In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.
If you’re lucky, you might have that one friend who knows everyone and everything and always has the right connection if you need help.
For her New York City-area real estate clients, Annie Cion Gruenberger is that wise friend and an invaluable and trusted resource for her clients. Find out why she believes that it’s so important to really get to know clients on a deeper level — and how it can result in a lifetime of closings.
How long have you been in the business?
I have been in the business for 26 years. I bought an apartment for myself and sold another, both through my present company and realized I have an affinity for real estate. I realized while looking at different properties in different locations how exciting the architecture was and how much areas differ.
I have been in sales since I could see over the counter in my dad’s clothing store, so this seemed to be the perfect combination for me. I enjoy people and personal relationships, which is so necessary in this business.
Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
I cannot imagine not being active in real estate.
What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?
Real estate is often impersonal, but residential real estate puts us right in the middle of people’s lives — their good times and their hard times — and representing what is often their largest single asset is a great responsibility. Every client/customer is unique and important.
It is important to know your properties and to know each client intimately and to stay involved even after the transaction’s complete — don’t love them and leave them!
I have attended weddings, christenings and Bar Mitzvahs as well as having referred clients to doctors, tailors and holiday resorts. I network for them and with them.
How did you learn it?
A good real estate agent is always “on” — aware of details, aware of the market and always open to new connections. I have also learned to be genuinely open in my life as I hope customers and clients will respond and be open and share events and happenings in their life, to help me help them.
A perfect example: A young couple expecting their first child lived in my building, and I would run into the wife and chat. When the baby was born, I then sent a baby gift. The next thing I know, they are asking me for help to sell their first one-bedroom home to buy a larger family home.
Suffice to say, I have been involved with buying and selling four of their apartments, visiting with them in the Hamptons, going to the theatre and book fairs and now going to high school graduations.
What advice would you give to new agents?
Be genuinely involved and interested in your home community, and join affinity clubs and charities that are meaningful and take you outside your comfort zone.
Be open to new relationships and willing to give your efforts with no immediate or necessary gain in return. As a leader of our firm often says, waiting for the phone to ring is not a strategy.
Do you want to be featured on an upcoming “Lesson Learned” column? Reach out to us here!
Christy Murdock Edgar is a Realtor, freelance writer, coach and consultant with Writing Real Estate. She is also a Florida Realtors faculty member. Follow Writing Real Estate on Facebook, Twitter, Instagr