In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
It seems that everyone is chasing the latest tech to leverage their business and reach more clients. According to NYC broker Robert Rahmanian, principal and co-founder of REAL New York, that’s all well and good as long as you keep the focus on the most important part of business — the relationships you build along the way.
Focusing on the personal is about more than client care — making connections is what makes business run.
How long have you been in the business?
Upon transferring to Baruch College in 2009, I jumped into real estate with both feet and started at a brokerage that specialized in short-term furnished rentals.
After about a year at that firm, I transferred to a more traditional NYC rental brokerage, and that’s when I knew I wanted to own a brokerage one day. I stayed patient and learned the craft while finishing up at university.
Once I graduated in 2011, I once again transferred to a brokerage where I was able to keep 100 percent of my commission. I chose this path so I could save up as much money as possible before starting my own platform. Luckily, I met my business partner at this firm, and by 2013, REAL New York was born.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Growing [my brokerage] into the premier mid-sized brokerage firm in NYC. I want REAL New York to be known for the quality service we provide and the innovative practices we use to get our clients what they want.
In addition, I see myself managing a real estate portfolio in New York and using my brokerage platform to help vertically integrate the operation. Lastly, I have a marketing company by the name of REIGN, which is in its infancy stage, and I’m very excited to see where it will be in five years.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Relationships and relationship-building is everything. This is probably obvious to most people in the industry, but I don’t see people prioritizing it the way they should. I’m very lucky to have agents that I love at [my brokerage], and that makes it easier to build relationships and successful business plans with them.
Along the same line, the landlords and developers we get in front of are the essence of REAL New York and, therefore, treated with honesty, integrity and a very high level of service.
I believe people quickly dismiss the importance of relationship building because it requires tremendous patience and follow up. I always knew real estate was my future, and therefore, playing the long game has been easy.
How did you learn it?
My grandfather is a huge inspiration, and he taught me to truly listen to people and work to help them in an honest manner. Relationships are built on trust and hard work.
Again, it sounds obvious, but it requires a patience and selflessness that is hard to balance in a business where you are not getting paid hourly. The name REAL New York signifies transparency and honesty.
Another learning experience occurred recently when I began to get frustrated by the competing firms and the “technology” they were flaunting around our agents and landlords.
I wondered if I was too traditional since I didn’t label [us] as a tech firm, but quickly realized the agents and landlords that worked with [us] loved us because of the relationships we’ve built and were not jumping ship for the newest magic wand.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Be passionate, and work hard every day. The hard work will turn into luck, and the business will start to gravitate toward you. Visualize where you see yourself in 20, 10 and five years from now, and write down your daily, monthly and yearly goals to get there.
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.”