Broker? Damn Near Killed Her!
Titles and Honorifics
Late last year at the Peoples Improv Theater, Cristina Cote, one half of Corcoran’s superstar sales duo, the Terri-Cote Team, stood center stage, lip-syncing to Aretha Franklin. It was the night of her sold-out, all-female showcase, “HERsterical,” at the New York Comedy Festival. After watching the other comics in the lineup, including Saturday Night Live’s Vanessa Bayer, whose acts veered toward the dark and self-lacerating, Ms. Cote’s style was almost jarring, her vibe more old-school vaudevillian than dark ironist, more Lucille Ball than Sarah Silverman. “Our show is called ‘HERsterical.’ I think that’s a pretty clev-her title, isn’t tits?” the 26-year-old said with a wink.
So much for all the senior vice presidents, vice presidents, executive vice presidents, managing directors and all the other clunky important-sounding titles that real estate brokerages love to parcel out to their top-sellers. For a long time, brokerages have crowned their best and brightest with meaningless titular appendages that brokers are only too happy to slap on their business cards. Now the satisfaction of a job well done, big fat commission checks and the money and power that come with selling millions of dollars in real estate will have to be reward enough.
As the Wall Street Journal reported, New York State is putting the kibosh on all the fake fancy titles because, as it happens, most people who sell real estate are actually prohibited from holding them.
Last year, Ilan Bracha told The Observer his new firm, Keller Williams NYC, would be No. 1 within five years.
It was a strong boast in a town already packed with real estate brokerages, where the business is a blood sport. But he was rolling out a franchise of the nation’s biggest brokerage, one that has a very popular system that an mean huge commissions for top producers, of which New York has many.
Still, a little over a year in, Keller Williams NYC has struggled to succeed in New York, according to Crain’s.
It was a clear fall day on the Upper West Side as Shlomi Reuveni walked briskly down Broadway. Rising on either side were the Art Deco and Gothic buildings with their enduring cornices and hand-laid bricks, the quintessence of Uptown living.
Mr. Reuveni was headed for the Laureate, a recently completed condo building that has been quietly commanding some of the top prices in the neighborhood, thanks largely to his efforts as the building’s broker. High profile notwithstanding, The Observer almost walked right past the place. It may have been Mr. Reuveni’s broad stride that distracted us from the entrance on 76th Street. Or perhaps it was the luxury building’s understated glory. The Laureate is camouflaged, almost theatrically so, to match its surroundings. The faux prewar detail is impressively comprehensive, from the painted iron balconies to the granite and limestone facade.
“Hey Shlomi!” the man at the front desk called out. “Hello!” Mr. Reuveni responded, beaming brighter than the lights of the lobby’s artificial Christmas tree.
Over the past several months, The Observer has been checking in with New York’s brokerfolk. “I’m soooo busy,” we often hear.
“Good busy!” they quickly qualify.
Well aware that these days are a far cry from the pre-Lehman boom times, The Observer thought foreign investments were buoying the market, and that everything was moving along nicely. Not so, it would seem.
It was a gray January day when The Observer met Ilan Bracha at the Sony Building on Madison Avenue for lunch. But inside the Philip Johnson-designed atrium, at Solo (Zagat: the “be-all, end-all” of “gourmet” glatt kosher restaurants), it could have been a breezy summer evening in Mr. Bracha’s native Tel Aviv.
Speakers piped in Read More
The Real Estate Desk has closely followed the career of developer Gary Barnett since he first arrived on the city’s streets in the ’90s. Well, returned to the city’s streets from Belgium, where he had been dealing diamonds. The Lower East Side-born, Monsey-bred, Queens-residing man keeps a relatively low profile, especially considering his big Read More
Ralph Casbarro, who was fired from Citigroup before the authorities indicted him on charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, today received a $500 fine for his illicit activities, Bloomberg reports.
In exchange for bribes from day traders, Casbarro let them listen to orders from Citigroup clients. Those traders would then buy or Read More
Location: As of today, you have nearly 10 listings under $1 million, but none over $10 million.
Ms. Teplitzky: When we realized the market was going, we basically made a switch. The market started to be active in the under–$1 million range. Read More
You probably already suspected that your broker was a crook: $4,000 commission on a one-bedroom apartment?!?! For surfing Craigslist? Come on!
But a sex offender?
Newsday reported this week: "Sex offenders with misdemeanor convictions can get real estate licenses." (Convicted felons cannot.)
“It’s giving a sex offender . . . a Read More