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Ten: Lee Frankel Talks Real Estate, Travel and Inspiration

Agents // Feb 25, 2014

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 in the hot seat.

One of CORE’s most lovable and knowledgeable brokers, Lee Frankel‘s unconventional career path led him to the exciting and ever-evolving field of real estate. A lover of all things New York, Lee’s thoughtful approach to real estate transactions has contributed to his success and growth here at CORE. Here are Lee’s answers to Ten questions:

1. What did you do before you pursued a career in real estate? Lee
I am a glass artist and for 10 years prior to my becoming a broker, I was privileged to have studied and worked at the Corning Museum of Glass in Corning, New York, as well as in Venice, Italy. Prior to that, I was in the commercial printing and advertising business. We specialized in printing and packaging for the music and publishing industries.

2. What has been the highlight of your career?
Within a five-week time period, I received three phone calls from three different people that I had met years prior but never did business with. They all remembered me, kept my contact information and called me to say that they were having difficult times closing deals on properties they were interested in purchasing and wanted to inquire about us working together. Of course, I was flattered to be remembered in such a positive light and gladly accepted the opportunity. I am happy to say that I closed all three of those deals and the satisfaction of accomplishment is truly among my most gratifying real estate experiences to date.

3. What is your greatest daily challenge?
Making today more productive and successful than yesterday. Being able to say that I contributed to and added value in the world instead of just taking from it.

4. Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Still being involved in the real estate industry, helping to match buyers with their dream homes!

5. Where do you find inspiration?
Inspiration is all around me and I never know when I will have an “aha moment” or what person, place or event will be responsible for it. It’s amazing how much clarity I find when I least expect it.

6. Name one thing we might not know about you.
I modeled in a fashion show in Paris, France in 1979.

7. What’s your favorite movie or book?
My favorite book is Call the Briefing written by Marlin Fitzwater. The original Poseidon Adventure (1972), was my first favorite movie. There have been many since but I’ll always remember the look on Leslie Nielsen’s face as the massive wave headed towards the ship.

8. What do you do in your free time?
I love to travel and have done so extensively throughout the U.S., Europe, Australia, New Zealand, the Fiji Islands, Scandinavia and South America. Indonesia and Morocco, however, were two of the most enchanting places I’ve ever been to.

9. What is your favorite restaurant?
That’s a tough one. I need to name at least two, both located in Brooklyn. The original Peter Luger steakhouse just can’t be beat. I’ve had lots of steaks in lots of restaurants all over the world and still feel that Luger does it best! From the food to the atmosphere, no place comes close. My other favorite is an Italian restaurant in Bensonhurst called La Palina. It is now being run by the third generation of the founding family and even though I’ve eaten in more Italian restaurants in more places than I can begin to count, no place makes my mouth water more than La Palina. Most definitely worth the trip to Brooklyn.

10. Tell me something about your home.
I live on the Upper East Side with my wife Leigh Ann, dog Roger and our famous African Grey parrot, Franklin (Google the phrase “$10,000 parrot” to read why he’s “famous”). Our home is the perfect retreat, entertainment space and most wonderful place to come home to and I thank my lucky stars every day that I get to call it home. We live on the 37th floor, and even after 18 years, I still marvel at the amazing views, ever-changing light and vistas. I guess that’s the real estate guy in me talking.

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