In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
Perched atop the luxury real estate world in New York City, Nikki Field’s experience and expertise have earned her accolades, including a recent nod from the Wall Street Journal’s prestigious Real Estate Top 250 in 2017.
She heads up the no. 1 team at NYC’s Sotheby’s International, where she’s held that rank for the past decade. The secret to her success? Hard work and unparalleled market awareness. What can you learn from this high-flying power broker?
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the real estate business for 20 years. Like so many others in residential real estate, this is a second-act career for me. After 10 years as a marketing executive and five years off away from the workforce to parent my two daughters, I transitioned into a real estate career for flexibility.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
In five years, I see myself 25 years into this glorious career, in a fully integrated global market.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Never take a market for granted. Just when you are reading it correctly, expect for it to go sideways or even upside down. Market changes are to be expected, anticipated and immediately embraced in order to keep ahead of the pack and to best advise your clients and customers moving forward.
How did you learn it?
Specialization of real-time market trends is my trademark. Pivoting and changing my focus and skill sets as market indicators warrant is essential for success. For me, the ’90s was the decade of the local co-op market run-up in sales, the 2000s shifted emphasis to the mega sales of the townhouse decade, and the 2010s was the dawn of the new development era fueled by international buyers. I anticipate that the 2020s will demand full-frontal global portfolio advisement.
I followed the money and drilled deep into the Mainland Chinese market beginning in 2009: personal investments included recruiting top Chinese professionals to join me in building out our Field Team Asia Desk, language and culture studies, frequent travel throughout China participating in seminars, forums and industry speaking engagements while networking Chinese wealth manager relationships.
I also participated in a national book tour for my co-authored published book written in Chinese The Definitive Guide to USA Real Estate.
And then … the 2018 China government funds export restrictions severely impacted my sales volume. Time to pivot.
February 2018, I launched my India Desk. Same platform, significant efforts and personal funds investment, and we are now specializing in targeting and securing these focused and motivated buyers.
What I learned? Follow the money.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Specialization 2.0: Stand apart from your peers and the generalists that are your competitors. Find an arena in the market that you excel in. Declare it your specialty, herald it, and grow your business as an expert.
Are you an agent with a story everyone can learn something from? Reach out to us (contributors@Inman.com). We look forward to featuring more of our best agents and brokers in a future edition of “Lesson learned.”