In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
With a background in financial services, Jake Kerrigan brings both market knowledge and high-powered number-crunching to his career as a real estate agent specializing in Manhattan’s Upper East Side.
How did he jumpstart his real estate business after a slow start? Just like Sinatra, he did it his way.
How long have you been in the business?
After a year as a public accountant, I thought that my talents would be better suited for a role where I would be in constant communication with customers. Meeting new people and getting to know them is an extremely exciting experience for me because that is a situation where I feel that I can provide the most value.
I thought, why not find a job where I get to do that every day in the greatest city in the world?
I reached out to the agent who had helped me find my first place on the Upper East Side, a great dude. I am now entering my second year in real estate.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I like to set almost impossible expectations for myself. That way, I avoid complacency and am constantly working toward something greater.
In five years, when people are scrolling their iPhone XX’s while riding their driverless Ubers to work at Amazon HQZ and looking for their next NYC apartment, I want them to think of me. I want to be the only option people even consider when they’re looking to get a place in NYC the right way.
They would probably recognize me from my holographic ads all over Time Square, my voice coming over the loud speakers of the subway when their commute is delayed to assure them that it is only because of train traffic ahead of them, or my Bravo TV show. (Please return my phone calls! It is going to be a great show!)
In addition to my lofty expectations, I also like to set some more attainable goals. Realistically, in five years, I would like to be a successful NYC real estate agent whom my network feels comfortable relying on for their needs as well as referring people they may know.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Everyone in real estate is quick to give advice about what works for them. The big lesson I have learned so far and continue to learn more about every day is that the methods that work for other agents are not always going to work for you.
For me, every day is a new experiment in the urban laboratory. I like to find what people respond well to and what they do not. Do not let someone’s critical comments about your ideas and methods discourage you from at least giving them a try.
How did you learn it?
I learned this the hard way. When I first started as an agent, I did not do a deal for the first two months! I basically kept copying and pasting my successful coworkers’ methods into my life and expecting results.
This is not to say their methods were not beneficial to learn about. I am surrounded by much more successful agents who know much more than me.
However, it was like I was taking a suit off the rack, buying it and walking out of the store. Instead of leaving right away, make that investment to get the suit tailored to your fit. That customization will turn your good results into great results.
What advice would you give to new agents?
It’s very easy to get discouraged in this industry. Sometimes you work really hard and the results do not appear as quickly as you would like. Every day, focus on the small victories, and realize they are all contributing to your long-term goals.
Even though your client may not have liked any of the apartments you showed them, do not say you wasted your time. I do not know a good agent who ever wastes their time. You saw new apartments, added to your knowledge base, added to your network and tried out some new methods.
A sale or rental is not the only outcome that should be viewed as a success after an interaction with a client. While that would be fantastic, a good first impression or the continuation of a strong positive relationship are also things that an agent should take pride in.
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.”