Kaan Sanalan from Citi Habitats: Always Ask for Advice from Your Managers and Other Successful People

Kaan Sanalan of Citi Habitats
Kaan Sanalan, Citi Habitats

For our newest Expert Interview, we had the pleasure of talking to Kaan Sanalan of Citi Habitats, who was happy to share with us his unique journey to becoming a successful real estate agent.

Kaan Sanalan’s interest in urbanism led him to study Architecture and Real Estate at Syracuse University, moving from Istanbul in 2010. He believes that Architecture and Real Estate go hand in hand and successful projects always come from the fruitful association of these two fields. He also enjoys developing relationships with his clients, to fully understand their lifestyle. This way, he can come up with efficient and unique solutions to help them.

In the future, Kaan plans to build homes using his talent in architecture, development, real estate and, of course, his nice personal touch. Read on to find out more.

Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose a career in real estate.

From childhood I was always interested in real estate and design. I have always believed that the right combination of architecture and urban design creates the most value in successful projects. I graduated from Syracuse University with degrees in Architecture & Real Estate and I practiced as an architect for a while in Manhattan, but I soon realized that I wanted to be more hands-on with my clients and be able to satisfy their real estate objectives firsthand.  With experience in what it actually takes to build a property and its design, I thought I would get more involved in the real estate market. Since then I have joined CitiHabitats and I have also created a team that incorporates both architecture and brokerage. I do enjoy negotiating and bringing the right people together as well.

Q:  What plans do you have for 2018?

I would like to continue evolving my Brokers & Architects project within Citi Habitats.  I’d also like to become fluent in Italian.

Q: What are some of the priorities for home buyers in your market that might not be as important as those in other parts of the region?

Which regions are we actually comparing here?  My clients in Manhattan and Brooklyn are focused on the uniqueness of the property, layouts and of course, return on their investment.

Q: Was there a time during your career where you were unsure about where you were going? How did you combat the uncertainties?

There were two times when I was unsure about where I was going. The second, was about positioning myself in the market, but the first was a life decision, the decision to change industries.  After making such a drastic change, things might not turn out exactly as expected in the beginning and you might ask yourself if you have made the right decision. You must persevere. You have to give it 100% of your attention and put in the work. It is mostly psychological and whenever I need some extra motivation, I always look at my favorite soccer team, Galatasaray.  I am from Turkey and have been a big fan from childhood. Seeing how hard they strive for success inspires me to persevere in those hard times.

Q: What do you think are the keys to your personal success?

I think my background helps me understand the many aspects of real estate and my clients’ perspectives.  I am also very motivated and always try to keep my clients happy and satisfied.

Q: What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

My father always says, “always ask why.”  I think that is really important, so that you always understand that there is motivation behind every decision or action which makes your reaction more educated.  This helps with thinking out of the box in real estate transactions as well.

Q: What sources do you use just to understand the trends in the real estate environment?

Every morning I spend 30 minutes online, reading what is going on with the market.  I check multiple websites including Citi Habitats, The Real Deal, Streeteasy, 6sqft, CurbedNY and NY Times. It’s a great way to get in the mood for the rest of the day in addition to keeping me up to speed with the market’s activities. Plus, learning more about it excites me and I find it motivational.

Q: What are the top three things that separate you from your competition?

  • Attention to detail
  • Homework & reading
  • Architectural & urban design knowledge

Q:  What’s your favorite part about what you do?

I really enjoy the creative marketing aspect of the work.  It allows me to think out of the box and help people in unique ways.

Q: If you could give advice to those who are just starting, what would it be?

When you just start out in real estate it can be very overwhelming.  Training is key! Find a company with excellent training and always ask for advice from your managers and other successful people in the office.  Also, it is essential to prioritize and decide what your focus as an agent is going to be.

Q: Any other insights you’d like to share?

Sure! I have a duplex with gorgeous river views at 2 River Terrace that is coming on the market for $3.6M. Bring your buyers!

About Kaan Sanalan

Kaan is a licensed real estate salesperson for Citi Habitats: a dedicated agent, he has interest in commercial and residential real estate, both rentals and sales. He speaks Turkish and English and is proficient in Italian – this last one because he loves Italian culture and, most of all, its architectural masterpieces and the urbanism of the country. Find out more here.

Interested in being interviewed for our Expert Interview series? Don’t hesitate to contact us at [email protected] to sign up or learn more about this series here.

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