On the call with Lisa Lippman: The recipe for success

How to build and maintain a reputation in real estate

(NEW YORK , NY) — Lisa Lippman has been named the top broker of 2018 at Brown Harris Stevens for the third year in a row.

With 22 years of experience in the industry, Lisa is consistently named among the country’s top 20 in terms of transaction volume. She is known for selling iconic properties and currently represents listings including 21 East 61st Street and 505 West 19th Street. She specializes in the buying and selling of luxury condominiums, cooperatives, and townhouses across Manhattan.

But what is truly intriguing about Lisa is her ability to move inventory through all market conditions. I had the pleasure of speaking with her about her strategy to success and how her story in real estate began.

Tell me a bit about yourself and how you got into real estate.

Prior to becoming a real estate broker, I practiced law for several years. Once I had children, I took time off from work. When I bought my first apartment I was intrigued with the process and decided to practice real estate part-time. The rest is history. I spent some time at Corcoran where I was consistently named in the top 25. Then in 2005, I began at Brown Harris Stevens.

Having a law degree has been very beneficial for my business. I am able to understand the details of contracts which helps me build trust with clients.  

We are now over a month into 2019, can you discuss the overall state of the market?

I believe that we have bottomed out here in New York City, but we are firming up and will get better soon.

The market is not impossible to navigate. I closed  four deals in the month of January, I haven’t done that in a while. And while we are on the verge of getting stronger,  it’s important to understand that prices aren’t going to come up right away. The real estate market in New York has gotten busier over the past few weeks because sellers are being more realistic. If properties are priced right, buyers will bite. When one deal happens, more deals follow. But for deals to happen, buyers and sellers are starting to see eye to eye.

What is your strategy?

I try to stay ahead of the market. I do most of my showings by myself so I am able to get a good sense of how buyers are feeling. After a few weeks of listing a property, I am able to tell if the price is right or not. If something is on the market and nobody calls, I know the price is too high. It’s all a matter of trial and error. Being proactive is the key to success. When I see a listing isn’t busy, I contact the seller right away. I stay honest with my clients because keeping their trust is crucial to a smooth process.

What tools do you find most effective?

I send emails and brochures to prospective clients nationally and internationally. I take advantage of all the tools Brown Harris Stevens offers.

Internet presence is also important. When someone is looking for a property, they are likely to do their own research online. 

How do you create high-profile connections and how do you maintain them?

I started in this industry 22 years ago, so most of my clients come through referrals. Some clients that have bought their first apartment from me years ago reach out to me when they are ready to move again. After I sell an apartment, I keep in contact with the client. I send them nice gifts, a holiday card, etc. If I see something that reminds me of them I may shoot them a text or an email. Staying connected with my clients is how I do business.

How do you stay organized?

I am very good at multitasking. I rely heavily on a calendar. I also have an amazing associate Victoria who helps me keep track of things, which is crucial in my line of work. I enjoy being organized because I enjoy being busy.  

I have had the same driver for 12 years which is also an important element to my success. When I get into the car I don’t need to worry about directions or where to park. I can spend my travel time answering calls and emails which keeps me ahead of the game.

How do you prepare for closings, meetings, open houses, etc.?

I make sure to learn everything about the building and neighborhood I’m working in. I spend my time doing research. Nowadays you can look everything up on your phone, but that’s not enough. I need to travel to the area.  I need to understand the building and the neighborhood. Anyone can do research on their phone, it’s the ability to show up and the willingness to learn that makes me so successful.

Advice to brokers?

  1. Know the market you are working in.
  2. You have to read real estate every night.
  3. Start your work with a big company that has training programs. The best way to learn is to be mentored by others.
  4. Be kind to your colleagues, good things come back to good people.
  5. Work smarter. Don’t rely on StreetEasy. People don’t hire me because I can read an app, people hire me because of my in-depth knowledge of the city.

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