Co-founder and leader of the elite residential real estate team Krantz and Krantz of Halstead Property, Jeff Krantz is the latest expert to share his knowledge in our Expert Interviews series. Through boundless creativity and a “listen first” philosophy, he delivers world-class results for thousands of clients. Blending bottomless creativity with a grounded analytical approach, Jeff guides clients through acquisition, pre-development planning, team assembly, pricing, absorption and ultimately directs the sales process.
Beyond his commitment to professional excellence, Jeff and his wife Kristin serve the community in which they live and support numerous charities in Harlem. Read on to find out more about how he got into the real estate business and get a hint about how he builds successful strategies.
Q: Tell us a little bit about your background and why you chose a career in real estate.
I moved to NYC from Los Angeles in 2001 and the job market was terrible, basically nonexistent. It was the dying days of the classified jobs ads in The New York Times, but I circled one that said, “Start at V.P. level in Sales.” For some reason, no alarm bells sounded, so I showed up and found myself among a few other dreamers who thought that starting at a V.P. level was totally realistic.
I got hired and was promised six-figures if I committed; all I knew was that I was to meet a “senior associate” on the campus of some random university in New Jersey. I met her in the quad, and she handed me a stack of tickets and said, “Congrats on the job. Sell these tickets to students, and you get a $2 bonus for each one you sell.” Turns out I was hired to sell discount tickets to a comedy club. After a humiliating day, I was back to being the V.P. of “being unemployed.”
Meanwhile, a friend of mine had just gotten his license in real estate and said, “Dude, it’s easy. You make tons of money! (again no alarm bells)” I got my license immediately and joined a company that stuck me at a desk, showed me Craigslist, and wished me luck. Turned out it was not easy at all and what my friend didn’t tell me was that his dad was a major developer, who was feeding him clients. I was 24 and still didn’t really know anyone and quickly realized that posting NO FEE ads on Craigslist was not for me. A few months in I received an exclusive rental listing and rather than writing the standard description, I wrote a short story that took place in the home. I was spotted within my office as someone with grit and creative marketing ideas and quickly was asked to assist on listings.
Q: What do you love about this industry?
I love that real estate offers an opportunity to create your own path and is one that can take you in many different directions. I started off as a rental agent, then was hired as an on-site agent for 4 years, and then I parlayed my knowledge into building a team capable of handling large-scale development sites while at the same time servicing buyers and sellers.
Q: What are the most important factors you consider when building your strategy?
Our team shares common core values that we developed over many months of planning and structuring. We developed a mission statement and then 10 supporting core values that help define our approach to business (hint: morality is #1). Also, after reading a book called The E-Myth, Kristin (my wife and partner, also known as “the better Krantz”) and I decided that however we built Krantz and Krantz, it had to be able to scale. A single agent’s business will collapse if something ever happens to them, but we’ve built our team in a way so that everyone is invested and trained to keep the business operating even if one, or both, of us has to step away for a while (due to sickness or some unforeseen life circumstance). Our strategy started with bringing in professionals who were committed to excellence and devoted to the culture of Krantz and Krantz.
Q: How do you expect the needs and desires of home buyers to change over the next ten years or so?
Technology will undoubtedly continue to play a role in the real estate process. However, people will always need experts to put data into context and, moreover, to act as consultants in a very important investment in their lives. Home buyers in the future will continue to rely on experts and those brokers who are experts in micro-markets will be positioned to assist with knowledge you can’t find on the web.
Q: What sources do you use just to understand the trends in the real estate environment?
I rely on boots-on-the-ground experience and feedback from my team coupled with following local and global geopolitical trends (CNBC is a good one).
Q: What’s next for you?
I want to work with developers who share my vision for building “attainable luxury in Manhattan,” sellers who appreciate the creativity and professionalism I bring to the sale process, and buyers who pick up my check-in calls and say, “life is really good, but we need more space!”
Q: If you could give advice to those who are just starting out, what would it be?
Discover your voice and promote yourself in a consistent manner. In other words, don’t try to be a numbers person if what really makes you tick is creating marketing concepts. This business rewards talent in many ways. Just because the agent sitting next to you does it one way, that doesn’t mean it’s THE WAY.
About Jeff Krantz
As a licensed associate broker for Halstead Property, Jeff Krantz conceptualizes and implements strategies for sales and rental developments in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Jeff is married to Kristin Krantz, an onsite sales manager and the other half of the Krantz and Krantz real estate team. Developers enjoy working with his team because they continually challenge themselves to find new ways to achieve success. Find out more about him here.
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