Michael Graves is a gentleman…..first and foremost. Beyond that, he is one of the most ambitious and hard working men I have met. He has a thirst for information and his future in the industry is bright.
Shaun: What did you do before going into real estate?
Michael: Well, this could be a convoluted answer! In the months before joining CORE, I tirelessly sought a career in music and completed Masters Degrees at NYU in the subjects of Music Theory and Scoring for Film and Multimedia. I was successful but it was not a career path that could support a family and we had just been blessed with our beautiful twin boys, Roma and Leo. Prior to my aspirations as a composer, I worked in nearly every aspect of the hospitality industry and as an undergraduate studied classical guitar performance.
Shaun: Why did you go into real estate?
Michael: I’m not sure if I got into real estate or if real estate got into me? I fell in love with New York City as a child first visiting the Big Apple as a seven year old. I am totally drawn by the art, music, culture and architecture of this incredible place and have always wanted to be part of it and add to its energy. Now I’m getting to know this city in the most intimate way possible… Through its people and interiors. It is great fun and serious business.
Shaun: Who is your mentor?
Michael: I have so many and I suppose it depends on the subject at hand and the wisdom I am seeking. My most powerful mentor is my wife, who has an inner peace and wisdom well beyond her years. I have certainly gained much knowledge in business from my father who has been a successful hotelier and developer for more than 30 years. I strongly believe that a person is only as smart as those he surrounds himself with. I’m grateful for having many incredibly brilliant and talented people in my life who I am always eager to consult for advice.
Shaun: What is your greatest daily challenge?
Michael: The currency of time and not having enough of it. For my wife. For my kids. For my music.
Shaun: What is the one value you admire most in a person?
Michael: The ability to know what is right and the strength to pursue it fearlessly beyond all obstacles.
Shaun: Name one place you find inspiration?
Michael: A silent Carnegie Hall.
Shaun: What is your favorite book, artist, or movie. Name just one.
Michael: Johann Sebastian Bach
Shaun: Why did you pick that?
Michael: His influence is profound, his craft is genius and his music is transcendental. Melting.
Shaun: How would you like to be remembered?
Michael: As a great father and husband and a man who tried his best.
Shaun: Do you have a question for me?
Michael: You are famous for your smooth accent, honest charm and exceptional business savvy. What are a few attributes you’ve cultivated over the years that may not come natural, but have been essential to your success?
Shaun:Tenacity. This is a business where you get kicked off the horse a lot. You have to dig deep to get back on as soon as possible.