Want to be a successful real estate agent in NYC? Here's how – New York Post

Thanks for contacting us. We've received your submission.
They’re closing deals, they’re driven to “sell, sell, sell” in an ultra competitive markets.
So how do real estate agents do it?
The short answer: Work, work, work.
The long answer: Below, where you’ll find real estate pros spilling their secrets and hard-earned wisdom.
For many, real estate isn’t a first career out of college.
Whether you want to make realty a second (or third, or eighth) career or dabble into it as a side hustle, it’s doable if you’re willing to slog away at it.
Take Michael Kelley-Bradford, 34, a real estate agent focused mainly on Manhattan.
After graduating from Columbia University with a degree in economics and political science, he worked as a Wall Street trader for nine years in investment firms before moving into real estate just over four years ago.
“My dad was a real estate investor in Michigan, so that sparked my interest many years ago,” said the Brown Harris Stevens agent who climbed to the No. 2 ranking in his office.
Kelley-Bradford was also featured in the Hollywood Reporter as a NYC rising star, but warns that you shouldn’t let the accolades fool you as his “first two years were a grind. Being an agent in NYC long-term is not an easy task. This is not a career where you just open a door and let someone see an apartment,” he said.
“One of the biggest challenges for most agents is getting the business in the door. That is a challenge for any new small business — and that is what you are as an agent. The brokerage firms will support agents, but it’s mostly incumbent on you.”
First, you’ll need to pass a state licensing exam. As Jonathan Ayala, the 40-something founder and CEO of Hudson Condos, a real estate marketing company in Jersey City, NJ, said, the process begins with the completion of the necessary coursework at a state-approved real estate school.
“This typically requires between 60 and 75 hours of instruction, covering contracts, fair housing laws, finance and economics,” said Ayala. After passing, “obtain sponsorship from a brokerage firm that is approved by your local licensing board,” he said.
Figure out if you’ll go it alone as an individual agent or join a team, said Kelley-Bradford. “Regardless, you have to put in the work to start building a solid book of business and that can take a few years,” he said.
Ayala suggested researching different brokerages so that you can make sure that you have access not only to experienced mentors but also the right resources.
Eric Bramlett, a real estate agent and owner of Bramlett Residential, a mid-sized real estate brokerage in Austin, Texas, shared a story about a “spirited man” named Jack from the Upper East Side that he met when he was starting his career.
“He could’ve chosen any leisurely post-retirement activity, but he delved into realty. Jack believed real estate wasn’t merely about properties; it was the stories they harbored,” Bramlett said. “For him, it was the thrill of connecting with people, narrating tales of time-worn homes, and celebrating fresh starts.”
Bramlett thought real estate was a fast track to success after his inaugural sale, but went on to recognize the deeper allure — the excitement of the pursuit and the fulfillment of assisting others in discovering their dream spaces.
“People cherish how you make them feel more than any transaction details,” he said. “Whether you’re selling a mansion or a pen, immerse them in an experience where they feel singular and cherished. In a world bursting with transactions, it’s genuine human connections that stand out.”
Bramlett stressed that aspiring agents shouldn’t just rely on conventional resources like books or podcasts for knowledge.
“Seek out seasoned professionals and spend time understanding their world, because nothing beats first-hand exposure,” he said, elaborating that it’s the blend of hands-on experience and genuine enthusiasm that sets you apart in this cutthroat field.
“Talk to people, especially people you don’t know well,” said Kelley-Bradford. “This is a people’s person game. You won’t get ahead without networking and being out in front of people.”
Hungry agents should go into their office as much as possible and attend networking events. “Be strategic with your networking and your game plan but always be ready to make adjustments if things don’t work after trying them consistently,” said Kelley-Bradford.
He also believes that for someone who is retired and is looking for a new career, real estate can be a great option if you are willing to put in the work. “Just remember, it takes time,” Kelley-Bradford reiterated.
Speaking of networking, did we mention you gotta do it? And it’s not only with potential clients that you want to cross paths.
“Reach out and try connecting with other professionals within your local market — from lenders and appraisers to home inspectors so that when opportunities arise they know who you are (and vice versa),” said Ayala. “This will also give potential clients more confidence knowing that they’re dealing directly with an established professional who has connections throughout their area,” he continued, adding that networking also allows you to access unique resources like exclusive listings.
Above all, Kelley-Bradford calls real estate a numbers game. “You need at least 40 to 50 initial touchpoints with potential buyers and sellers to even have a chance of closing five deals a year,” he said. “If you work with a high-producing seasoned agent that could help, assuming they are fair to you, which isn’t always the case. You have to work your networks hard and build on that.”
Once you start closing deals, one of your best sources of business will be referrals from past clients.
“Social media, of course, helps and creating mailers and promoting yourself to specific buildings can work. It’s helpful to focus on buildings you have done deals in, or you live close to,” he added.
It’s not a walk in the park, but those who succeed love the flexibility and autonomy of being a real estate agent.
“One of the main benefits is having control over your own schedule and income potential,” said Ayala. “As long as you have the drive and dedication needed to succeed, there’s no limit on how much money you can make. Which makes it ideal for those who want flexibility.”


(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)