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How this AREC 2019 speaker built the biggest property business in NYC

11 April 2019 Tim Neary

AREC 2019 speaker, Barbara Corcoran, went from being a waitress at age 23 to building New York City’s biggest real estate company 25 years later.

Ms Corcoran says her credits include straight D’s in high school and 20 different jobs before the waitressing one by the time she turned 23.

But she says it was her next job that would see her become one of the most important entrepreneurs in America.

She borrowed $1,000, quit the waitressing gig, bought a tiny real estate agency in Manhattan and built a $5 billion real estate business.


Today, Ms Corcoran says her mother was her secret sauce.

“She was the perfect role model for how to build a happy team and keep everyone motivated, remembers Ms Corcoran.

“My mum raised 10 kids in a two-bedroom flat and we were the happiest family in town. We all learned how she quickly sized people up, doggedly worked through obstacles and kept everything on track. That was my early MBA on how to build a successful business.”

She says some clear trends are showing themselves in the New York market, not dissimilar to those in some key Aussie markets.

“New York City sellers have had to lower their expectations and adjust their pricing over the last year to make buyers confident enough to put in an offer,” Ms Corcoran says.

“Most buyers are experiencing a drop in prices. This can be seen in the smaller studio, one- and two-bedroom units and even more so in the super luxury condominium units in town.

“Ill-timed state legislation has mandated that foreign buyers must pay additional costs on closing of a new unit. This will dampen the already tentative attitude of the would-be luxury buyer.”

Ms Corcoran is the author of Shark Tales: How I turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business! and host of business podcast Business Unusual with Barbara Corcoran.

She is a frequent small business and real estate contributor.

How this AREC 2019 speaker built the biggest property business in NYC
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