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.
Adrian Noriega has been with CORE only two years, but has quickly become one of our top agents. He is known for his strong client referral business – time and time again, Adrian is able to forge such strong relationships that the majority of his business is from his clients telling their friends they should work with him which is a true formula for success in the real estate industry. Here are his answers to Ten questions:
1) How long have you been selling real estate?
I began my real estate career 13 years ago.
2) How did you get into the business?
I moved to NYC right out of high school to attend college at Marymount Manhattan while attempting to pursue acting. I quickly realized acting wasn’t going to work for me and I was getting a lot out of the marketing courses in my college curriculum. An acquaintance at the time, now friend and former colleague at Elliman, approached me about getting into the real estate business. Given my love for NYC, my intrigue for the real estate industry and my passion for marketing, I thought I’d give it a go. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.
3) You’ve been incredibly successful in a short time, what do you attribute your success to?
I would attribute it to two things: my knowledge of the market, and equally as important, if not more so, my ability to listen to my clients. By fully understanding my clients’ needs – what they like and don’t like – I am able to successfully deliver. It is critical that my clients are always 100% satisfied, and that is the cornerstone for how I run my business. I believe this is largely the reason why my clients remain loyal and consistently refer new business to me.
4) What was your favorite or most challenging deal?
My most challenging deal was helping my client, a Russian investor, buy an entire floor at 15 Broad Street. Interestingly, this building was especially important to her because of a dream she had before even knowing about 15 Broad. She dreamt that she bought into JP Morgan and owned the whole floor. Ironically 15 Broad was the former JP Morgan Chase building, so upon learning this, she was intent on buying in this building. There was only one floor that met all of her needs, but unfortunately one of the apartments on that floor already had a contract out. I knew how important this was to my client, so I had to strategically plan and negotiate with the developer so that she could buy the entire floor. After several meetings, I helped the developer recognize the long-term value of winning my client’s business. Consequently, she purchased the entire floor consisting of multiple units. Since then, I have successfully rented out all of these units for the past seven years, which has resulted in a very happy client and a new stream of incoming business for me, ultimately translating to new clients.
5) Your business is strongly based on referrals. How do you service your clients so they keep recommending you?
As I mentioned earlier, the most important thing one can do is listen to their clients to ensure they are fully satisfied with the service you deliver. But beyond that, it is key that I represent them well and am there for them. Buying or selling a home is a big life decision for many, so I ensure my clients are treated with the utmost care, whether it means hand-holding throughout each step of the process or simply being there to guide them. Each client is different, so I pay close attention to their personalities and their style of doing business to make sure I’m not being too pushy and am being helpful enough that they feel they received superior service. I also make it a point to follow up with each of my clients regularly post-transaction. I want them to do business with me again, so it is important that I maintain an ongoing relationship with each and every one of them. My relationships do not end as soon as the transaction is completed.
6) How do you think social media affects your business? How do you use it?
It is definitely an important component, but it needs to be used properly and in conjunction with other marketing channels. I use it primarily to share interesting articles, to educate my clients and to keep people informed. Twitter seems to be an effective tool because you can reach out to the masses whereas Facebook is limited to your friends and family. I do use both mediums and I definitely see social media marketing becoming increasingly prevalent in the way we do business.
7) What is the one value you admire most in a person?
I realize this may seem like the most obvious and common answer, but for me it definitely would be “integrity”. I have a great deal of reverence for someone who strives to do well by others — treating everyone with respect and dignity — and who practices good ethics in how they conduct business and in how they live their everyday life. I’d like to think that everyone has some level of integrity, but there are some people that you have the pleasure of knowing and working with who emanate the true meaning of the word.
8) What is the most challenging part of your job?
Throughout my career I’ve experienced a few instances where a potential client will engage you, sometimes for a long period of time, and then decide to pull out. When I work with a client, I give it my all, so it can be a little frustrating when, after investing so much time and energy, learning the customer is moving in another direction. Unlike lawyers who collect retainers, NY real estate brokers work pro bono until the transaction is complete. I’ve had to refer potential clients (i.e., new business) to colleagues because I’m too busy with a customer, who then later decides to pull the plug. It can be disenchanting, but it is the nature of the business and you learn to move on.
9) Where do you see the market going in the next year?
I think everyone wants to see the economy get better and we’ve recently begun seeing signs of hope for the housing industry as it gains traction throughout the country. I think Manhattan real estate, in particular, will maintain a steady pace toward recovery. It may be awhile before we see the same thriving market we witnessed six to seven ago when NYC real estate was booming, but based on inventory and current pricing strategies, I think we can only expect a positive outlook for 2013 overall, especially when compared to more recent years.
10) Do you have a question for me (Shaun)?
What are your thoughts on new high rise developments shooting up everywhere throughout Manhattan? Is NYC losing a lot of its history and old world charm, or are these new developments revitalizing certain neighborhoods?
There are definitely some buildings being built that are a great addition to this city; buildings that are being built by developers who have a social conscience and who feel a responsibility to history, design and culture. These are developers that not only focus on the bottom line (which is important), but to how what they are building will stand the testament of time and be a reflection of who we are and how we live years from now. There are others that do not have this conscience, and this is unfortunate on many levels.