Karma is a Boomerang
"Let's face it, there are so many brokers in the industry right now, and the ones that are successful are adaptable to different markets — they can recognize when the market has shifted and they can shift with it."
As a highly adaptable broker with an encyclopedic knowledge of Manhattan real estate, Matthew Mackay doesn't believe in single deals, but in cultivating lifelong clients. A New York native and 25-year resident of New York City, Matthew first became interested in real estate when looking for his first apartment in the city. He envied his broker's ability to run her own business and shape her future. Years later, after a stint in mortgage banking, Matthew returned to the idea of becoming a broker and hasn't looked back since. That was 18 years — and more than $700 million in closed transactions — ago.
If Matthew has a motto in business, it's "karma is a boomerang." Or, as he explains, "I believe in what you put out there comes back to you. I've always believed that everything always works out in the end, if you put in the work." That belief has made him a confident, adaptable broker who's adept at riding the waves of the ever-changing New York real estate market. "Let's face it, there are so many brokers in the industry right now, and the ones that are successful are adaptable to different markets — they can recognize when the market has shifted and they can shift with it," he says. "I've always done well in both buyers' and sellers' markets, and I firmly believe that's because I treat everybody with respect and because I have the patience to put the right energy and hard work into a deal."
His 2009 Corcoran Deal of the Year award is a shining example of that can-do spirit and faith in the face of seemingly insurmountable obstacles. "I sold a $37 million apartment at 15 CPW in the midst of the financial meltdown. It took over a year for the deal to close because of the very challenging circumstances, but I persevered. I knew that if the buyer wanted the apartment, which he did, that eventually, everything would work out. I'm certainly not saying it didn’t take a lot of work to make it happen, but it happened."
While Matthew may be a bit more laidback than your stereotypical broker, that's not to say he lacks tenacity. Far from it. "I have an approach that's not overbearing, but as soon as I know a client wants something, I'll do everything in my power to make it happen. That's when I go into my aggressive mode. That's when I focus on keeping things moving along, including, quite often, doing things that are not technically my job. But, in my mind, whatever gets you closer to completion is my job. Period."
In addition to an enthusiasm for hard work and overcoming challenges, Matthew is passionate about seeing potential that others might overlook. "I love seeing spaces that need work — imagining the possibilities and pointing those possibilities out to a client that wouldn't necessarily see them at first glance." That ability to spot a diamond in the rough is demonstrated in his personal real estate endeavors as well. Matthew purchased a 1910 Sag Harbor farmhouse and is in full swing in restoring and renovating the home. Not only did he spot the potential in a house that sat untouched for two years in a hot market, but he also took note of the little things the seller and broker did wrong in marketing the property — that's the value and foresight that Matthew brings to his clients. "Whenever I go in to pitch a listing, I always advise clients how to get the most value. I'm not scared to tell people that we need to roll up our sleeves and do some work to get a home on the market properly. Quite often I manage that process for my clients."
In fact, Matthew just recently sold an investment property the California-based sellers hadn't seen in 15 years. "It need to be renovated. It needed a lot of sprucing up. I coordinated all of that and took care of the staging. I worked on the listing for over two months before it even came on the market, but I really, truly enjoyed it. The apartment ultimately sold in three days well over the asking price. The sellers were amazingly appreciative and thrilled at the unexpected sales price."
This full-service, hands-on mindset speaks to Matthew's approach to every client engagement. Working nearly exclusively by referral, he considers every single recommendation to be a great honor. "I'm absolutely passionate about fulfilling my client's needs. I don't look at anything as one deal — I look at every referral as the opportunity to cultivate a client for life."
While embracing hard work, remaining adaptable and devoting himself to peerless client service have driven his real estate success, he also has a secret weapon —a freakishly photographic memory when it comes to addresses and deals. Mention practically any building in the city, and Matthew can supply the address and transactions of note. "For the most part, I remember every deal I've ever done — the address, the apartment number and the closing price," he says.
More than a mere party trick, this building-by-building knowledge of the city is invaluable when working with buyers or setting sales prices. "I can easily compare listings, from memory, to similar buildings and comparable units. Because, ultimately, every building in New York is its own little market."