Welcome to Ten, CORE founder and CEO Shaun Osher’s rapid-fire interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to find out how this week’s subject deals with being on the hot seat.
I met Natalie Rakowski in 2002 when we did a deal together in the “Dance Building” in Chelsea. Even back then, she was one of the top New Development experts in the city, and a power broker. When I started Core in 2005, I was honored to have her by my side, and we’ve never looked back. She is not only one of the most trustworthy people I know, but one of the most genuine. Here is my interview with my friend…
1) When you were a kid, what did you dream of becoming?
I always wanted to be a documentary filmmaker. I am a Discovery and Travel Channel addict. About ten years ago, I had the opportunity to make a documentary called “Talking Tacheles” about artists who squatted in a bombed out building in (former) East Berlin. The building itself is a character in the story, so it was ideal subject matter combining all of my interests – art, travel, history and real estate!
2) You have created a name for yourself as one of the top people in the city who works with developers. How did you get involved in new development?
When I was 21, My father and I bought an old building in Berlin and renovated it. That was where I learned everything about being a developer. From that moment on, my love affair with real estate began.
3) What’s the most challenging deal you ever closed?
That was the one with the pot belly pig. DON’T ASK! Only in New York.
4) Who is you mentor?
My mentor is my father, Jack Rakowski. He was a Holocaust survivor and taught me by example that every day is an adventure to be treasured and that life is a journey and every new day a gift.
5) What’s your favorite residential building in Manhattan?
It’s a tie between the Dakota and the Plaza, both designed by Henry Janeway Hardenbergh. I have fond memories of going to the Palm Court as a child and writing to Eloise with my niece when I brought her there when she was a child.
6) What do you do to get motivated in the morning?
I have a wonderful family and the best friends in the world plus a job I love. That’s all the motivation I need!
7) What is your favorite book, artist, or movie (and tell me why)?
I love “The Wizard of Oz” because it shows that you can reach your goals with the help of your friends and of course, there’s no place like home. For a really good laugh I like the original “Arthur” (best part is the moose scene).
8) What is your one key to closing a deal?
9) What is one piece of advice you would give to a young person looking to get into the new development brokerage business?
Get out there, hit the pavement, knock on doors, make calls and never give up; persistence is the key.
10) Do you have a question for me?
You are one of the most successful and busiest people I know and you are always calm and collected. What’s your trick?
Being surrounded by the incredible people I have in my life helps me know that I have help when I need it.