype that exists.. that negotiations have to be really aggressive and pushy and dominant in order to make it happen.

This stereotype couldn’t be any more wrong. Don’t get it twisted — negotiations don’t have to be aggressive to be successful.

You will see when you get into sales — that the best negotiations and the most successful deals where the best value is achieved, is usually when both sides work really well with each other and they respect each other, and they can get creative and collaborate to make both sides happy while still respecting the fiduciary duties and the client confidentiality.

There is a power of collaboration that exists throughout all sales industries. We see this in the real estate field, that when both brokers can work well with each other and RESPECT each other, it opens up a world of opportunity — to creativity, happier clients (on both sides of the table) and greater value achieved overall.

The Number One Mistake Sellers Make

  • They price their homes far above the market rate
  • To make things even worse, they drop the price of their homes in increments instead of doing one major price drop

What Leah means by this is:

Exhibit A: Home in the Upper West Side

  • Started at $2.94 million
  • Dropped to 2.595 million over a span of several months
  • Timeline: Decreased 0%, Decreased 1%, Decreased 4%, Unavailable, Relisted, Decreased 2%, Decreased 6%

Exhibit B

  • Started at $4.9 million
  • Dropped all the way down to $3.9 million

The best practice is to stop overpricing! Selling a home can be an emotional roller coaster, and when it comes to pricing a home, we often find that sellers tend to lean toward pricing a certain way. The mistake mentioned above is what should be avoided!

If you have any questions for Leah regarding New Developments, learning more about the real estate field, or even working in the real estate field, please reach out to her via LinkedIn or!
LG Fairmont is hiring a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, then you may be the ideal candidate. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

3 Entry-Level Tips and a Guide to Joining the Real Estate Industry (NY Edition)

Guide to Joining the Real Estate Industry (NY Edition)

Over the past few months, there has been many questions from individuals who are thinking of joining the real estate field. The Head of Business Development at 4 Stories and a Licensed Real Estate Advisor, Leah Azizian has created a short guide and provided 3 entry-level tips for job seekers to consider below.

Leah’s 3 Entry Level Tips

  1. Consider whether you want to join the Residential field or the Commercial field.
    In a nutshell, the Residential route tends to be a lot more emotional based. There’s a lot more hand holding involved, so you’re helping people find their homes. You really need to put yourself in their shoes and understand their current living situation, and it’s a totally different ballpark.
    Commercial, on the other hand, you’re working with investors or you’re generally working with clients who are usually focused on the PRACTICALITY of a space and on the level of return that they will be achieving.
  2. Do a lot of research on the firms and brokerages that you want to join. Keep in mind that when you’re going on those interviews, you are learning from them as much as they are learning from you. So be sure to ask the right questions.
    You really want to be able to understand the level of training that they will be offering, you want to understand the culture of the company, and you want to understand what they will expect from you.
    Sometimes, they expect certain GCIs (Gross Commission Income) to be met, so keep that in mind.
  3. Whether you are a beginner agent or a seasoned agent, you might understand this. Think about whether you want to be an independent agent or if you want to join a team. There’s a lot to learn from both ends.
    Generally, when you are joining a team, you’re really shadowing experienced agents more and you’re helping them more just with the efficiency of their day, but you’re also learning a ton.
    As an independent agent, it’s a lot more hands on and initiative involved. There are a lot more mistakes you’ll likely incur, but there will be a lot more that you will be learning from.
    There are pluses to both, but if you can find a brokerage that incorporates both elements, and where you could lean towards both sides, and join a team that offers both – even better.

Leah’s Guide to Joining the Real Estate Industry (NY Edition)

1. Complete 72 Hours at a NYS Real Estate School – Do some research and look into different real estate schools nearby that you can attend. Schools usually offer in-person classes and online classes. Personally, the difference I experienced was that it was difficult to grasp the information during the online classes. The online instructors placed a lot of information on the slides and it was also not copy & paste-able, so a lot of time was spent typing notes from the slides and it wasn’t clear what was key information. But again, this was just my experience…

2. Take your School & State Exams – The rule of thumb is that the school exam will generally be more difficult than the state. The school does this in order to prep you for the state exam. In New York State, the passing measurement is 70% on the exam.

3. Associate with a Brokerage – Just as in step 1, it’s important that you do your research, interview, and speak to agents at different firms. The way I see it, there are usually two routes that an agent can take:

  • Option 1: Associate as an “Independent Agent” – which means starting off essentially on your own, building and relying on your own network, and taking on all essential tasks solo.
  • Option 2: Join a team that is already established and/or form a partnership with another agent you trust. Joining a team that is already established allows you to lean the ropes of the game and rely on a more developed network and steady cash flow. People tend to underestimate how much activity is involved with being a real estate agent. You are the CEO of your business; you are responsible for all tasks from marketing to creating your newsletter to growing your clientele to answering all emails to attending viewings, pitches, meetings etc. Having a team or forming a partnership with another agent, will allow you to juggle more and be more efficient.

Questions to keep in mind when interviewing with different brokerages, or teams:

1. What is the brokerage’s goals in the next year and 5-10 years? How is the brokerage planning to grow? This will help you get a better understanding of the company mission, and whether there is any potential opportunity for you to be directly involved in the company’s growth (this last part is for the overachievers & ambitious ones out there).

2. If interviewing a specific team, what role do they expect you take on when joining the team? What kind of schedules or systems do they have in place as a team to keep themselves organized and productive? What can you expect to learn most from joining the team?

3. As an independent agent, who will you be reporting to (who is your floor manager)? And, how often will you be touching base with them? 

4. As an independent agent, does the brokerage have any expectations from you as to what to produce in gross sales volume?

5. What resources does the brokerage or team offer to its agents; in terms of agent training, tech support, or marketing? (For new agents, understanding what type of training you can expect will be valuable when choosing a brokerage).

6. Does the brokerage or team supply client leads to its agents?

7. What is the commission split? (It’s important to understand this for leads provided by the firm v. leads closed from an agent’s network)

8. Are there any fees that you will be expected to pay (such as, desk fees, technical support, transactional fees)?

Personal Tip:

I can’t stress enough that if you’re thinking to joining the industry for a quick buck, think again. 

Being in the real estate field requires a lot of patience, hard work and hustle. Believe me when I say that clients will easily recognize if you’re in this to make your commission, or in it to genuinely help in their investment. NY has the most dense population of real estate agents, and it’s so easy to filter out which are in it for the long run and which aren’t.

I also get a lot of questions from people who aspire to be developers, investors, or “flippers”. In this case, I always suggest working for the person who holds the position you desire. If your goal is to become a developer, reach out to a development firm and see what they need help with (as an internship or volunteer work). While it isn’t a bad idea to become a salesperson and understand the buy/sell process, I believe you will learn a lot more in the field that you are specifically looking to be in. 

Hopefully, the tips that Leah has provided were helpful to readers who are considering to enter the field or are intrigued to learn more about the field. If you have any other questions or would like to speak more about what it’s like to be in the field, reach out to Leah at or connect with Leah on LinkedIn.

The Lantern House | 4 Stories Development

The Head of Business Development at 4 Stories, the Marketing and Consulting Division for New Developments at LG Fairmont, Leah Azizian speaks about The Lantern House, “an exquisite project in West Chelsea that was developed by Related Companies. The Architect on the project was Heatherwick Studio & the Interior Designers (also British Influence) were March and White Design.”

Data used in this video is from MarketProof New Developments

Now what I love about Heatherwick Studios’ vision here is that he was inspired by the big windows in the Victorian homes in the UK. So he wanted to create a project that essentially when you are standing by the windows, you almost feel as if you’re immersed in the city and in the skyline of New York City.

Last week, we spoke about 124 West 16th Street – which is another project in Chelsea that managed to sell out in one year. This week, we’re going to speak about the Lantern House.

Since July of 2020, they’ve managed to put over 40 units into contract. Keep in mind that Chelsea is a neighborhood that’s extremely congested. There is over 750 units available amongst new developments for sale, and over 580 units in just West Chelsea alone. So let’s dive into what makes this project stand out from them all.

Tell me the specs…

The Lantern House is a 2 tower project that’s comprised of 180 units – mostly of one bedrooms and two bedrooms. The one beds are starting at $1.4 million, the 2 bedrooms are starting at right under $2 and a half million, and there’s an average offering price per square foot of right under $2,750.

What’s so awesome about The Lantern House is that the 2 towers actually connect right underneath the High Line, which is an area that’s been seeing a ton of development in the past few years and a lot more to come.

Another awesome feature about The Lantern House is that they offer purchasers the choice between a darker finish and a lighter finish.

Finishing thoughts …

Overall, The Lantern House has a handful of unique qualities that really stands out from them all. The first being the facade. It leads us to question, “Should we be seeing more projects being built with unique facades in the years to come?” and also, “Should buyers have more of a hand in their finishes and more of a choice in what’s going to be installed in their home?”

If you have any questions for Leah regarding New Developments, learning more about the real estate field, or even working in the real estate field, please reach out to her via LinkedIn or!
LG Fairmont is hiring a Licensed Real Estate Salesperson and if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, then you may be the ideal candidate. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

New Development Spotlight of the Week – featuring MarketProof Data

According to the Head of Business Development at 4 Stories, the Marketing and Consulting Division for New Developments at LG Fairmont, Leah Azizian states that “there were only a handful of projects that saw major success. And, one of these projects was 124 W 16th Street in Chelsea.” Watch her video more below to learn more about this project.

Data used in this video is from MarketProof New Developments

124 West 16th Street is a 15-unit, 11 story building that was officially launched in February of 2020 – exactly one year ago. And just this past month, they sold out on all their units. Twelve months! Keep in mind, we went through a pandemic where from March through June, they weren’t able to do in person showings. They managed to sell out their building completely.

Why is this so remarkable?

Almost every feature about it was kind of rooting it against itself. The developers bought it in 2012. They acquired from the church which is right next door, which they ended up actually building above. But they bought it in 2012. I’m sure it wasn’t their intention to launch a building during the year of 2020, and when you look at the building specifically, you’ll find that the majority of the 15 units… 9 of the 15 units are 4 bedrooms or more. Square footages were starting at 1,500 square feet. The average selling price according to MarketProof was over $2,600, with the average price of $5.8 million, so this takes a very specific buyer. And usually in buildings like this where they’re luxury buildings – especially boutique buildings, we see a lot of international buyers flooding the gates and acquiring these properties. But considering that we weren’t able to have these type of buyers coming in, it’s so incredible to see that regardless, they were able to sell out completely in one year.

So how did they do it?

Every single one of these units have these gorgeous, great rooms with fireplaces. Every single one of the units featured private outdoor space, no more than two homes on every floor share a private elevator landing. They couldn’t have launched this building in a more perfect time. They launched a building that checked off the boxes of every single buyer during COVID. And because of that, they were incredibly successful with their launch.

If you have any questions for Leah regarding New Developments, learning more about the real estate field, or even working in the real estate field, please reach out to her via LinkedIn or!
LG Fairmont is hiring a Real Estate Salesperson and if you have an entrepreneurial mindset, then you may be the ideal candidate. Don’t miss out on this great opportunity!

The Hiring Process/Timeline on the NYC Real Estate Industry

Zoé Kellerhals-Madussi, the President of Sales and Marketing at LG Fairmont, was raised and educated in France, Switzerland, Italy and the United States, lending a multi-cultural and linguistic perspective to her client skills. With a degree in corporate communications and a specialization in luxury marketing, Zoé previously worked in marketing high end commercial real estate.

Leah Azizian, the Head of Business Development & Project Feasibility at the Developments Division at LG Fairmont, has recently launched a podcast called, “Real Estate Untapped” which is available on Spotify and Apple, featuring both conversations with other people both in and out of the real estate industry.

This podcast is definitely a humbling experience for those who are thinking about going into the real estate field or would want to learn more and her first quick episode speaks about why Leah joined the industry and what real estate means to her.

Below, I have interviewed
LEFT: Leah Azizian (Head of Business Development & Project Feasibility at the Developments Division at LG Fairmont)
RIGHT: Zoé Kellerhals-Madussi (President of Sales & Marketing at LG Fairmont)
to get their input regarding the hiring process/timeline

Please note that Leah is providing insight to prospective agents, or those seeking to join the industry, while Zoé is providing insight from the brokerage’s perspective.

  • For someone who is unsure about where to begin in real estate, what would your advice be for him/her? 
    • Leah — I’ve noticed over time that some people are interested in achieving a particular role (for example: becoming a developer, or real estate attorney), but still consider obtaining a real estate license first and becoming an agent in order to understand the fundamentals. While I can understand the thought process behind this, I usually advise against this. I believe that if you have a certain vision in mind, it’s best to connect with people who hold the position closest to what you are seeking. This way you’ll get the most clarity as to whether the vision you have for yourself is worth following through with.
  • For someone who is interested in becoming a real estate sales agent, how do they begin this process?
    • Leah — Once you have obtained your license, it’s time to choose a brokerage to associate yourself with. I generally advise to begin speaking with different brokers and/or brokerages before you officially obtain your license in order to get the wheel rolling. Make sure you take the time in every meeting to ask the right questions to understand the brokerage’s vision, team culture, and what’s expected of you. You can find a list of important questions here.
  • Is there room for advancement/professional growth?
    • Leah — Real estate agents by nature are independent contractors, and essentially work for themselves. So “professional growth” is defined as something else in the real estate field. It generally correlates more directly to personal career growth, than growth within the company. This can be seen with the type of clients you work with (for ex: progressing a higher end clientele), or the type of projects you choose to work on. A fair share of agents also choose to advance their career by partnering with the right agent or broker to establish a team together, and produce greater sales volume. However, depending on the brokerage you associate yourself with, there may be room for you to advance in helping the brokerage grow as a whole; this is usually most prevalent amongst younger firms that are still expanding.
  • Is training provided for an unlicensed realtor?
    • Leah — Generally, brokerages won’t associate you into their firm or provide training until you’re licensed. Once you are licensed though, it’s good to keep in mind that the level of training that each brokerage provides differs. Some will hold the hands of beginning agents more and provide extensive hours of training, while others will keep it to the basic necessities and encourage you to learn through experience. 
  • What kind of attitude would an ideal candidate possess? 
    • Zoé — At LG Fairmont, we seek a few attributes when hiring agents. Because the barrier of entry is so low in this industry, it is difficult to figure out who could be a good candidate based on their resume. Rather, character weighs in strongly. Because we are a small group, it is important that any new member is someone who we see will not only fit in but be an asset to the firm. The personality trait we seek is an entrepreneurial mindset. If you are someone who is willing to get your feet wet and do what it takes to become successful, you will fit in properly. Curiosity also goes hand in hand with that. Because real estate agents are independent contractors, they must be capable of asking questions at all times to learn the most possible. If you are not curious and you are not a go-getter, you will not be successful in this industry. 
  • What are the challenges that they will face in the industry?
    • Zoé — The biggest challenge in this industry is the lack of stability. There are constant ups and downs. Mostly, you will do this on your own. No matter what firm you join, if you don’t understand the importance of proactively seeking a circle of allies, you will be on your own. The lack of stability will make you a very strong person but it will also create moments where you need to step out and breathe. I believe one of the most important roles I provide as President of Sales and Marketing is to consistently find better ways to tackle that lack of stability. That is the biggest role of a brokerage: to tackle the instability and create a support system that will be reflected in your pipeline. The busier you are, the more stability you create.
  • What sets LG Fairmont apart?
    • Zoé — Let’s be honest: every brokerage offers similar services. Many times, clients believe that because you are an agent from a firm they recognize, the agent will be better. This is the power of marketing. It does not reflect the truth though. Agents that do not offer great services can be found anywhere. Fantastic agents can also be found across the industry. As I mentioned before, what we are constantly seeking to improve at LG Fairmont is how to help agents create stability and successful careers. This includes leads, a fair and open split system, a management team that is always there to help, marketing, and a boutique atmosphere. We also do not believe in upfront costs for agents so you do not pay a desk fee with us. 
  • Real estate agents have to put on multiple hats. How do they get all of this work done?
    • Leah — Being an independent contractor provides you with a certain liberty that other career paths don’t, but it can be easy to get caught up in the moment and work on tasks that either won’t monetize well or provide you with long term value. It’s important to train yourself to stay as organized as possible, and prioritize the tasks that align most with the goals you are aiming to achieve. I usually pause throughout the day and ask myself whether I am working on the tasks that currently matter most. 
  • How are real estate agents paid?
    • Leah — Real estate agents get paid through commission only, that is earned upon closed deals. 
  • How do you land your first client? And continue to build that network?
    • Leah — You can land your first client through anywhere and everywhere. Real estate is a people’s business, built on trust. You don’t need an extensive network to land your first client. All it takes is one person who you know and trust, to refer you to someone looking for a home. You continue to build your network by focusing on building wholesome relationships with others. If your focus is on meeting others, and building relationships, the clients will follow. 

A Licensed Real Estate Agent Who Tied Her Career and Passion Into Her Business Venture

Leah Azizian always thought that she would be an attorney from a very young age. Growing up, this was the only career choice she had in mind. She was extremely sharp when it came to answering back her parents or siblings, and debating on different topics.

Of course, she joined the debate team in high school and knew headstrong that she would be an attorney when anyone inquired. But suddenly something shifted, and Leah became more open to exploring other ideas. In high school, she decided to intern as an audit analyst at DHS (The Department of Homeless Services) and ultimately as an Administrative intern at a real estate brokerage firm in Queens.

Ever since Leah’s internship in Queens, her interest was piqued. She remembered sitting in the office, watching agents go in and out, exchanging stories about the properties and clients they have just met, and some of the difficulties that they were facing. The barriers to entry seemed relatively easy: 72 hours at a real estate school of your choice, with a school and state exam to follow. She remembers thinking to herself that regardless of whether she would stick with it as a career, it was worth giving a shot.

After meddling with the thought for several months, Leah obtained her license and decided to partner with a firm that had great charisma, and one where she knew that she can make just as much of an impact as she grows within the field. What Leah enjoys about real estate is how intimate and meaningful her relationships with her clients are, and how important one’s representation on their behalf is. Not too far from being an attorney, but different. There is a lighter side to being in real estate. Each day, Leah and her colleagues gets to listen to the stories of their clients: what their clients’ dreams are, why they chose to purchase properties in NYC, and some of the challenges they’re facing.

This is precisely why the real estate field has become so meaningful to Leah, and why this led her to partnering with her colleague in creating a platform called Ambitious New Yorkers, that showcases the voices and stories of others, and most of all the idea that to be a New Yorker is unquestionably a frame of mind.

Leah is a graduate of Queens College and Macaulay Honors College. She holds two degrees: a Bachelor of Business Administration in Finance, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics.

Leah puts on many different hats in two of her roles at LG Fairmont.

Leah is currently the Head of Business Development & Project Feasibility at the Developments & Consulting Division, where she is responsible for the growth and engagement of developer relations, as well as the identification of new project opportunities. In supporting the developer community, Leah conducts a comprehensive analysis of project viability and the direction for the development that will maximize success, exposure and profitability.

As a Licensed Real Estate Agent and Advisor, Leah and her team focus on working with buyers, sellers, investors and developers, primarily in Manhattan and Brooklyn. They pride themselves on their creativity and abilities to think outside the box. New York City is a diverse city, one that is continuously evolving, and requires forward thinking. Contact her today to discuss your real estate endeavors! Connect with Leah on LinkedIn.

You may find more information about Leah’s work on her recent transactions, her press kit and her client testimonials here on the LG Fairmont biography page.

Here, Leah illustrates her in depth perspective of her career aspirations in the real estate field.

• How were you able to find a deep motivation in being able to genuinely connect with your clients while you were juggling your life as a full-time college student?

I started my career in the real estate field while being in college, and at first it was a bit difficult to manage a full schedule of classes while working, but I was highly focused and created a very organized system that helped me stay productive. I’ve always been fully committed to whatever I do, and I know that once I join the industry I would find a way to juggle both. It was never difficult for me to stay motivated, rather I knew that it was important to dedicate enough time to both and I leveraged a really hard-working and efficient team to help me manage both, work with more clients and close more deals.

• You recently co-founded Ambitious New Yorkers, congratulations! Can you tell me more about this and how it relates to the work you do?

Ambitious New Yorkers is a platform my partner, Zoé Kellerhals-Madussi (President of Sales & Marketing at LG Fairmont), and I created to share the stories we hear from our clients and friends. We started it in the midst of quarantine, to encourage others to share their voice and connect with fellow New Yorkers. New York City is incredibly diverse, with plenty of dreams, and what connects us all is our unrivaled mindset.

• Time allocation is so crucial for real estate agents. How do you plan/prospect your pipeline of leads?

Yes, time allocation is crucial. I’ll spend every night going through my pipeline and organizing which clients need to be reached out to the next day, on a level of immediate to “not so immediate” based on how far we are in the process and how active they are as a client or their timeline. In building my pipeline, I’ll frequently touch base with past clients and my friends to see who can use a hand with their real estate goals. I’ll also set time during the week with my team to actively prospect by cold calling, sending letters to neighborhoods I’ve closed in before, and putting together creative campaigns to target specific buildings or zip codes.

• What are the pros and cons of going into a real estate career?

I think the pros and cons tend to be of the “same coin”, yet it depends on your perspective. As a real estate agent, you are the CEO of your business. All agents are in complete of control of how they’re going to run their business. I believe that to those who are free-spirited, hungry, strong-minded, and sociable, real estate can and should definitely be one to consider. Of course, your passion for real estate and selling, definitely comes into play. But those are the general characteristics of highly successful agents. If you’re someone who is looking for a 9-5 career, or someone who feels comfortable in an employer-employee relationship, with others dictating your day-to-day work and assignments, then I wouldn’t suggest entering the field as an agent or broker.

• Are there any general tips you’d like to advise for those who are just starting out as a real estate agent?

For those who are starting out, I always advise to take a moment to understand that being a successful real estate agent is a long-term play. Monstrous success doesn’t come with just a few years in the industry. It takes time, and a lot of patience. It also requires methodology and crafting a system to keep you highly efficient and organized. I also always advise to meet many people as possible, and create meaningful relationships. Real estate is a people’s business, and the more people you personally know, the better.

• What is your favorite part of being a real estate agent?

My favorite part of being a real estate agent is meeting all the wonderful people that I do. I love new meeting people, learning more about them, hearing their stories, and helping them achieve their goals.

• What is the most challenging part of being a real estate agent?

One of the most challenging parts of being a real estate agent is setting and meeting your clients’ expectations. With whoever I am working with, I always make it a point to have a consistent, clear line of communication and set realistic expectations as to what can be achieved and how.

• Are there any goals you currently want/need to accomplish as a real estate agent? 

My most immediate goal is to actively work with developers in NYC. This is a new endeavor that our team is taking on, and have been building strong traction with so far. Working with developers requires a unique mindset and creating a marketing strategy that tells a story and depicts the lifestyle of the residents for the building. It’s fascinating to work on new projects that make the landscape of New York. Our philosophy is always to smoothly integrate the building into its neighborhood, while creating an everlasting market imprint.

How does the housing market look right now? How has it changed since COVID-19 hit? What was it like before?

For the past couple years the housing market has been advantageous to buyers, and COVID-19 has helped accentuate this. In the past few months, real estate activity has slowed down globally, due to the lack of showings, but has picked back up in NYC since Phase 2 began in the end of June. I think it’s important for buyers to recognize that now is a time of opportunity and that the real estate market moves in waves. In a “down” market like this, it opens the doors to first time buyers and those building their investment portfolio; depending on your level of courage, the market is your oyster.

If you are in the NY area and interested in going into real estate, make sure to check out Leah’s 3 Entry-Level Tips and a Guide to Joining the Real Estate Industry.