By Karen Monroe
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Everybody wants to talk about real estate. Everyone has an experience, opinion, building or apartment they want to discuss and share with others. If you think about it, real estate is the great unifier. Real estate is the common denominator that unites and bonds people from all walks of life because it is one commodity we all need. Everyone needs a place to live.
Just listen to conversations at the coffee shop, hair dresser, on the subway or walking down the street and you'll often find that it turns to buying, selling, renting or investing in real estate. New housing developments, the Jehovah's Witnesses’ impending departure from Brooklyn Heights and DUMBO and anything else that has to do with residential and commercial real estate are many times the dominant force of dinner table exchanges. The reason: real estate affects everyone, from cradle to grave.
And it's not just housing. Real estate includes schools, gyms, the post office, restaurants, the ubiquitous Starbucks and the list of examples goes on to eternity. All of these places need a "home" to hang out their professional shingle. Often (I'd like to believe always) it is with the guidance of a real estate professional to help navigate and negotiate the way through the process of creating a smooth transaction.
My primary objective in working with any client is to find them the right place to live. It's not personal to me if they don't like the first dozen apartments we see; we keep looking and keep talking about real estate along the way. It takes only one, THE one, apartment to change everything. This is when the talking becomes silence, and the vision turns personal. It is when the conversation changes from real estate as a topic, to making this piece of real estate their home. But still, we are talking about real estate – everyone does.
On the Run
Speaking of the ubiquitous coffee house, real estate really is on patrons' minds while waiting in line (or, as New Yorkers say, waiting on line) for their grande mocha lattes. Recently, I was reminded that everywhere is an opportunity to earn a possible new client, and of how critical it is to present myself professionally even on line for coffee.
Before ordering my caffeine, I received a call from an agent I was heading to meet on the Lower East Side. We had a pleasant exchange. Those standing near me unfortunately were subjected to my one-sided conversation. However, it must have been slightly engaging to overhear, as a woman approached me after I hung up the call and asked if I was in the real estate business. She proceeded to compliment me on how she liked the straightforward way in which I handled myself. She suggested that her experience working with real estate people in the past left her feeling like most of us are slimy used car salespeople.
Then, the happy ending: she asked for my contact info and said she has a condo in Brooklyn she wants to put on the market or lease in the fall. She wants to talk with me about an exclusive listing and wants me to help her find her next home in a new neighborhood.
We'll see what becomes of this encounter. I'm certainly going to follow through on the possible opportunity. It just goes to show that no matter where we are and what we are doing, everybody wants to talk about real estate.
Karen Monroe practices real estate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 156 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. She lives in the neighborhood and represents buyers, sellers and renters in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Karen can be found walking her dogs and running the parks, paths, streets and bridges of Brooklyn and beyond. For feedback and all of your real estate needs, contact Karen at [email protected].