For many agents starting out in real estate, helping clients buy, sell and rent properties often begins as a part-time gig before growing into a full-fledged career.
For New York City-based agent Randall Dolland, real estate is the primary occupation—but his second job is no mere side hustle.
In August 2022, he was named Chairman of the Tourism Authority for Grenada, the Caribbean island-nation where he was born, started his career in hospitality and recently helped a new governing party to win election.
“If you would’ve told me a year earlier that this is how things would turn out, I would’ve told you there’s no feasible way of that actually happening,” Dolland said of the turn of events that began when he pledged to support who had joined Grenada’s opposition party in hopes of unseating the incumbents.
But having worked for one of Grenada’s premier hotels before transitioning to real estate in NYC, where he has established himself as a leader in Harlem’s townhouse market and new developments in Manhattan, Dolland has both the background in hospitality and the marketing chops to serve as the primary pitchman for his home country’s tourism industry.
“Imagine the quintessential, authentic Caribbean destination but not overdeveloped,” he said. “You get the beaches for yourself; everything is close; there are no skyscrapers—and it’s more off the beaten path, so it’ll give you bragging rights among your friends.”
Moving abroad certainly helped to deepen Dolland’s affection for Grenada. After first coming to the U.S. to attend Stony Brook University, on Long Island, where he earned a B.S. in business administration, he returned home to work as a senior manager of sales and marketing for a full-service hotel on Grenada’s Grand Anse Beach. When the desire to explore new challenges led him back to the States, he returned to New York and discovered a passion for real estate while attending his first open house in Harlem.
“I had no idea what a townhouse was,” he recalled. “As I walked in, I was smitten by the fact that you could have so much to live in—backyard space, multiple levels, a rooftop deck. The price points at the time were under $2.5 million, and you’re only about 15 minutes by train from Time Square! So, I decided that’s what I want to pursue: I want to sell townhouses.”
A year later, Dolland won a listing two doors down from that first townhome and launched his career. Joining a small team of agents in 2016, he volunteered to cover the weekend open houses, where he was able to cultivate a number of clients from the Upper West Side and other residential communities who were looking for more space.
After building his business of the next several years, Dolland began looking for opportunities to accelerate his growth with “more experience and a bigger brand behind [him],” and so joined Douglas Elliman in 2018.
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Working out of the firm’s Upper West Side office at 1995 Broadway, Dolland has been able to expand into new development properties. And after years of focusing on selling townhomes in Harlem, he now sees exciting upside on the buyside for home hunters looking for a wealth of space in an underappreciated Manhattan market.
And while the demands of his statutory work on behalf of Grenada are considerable, Dolland regards them as complementary to his work in real estate.
“It’s a challenge to balance both worlds,” he acknowledged. “But at the same time, it’s a privilege to be able to have multiple passions and to go after them. I wanted to be in real estate, and so I came to the U.S. and did it. And because I love Grenada and wanted to serve my country, now I have the opportunity to do that, as well.”
What connects them, he added, is a natural instinct for hospitality and service.
“Providing personal service comes naturally to me, so it doesn’t feel like a sacrifice,” he said. “It’s just in my DNA.”