Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Garr @ Home

Michael has been a staple of the Chelsea condo market for years. He lives in The Chelsea Mercantile, and has sold more apartments in the building than anyone I know. His attention to detail and a dedication to the industry is refreshing (even after all these years)…

Shaun: What did you do before going into real estate?

Michael: Two jobs: Commercial leasing by day then I moonlighted as an actor in commercials, corporate films and small independent films.

Shaun: Why did you go into real estate?

Michael: Commercial real estate is a “do the numbers” type of job and acting wasn’t affording me the life style I wanted. Residential real estate is a much more personalized transaction: one on one advice to owners, giving emotional support in stressful times to buyers and (more…)



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CupCake Mania

Kirk proved to be quite the leader as he played “Captain Kirk” to his very own “Team Enterprise”. Continue reading for some exclusive information on last night’s episode of “Selling New York”!
(more…)



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Thursday, April 21st, 2011

photo

…is a key component of growth.

In order to identify yourself,
You need to recognize your purpose
So it can resonate with your sphere.

The truest brands are those that are honest.

They know their value.
They embrace their culture.
They understand their purpose,
And they project their true identity.

So, look in the mirror.
Objectively and honestly.
And present this to the world.

Your true identity will resonate
And will become your brand.



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Tuesday, April 19th, 2011



I’m pleased to share my next CORE Talks Interviews subject, top New York City developer and builder, Jeffery E. Levine of Levine Builders. Watch as I sit with Levine in his new Brooklyn project, The Edge, to discuss the rapid sales of this successful development. In the episode, we also converse about Levine’s beginnings in construction and real estate, pivotal points of his career path, the focus on green and environmental sustainability in real estate and Levine’s prediction on the next big New York City neighborhood.



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SNY shaun blog

 

This is the first post of our new CORE Talks column, “Selling New York” Epilogue! After each CORE episode, we will be posting follow up info on the latest CORE Selling New York story line. Each epilogue will provide insights and updates on the property and the people you watched in the episode. Our fans will get info on what happened behind the scenes and on what has happened since the cameras stopped rolling.

Follow-up Information:

Michael Graves is one of CORE’s most hardworking and successful agents. Shortly after the episode aired, we received amazing feedback on this episode and had a few questions from our fans. Several viewers noticed that the apartment went from fully furnished to unfurnished – this was a great observation. In order to market the property to its fullest potential and connect with the local community, Michael convinced the seller to release his reliable tenants from their two-year lease. This was a big risk, because the seller was no longer receiving the rental income, so this strategy added a lot of pressure, but was necessary in order to execute the event marketing strategy “12 New Paintings, 1,000 Candles and 88 Keys!” Thankfully, it paid off and Michael’s advice to his seller worked!

As for that gorgeous penthouse with the million dollar views, 100 Jay Street has closed, breaking price per square footage records the building! Michael sold the apartment directly and the lucky new homeowners are now enjoying their dream home, probably anticipating the spending the warmer weather on the best terrace in town.

Behind the Scenes Information:

In reality TV, you have to expect the unexpected! What Michael will probably not want you to know is that the 1,000 candles that were lit unexpectedly set off the building’s fire alarm during the event! The cameras had to stop rolling and the Brooklyn fire department showed up, but at least it wasn’t a boring party!

The pianist that you didn’t get to see much of during the episode gave an amazing performance, but Alexandre Moutouzkine is also dear friend of Michael’s. Chicago-based Artist, Michael Popilek created twelve extraordinary paintings in a series called “BIG HAIR”. The artwork was painted, packed and shipped across country then unpacked and hung throughout the apartment with custom shelving which was installed over a staggering 14-day period. Five of the twelve paintings have already sold!



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Friday, April 15th, 2011

Doug Bowen

I met Doug Bowen about ten years ago, when I worked alongside him as a broker. His enthusiasm for the business is contagious. He is a deep thinker, a man with integrity and is always willing to lend a hand. I am fortunate that he joined CORE more than four years ago and is now an integral part of our company.

1. SHAUN: What did you do before going into real estate?
DOUG: I was a union set builder for 13 years where I worked on 40+ motion pictures, various TV shows and commercials, but mostly movies. I worked in ten different states and even out of the country. I was in Mexico for over a year on the Titanic set, where I was a construction foreman. For me it was like a paid Peace Corps mission; I created my own role as a kind of field general for between 30 and 70 Mexicans who came from the Sindicato (the Mexican film union) in Mexico City in groups with names like Las Estrellas (The Stars). Each group had a jefe ( chief ), a segundo(a foreman ) and the rest of the capinteros. I learned their language and, in turn, their respect. What they taught me is more than I could have ever imagined. I cried like a baby saying goodbye.
2.SHAUN: Why did you go into real estate?
DOUG: In 1999, I purchased my first brownstone in Brooklyn and then another a couple of years later. As a landlord and an investor I witnessed firsthand the potential of real estate. Back in ‘99, I was general contracting a 2,500-square foot loft renovation on Great Jones Street and a lifelong friend, who knew that I had been feeling constrained by union labor, told me that he thought that I would make a great real estate broker. I found myself taking the practical steps to consider this life change and my actions tell the rest of the story.
3.SHAUN: Who is your mentor?
DOUG: I will forever be a student of life and I have had many mentors. My Mom’s recent passing created a new intimacy between my two brothers and my father and I that I consider a gift. These men have mentored me through much and I am humbled, grateful and a better person as a result.
4.SHAUN: What is your greatest daily challenge?
DOUG: Time management.
5.SHAUN: What is the one value you admire most in a person?
DOUG:Personal conduct. The way we conduct ourselves with all the people we meet in the course of our daily lives is a responsibility. And there is always room for improvement.
6.SHAUN: Name one place you find inspiration?
DOUG: The Noguchi Museum in Long Island City. This magical place has one of the oldest Japanese Gardens in New York. It is a lovingly cared for meditation on the life a great artist, landscape architect, thinker and doer.
7.SHAUN: What is your favorite book, artist or movie? Name just one.
DOUG: Seeing is Forgetting the Name of the Thing One Sees, The Life of Contemporary Artist Robert Irwin.
8.SHAUN: What makes you choose that?
DOUG:I am reading this book for the third time. For me, this is a book about perception and being truly in the moment with your life. For many years, Irwin did not allow people to photograph his work. After much success, he rejected the studio environment and his subsequent work transforming space as his medium is a oner.
9.SHAUN: How would you like to be remembered?
DOUG: As hardworking and a decent friend.
10.SHAUN: Do you have a question for me?
DOUG: Where do you find stillness in your life?
SHAUN: I find stillness with my daughters in my arms, asleep.


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Thursday, April 14th, 2011

photo

Is an incredibly powerful motivator.
And I thank everyone who has given it to me.
Unconditionally.

A short story:

Almost six years ago, I sat on a rooftop garden on Fifth Avenue, and shared a drink with Nick Bienstock and Chris Schlank from Savanna Partners. They had recently gone into contract for 141 Fifth Avenue and were proceeding with the conversion of this magnificent building. CORE was a young company. A new company, with no history or track record. And as we sat there, I asked them to entrust us with the marketing and sales of their project. They obliged, and last week, after a journey together, we closed on the final unit. I thank Nick and Chris (and the rest of their team) for their trust in our ability and I hope to return the favor one day. I trusted in their abilities as developers, and they delivered. This building will be a special home to a number of people who will hopefully realize their dreams.

When someone believes in you
It empowers you.
It feeds the human spirit.
And when it is mutual -
It is the foundation that can support the remarkable.

And that is priceless.



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Monday, April 11th, 2011

Shaun Blog Pic 4.11

Doesn’t work for me.
Because it’s just …”there”.

It co-exists with all the other

“fine things” we are surrounded by.

It doesn’t inspire.

It doesn’t initiate positive change.

It doesn’t invent.

It is soulless -

It doesn’t prompt innovation.

It doesn’t create.

It doesn’t ignite passion.

Being remarkable…

(on the other hand)

Does work for me.

Because it is difficult to achieve.

And it makes me tremble.

We get one opportunity -

And it is a short one.

So, why not embrace it with open arms?

To grow, to push boundaries -

And evolve…?



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Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Shaun blog post 4.10

Today, I went for a long ride.
And it got me thinking… that…
Time is our only constant-
But the way we perceive it, is not.
Apparently, Einstein thought of the theory of relativity while riding on his bicycle.

If you travel one hundred miles
At the same speed,
Under the same conditions,
You should arrive at your destination at the same time.
But, in our perception of time,
It can pass swiftly,
Or, it can pass slowly.

When my goal is steadfast
(for every inch of 100 miles),
And my focus and intent clear…
It passes quickly.
When my thoughts are scattered,
And my destination misdirected …
It passes very slowly.

Is it your desire to reach your destination in the shortest amount of time?

Or to enjoy the process by perceptively staying focussed on the prize-
thereby allowing the perception of time to be malleable?



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Friday, April 8th, 2011

Shaun Blog Nancy Whitehurst

….has been working with me for over a year now, and  CORE (and I) are incredibly fortunate to have her. We are a better place because of her. She is our Executive Director of Operations, and has skill and talent well beyond her years. Personally, she is one of the most supportive, trustworthy, and dedicated people I have met – ever. She has taught me many things through her unique thought process and attention to detail.  A rare individual indeed, and she’s Fancy as well!

1. SHAUN: What did you do before joining CORE?
NANCY: I began my career in strategic/corporate communications at a boutique firm in New York, working with Fortune 100 clients across all industries on a diverse array of projects. I found it fascinating to peek inside some of the largest and most respected businesses and meet the people who were a part of them. I learned what made them tick and why, and what their challenges were and how they maneuvered through those challenges. I then moved to Los Angeles to pursue my dream of owning a flower shop and serendipitously became a part of a team producing some of the most innovative and creative floral designs and events in the industry. The shop itself was a space of timeless beauty which was curated largely through curiosity. I enjoyed some of my most inspiring and rewarding years working with an amazingly talented team led by a true dreamer. I find inspiration and satisfaction in harmony – no matter if it is in business, a beautiful floral arrangement, music or in life – I find I am constantly examining what works and what doesn’t to find those tweaks or adjustments that will lead to the creation of those precious moments of harmony.
2.SHAUN: Why did you join CORE?
NANCY: The literal answer is that my New Year’s resolution for 2010 was to say yes to any opportunity that life presented to me and trust that it would all unfold wonderfully – perhaps in a more beautiful way than if I had planned it. You called in February. Lucky me – thank you universe! And it felt right – CORE has all of the aspects of a business that excite me. CORE is a growing, innovative, entrepreneurial business enveloped by and exuding creativity and inspiration with a talented, dedicated team led by a visionary who is, most importantly, an exceptional human being. Needless to say, I am very fortunate to be a part of it.
3.SHAUN: Who is your mentor in life?
NANCY: Those who choose to see life through rose-colored glasses – who seek out laughter and the good stuff. I purposely say “choose” as it is a choice we each have every day and I am in wonder of those to whom it seems as though it has become as natural as breathing. I am fortunate to meet these people daily – even more fortunate when I am present and realize it – and am blessed to have a couple in particular in my life who have inspired me throughout the years, sometimes even lending me their glasses.
4.SHAUN: What is your greatest daily challenge?
NANCY: Not over thinking things, but instead trusting my gut. It can be a fine line between strategic thinking and paralysis by analysis.
5.SHAUN: What is the one value you admire most in a person?
NANCY: Sincerity in all aspects – especially in living one’s life authentically. To be in the presence of someone who is fully aware of who they are and committed to being completely honest and present in that – that is truly magnificent…it is remarkable.
6.SHAUN: Name one place you find inspiration?
NANCY: Any where I see flowers.
7.SHAUN: What is your favorite book, artist or movie? Name just one.
NANCY: “Three Cups of Tea“, by Greg Mortenson.
8.SHAUN: Why did you pick that?
NANCY: Greg Mortenson is an exceptional man promoting peace through education. He is a man who, instead of focusing on his failed attempt at climbing Pakistan’s K2 (the world’s second highest mountain), listened to a group of children he met while he was recovering in a small village there, made a promise to build a school and let life unfold in keeping that promise. Through his incredible perseverance, he has built almost two hundred schools in remote and often volatile regions of Pakistan and Afghanistan providing education so far to 68,000 children, 54,000 of which are girls. He has maneuvered through his journey with grace and by gut…he is truly a hero to me.
9.SHAUN: How would you like to be remembered?
NANCY: Smiling.
10.SHAUN: Do you have a question for me?
NANCY: What does happiness look like to you?
SHAUN: A sunset over the African bush, where the sky is deep blue, the earth dark red, and the animals, birds, and plants all know their place and purpose……. and live together harmoniously.


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