What do Real Estate and The Real Housewives of New York have in common? Laurie Cooper.
Elliman Insider sat down with Laurie to ask her why she chose Douglas Elliman, what she loves about New York, and why listening to clients is the most important factor in being a successful agent.
Elliman Insider: What made you choose Douglas Elliman?
LAURIE COOPER: Douglas Elliman is very well-known and has a very successful track record. I’ve interviewed with quite a few brokerage firms over the past few years, but I felt comfortable with Elliman—with their presentation, the people I met who would be handling my business, the people in charge of social media. A large firm appealed to me, especially since I’ve been getting a good amount of press from being on The Real Housewives of New York and Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen. I needed a brokerage that has a really good PR team and I felt I could get that with Douglas Elliman.
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EI: What made you interested in real estate?
LC: My first career was in sales. I would visit all the large department stores in New York City with products that were made overseas, representing manufacturers who wanted to sell their items in the states. These sales experiences taught me two things: one, that I was a born seller, and two, that I really enjoyed selling because it is a people business. It was only natural that I would transition into real estate, where I have come to embrace challenges and apply my negotiation skills to the most difficult deals. After 30+ years of selling, I still like the challenge of making it happen.
EI: How has your knowledge of New York City helped you become a successful real estate agent?
LC: I’m a born and bred New Yorker—I currently live on Madison Avenue, in Carnegie Hill and I grew up in this neighborhood. I like to sell properties that I believe in and I think that Carnegie Hill is a great value; there are big family apartments and long-time local restaurants I like to go to with my friends and family, like Three Guys on Madison Avenue. All the private schools are in this location as well. I also like to venture out to restaurants in SoHo, West Village or Tribeca; downtown is really happening and lots of young buyers want to live there. I’ve been selling downtown for several years now and I enjoy introducing people to all of the exciting neighborhood gems. One of my favorite places is Pastis in the Meatpacking District.
EI: What about New York City captivates you?
LC: This is the greatest city in the world; you can go out at 1:00am and you’ll find a restaurant that’s open. You can easily move from downtown to uptown, and each neighborhood has something different to offer. So much has changed since when I first started out, now there isn’t an area of the city that hasn’t been developed. Everyone saw that the city had a future; look at the way 11th and 12th Avenues have grown—there is no city with a pulse like New York. There’s no “off” season so whatever you’ve lost today, you can recapture tomorrow, that’s the beauty of New York, that’s the beauty of real estate. You don’t have to go away on weekends, you’ve got the best in town right at your fingertips.
EI: What is your favorite part of the real estate process?
LC: It’s all about the journey that ends in finding the right home for my clients. I always make it a pleasant experience, I have a sense of humor and a pleasant outlook. That really goes a long way with clients who are stressed about purchasing. It’s all part of the exciting challenge, turning a stressful experience into a seamless one for people from all over the world. My outlook is what helps me to retain clients over many years; I have clients who call me 20 or 25 years later, asking for me to help them buy or sell.
EI: What advice do you have for those looking to get into real estate?
LC: Don’t talk, listen. Listen to the clients, really see and hear them so that you can ask the right questions. You don’t want to waste anyone’s time by having someone go out of his or her way to look at the wrong thing. You also have to educate your buyers. So many times people say that they only want the East Side, but they may not be able to express their needs. If you listen well, you may realize that you can still show them the West Side because it might offer them exactly what they’re looking for. This is the most expensive purchase they will ever make in their lifetime and you want to give them the best value for their needs.
EI: Now that you’ve already made it on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen and The Real Housewives of New York, do you have any other upcoming TV appearances?
LC: Yes! I’m excited to say that I have TV appearances, future podcast episodes, online interviews and fan appearances coming up. Everything has already been filmed or taped, and I’m looking forward to when they come out. Here’s an episode of Bravo’s podcast The Daily Dish, where I talk about the secrets of New York City real estate. I love being able to connect with my clients through so many different media channels.