Ari Harkov, licensed real estate associate broker at Halstead Property and expert contributor for the New York Daily News is our latest expert of the series to kindly share some of his expertise with us. From semi-professional opera singer to renowned real estate agent, Ari values honesty and is always thoughtful in his approach with clients, putting their needs first.
Despite all the shifts technology has brought to the real estate industry, Ari believes the fundamentals of the business will remain the same in the future. Acknowledging that tools like VR are becoming more and more popular, he remains curious about how much this will impact future home owners and how they visit properties.
Read on to find out more about what makes a successful broker tick, how to keep an edge on the market and what advice Ari has for those starting off their career.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose a career in real estate.
Before real estate, I was a semi-professional opera singer with a bachelor’s in art history. When I decided to leave the music business, I was looking for something that would allow me to remain my own boss, not be tied to a desk and be able to interact with people as well as utilize my interest in art and design. I decided to get a broker’s license figuring that there was no downside to having it and that’s how it all started.
Q: What approach do you have when working with clients?
Our approach is always long-term, putting the clients’ needs first. We are honest, thoughtful in our approach to the data and challenges that come with every transaction and focused on the relationship and future with the client. This has served us well.
Q: Which technical aspects of real estate purchases or sales processes seem to be the most confusing for your clients?
I’d say the biggest challenge for many buyers and sellers right now is how to understand, manage, and interpret all the data available to them. Over the years, past buyers and sellers had access to much less information. Now, they have a ton of information, but don’t know how to interpret it as they are not experts. It can be overwhelming.
Q: What do you think is the “next big thing” – or what should we all keep an eye out for?
VR is obviously on its way and will potentially change the way we “visit” properties. I still wonder whether it will truly replace the need to physically visit a home, or whether buyers will end up still wanting to visit the home they purchase, and it may just cut down on some of their searching.
Q: What traits and skills do you think are necessary to be able to succeed in this industry?
Perseverance, optimism, people skills, organizational skills and the ability to weather rejection. The last one is perhaps the most important.
Q: What do you think the real estate industry will look like in 5 or 10 years’ time?
I think it will actually be surprisingly similar. With the technology that has come to real estate in the last 10 years, the industry has shifted somewhat, but the fundamentals have remained, which is obviously not the case for other industries (textbook example: Uber). The way people buy may shift, the way transactions happen may streamline, but fundamentally I think the business will remain very similar.
Q: What are some of the things you do to keep yourself interested, updated and inspired?
I read the Real Deal and Curbed every day and I visit sales offices for new projects whenever I can, to stay abreast of new inventory. I love working with buyers and it keeps me sharp on resale and new development inventory. I love what I do so I am (almost) always interested and inspired!
Q: What sources do you use just to understand the trends in the real estate environment?
I use my own sales and my team at this point. We are covering a lot of ground and we have a great handle on what is happening in the market. If we don’t know the answer to a particular question or need more insider information on a submarket, we’ll lean on a colleague who has a specialty there.
Q: What plans do you have for 2018?
Keep building and growing our business, particularly in the new development sector.
Q: What would you recommend to beginners in the industry?
Create a plan to generate new business and to learn the business. Figure out how you’re going to get from A to B and know when you need the help of someone more senior, whether via a manager, mentor, or team.
Q: Any other insights you’d like to share?
Have fun, love what you do, and maintain a work / life balance! Life is short, and your career is only one component and not the most important by any stretch, even though it may take up the most time.
About Ari Harkov
Ari has developed a strong and enviable reputation in the real estate industry. As a result of his hard work and dedication at Halstead Property, Ari became one of the fastest rising agents ever. He is also an expert contributor for the Daily News with his own regular column on market trends and insights and he offers his clients a rare degree of negotiation skills, market knowledge, customer service, and sophisticated pricing and valuation expertise. Find out more here.