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Fredrik's Advice (and Apology) to Luis
Fredrik says why he took Luis under his wing, the lesson he was hoping to teach, and what he ended up learning.
OK, OK, OK, OK, OK!!! So much to discuss! So many opinions! So much green tea!!!
Before you judge me, or Luis for that matter, I want to try to explain something important about filming a reality show. It is like going to bed with the devil. Why? Because you get fame, your business explodes and it is fun, BUT you also get to see down deep into your own ugliness. A reality show is like a mirror of who you are, and it is not always easy to watch yourself.
I hate myself for throwing that green tea over Luis. It doesn't matter that he didn't listen to my advice, nor that he went against it, that I sold the apartment at full ask and all cash despite his low ball offer and smoky flapper party (which I paid for in the end). It doesn't matter that he was swearing and was aggressive to me on the roof top. I shouldn't have thrown the green tea over him. Period. I am twice his size, probably twice his age, and have sold a million more apartments than him. It was wrong of me and there is no excuse.
Thank god for Derek. I kind of knew it was wrong of me, but I did it in the heat of the moment, and I snapped in defense when Luis jumped on me. But it is still not OK, and Derek made me realize exactly that and why I need to apologize to Luis. I don't want to have any enemies. The city is too small. The brokerage community is too small. It is not who Fredrik is, not the Fredrik that Derek loves. And I do like Luis. I always liked him. Remember: I never NEEDED his help. It was never about that. I truly wanted to work with him -- that is why I invited him to work with me. I took him under my wings and tried to make it work. I like his energy and I like his passion. He just has a little too much energy and a little too much passion sometimes for his own good.
I am going to try to apologize to Luis. To be continued. . .
111 Mercer is an exciting project because I am more hands-on than ever. I pick out my own finishes and put everything on-the-line by promising the developer sky-rocketing high and record prices. It is a risky strategy, but I like risk when the reward is huge. This developer owns 15 buildings in Soho, and I am not driven by the commission checks (truly, I am not), but driven to set records and get everyone in the industry talking.
In the short 11 years I have been doing real estate in New York City I have become the go-to guy for new development. 95 percent of all real estate agents, even those with larger teams, never get to work on their own new development projects unfortunately. I think it's because no one ever explained to them just how rewarding new development can be.
New development is CREATIVE, as this episode shows. You get to be a TEAM with the architect and DESIGN the apartments, put your own stamp on them, and be proud of the result.
All super agents focus on new development, with no exceptions, and we are all kicking and clawing over the big projects. Last year 80 percent of my income came from selling new development. How?
The theory is that it takes the same amount of time to pitch to a seller of one apartment as it takes to pitch and win a new development of let's say 100 apartments. On the other hand, the lead times are much longer and it can take up to two years to create a great product with the architect and the developer even before the start of sales, and then another two years for the building to close and people move in (which is when we agents get paid). But once the project is closed out, you are paid on 100 apartments.
My first project was The Onyx Chelsea on 28th Street and 8th Ave in New York and I won it after three years in the business with help from my broker at the time. I was so excited -- and scared. What did I know of designing a kitchen and a bathroom? Of maximizing light and air? Of programming an entire 12 story building with just the right mix of 52 units, the right apartment sizes and knowing what makes efficient one, two, and three bedroom apartments, with the ideal number of fixtures in the bathroom and where to place the walk-in closets, etc.? And then creating a brand for the building, identifying the ideal buyer long before the concrete structure had come up, and commission the work to build a website, build-out an off-site sales office, design a sales brochure, and lastly price the building and sell the sucker out -- at prices that not only would make the developer happy, but build respect in the industry and garner press -- with the special challenges of financing and appraisals that come with new development???
Well, there was a poster in my parent's bedroom in the suburbs of Stockholm when I grew up that I thought of a lot during that project. A duck is calmly swimming with his head high in the air. He is calm, almost smiling (can ducks smile?), but underneath the surface the duck is paddling like crazy. This is what I was trying to teach Luis, to help him to try to get into his first new development. Be calm, while you don't let anyone see how inexperienced you are and over time you will learn. Paddle like crazy, just do it under the table and don't let the developer see it while you watch the bigger broker teach you.
Hugs to all my high-kickers out there! And if no one told you today they love you, I do.