In this column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry. This week, find out how New York City broker Tania Isacoff Friedland keeps the focus on client needs to provide the best possible service.

In this weekly column, real estate agents across the nation share stories of the lessons they’ve learned during their time in the industry.

Tania Friedland

Born and raised in Manhattan, Warburg Realty’s Tania Isacoff Friedland is a local market expert. What sets her apart, however, is the bespoke service she offers to buyers and sellers in her area — resulting in more than $1 billion in sales over the past decade. At the heart of her service philosophy? A mindset that keeps the focus on the client and helps them find their best option, no matter what’s going on in the market.

How long have you been in the business?

I have been in the business for 10 years. I started right after graduating from college. I studied art history in college, and I knew I wanted to work in luxury sales (of some kind) on the business side. I have a love for all things luxury (art, interior design, fashion, real estate, etc.)

I had never really considered becoming a real estate agent, but as I interviewed for various jobs and spoke to more and more people, real estate (both residential and commercial) entered into the sphere of possible options for me. A family friend introduced me to a successful mother-daughter team, and I immediately clicked with them.

Since I had never given much thought to becoming a real estate agent previously, I asked them if I could try out working with them for two weeks, and the rest was history. I worked with them for seven and a half years and built the foundation of my knowledge and experience during that time.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

It takes a long time to build your business as a real estate agent. Having been in the business for 10 years now, I have been building my business year over year. This past year, I was ranked in the top 10 producers at my company.

My business is built on repeat clients and referrals so I am now selling properties that I sold to my clients five or more years ago as they trade up. My goal is to continue growing my business and network of clients.

What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate?

There’s no way to predict the markets, and we can never guarantee that our clients are going to make money, but if you advise your clients to hold a property for at least five to seven years, they should, at a minimum, break even.

I take a very conservative and honest approach to selling real estate, which my clients really appreciate. At the end of the day, the decision is ultimately up to my clients.

How did you learn it?

I’ve learned this lesson over the years by watching some clients act more aggressively than others. It’s all about the individuals’ circumstances, and the best thing to do is listen to their needs and make them feel that you have a vested interest in their life situation. You’re on this journey with them!

The outbreak of COVID-19 is a time of uncertainty, unrest and uncharted territory. No one knows what tomorrow will bring, and many buyers and sellers are panicking over their real estate transactions.

I have been working with buyers who have been in contract on a new development for almost a year. The development was supposed to be completed at the end of 2019 and was delayed.

We’re now at the home stretch and ready to close in a week or so, and then the COVID-19 pandemic happened. My buyers are panicked as they both work at companies that could easily close and go out of business during this time. For a moment, they contemplated walking away from their 10 percent contract deposit and leaving a substantial amount of money on the table out of fear.

After giving them some time to think, I called them back and told them that I had given it some thought, and I think it would be shortsighted to walk from the deal and leave so much money on the table.

They have options — they could close and rent out the property to recoup the monthly carrying costs in rental income and rent another less expensive apartment to live in for the time being, or they could close and then immediately list the property for sale.

My clients were so appreciative that I had taken their best interests to heart and came back to them with two thoughtful solutions that put their needs first. The good news is they are proceeding with closing, and they are feeling more comfortable with the situation.

What advice would you give to new agents?

Be honest with clients (and yourself), and be patient. It takes time to build your business and establish credibility, but if you’re honest, helpful and do the right thing, your clients will always remember that. The ability to listen to your clients is one of the most important skills to have in this business.

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  FacebookTwitterInstagram  and YouTube.

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