A born and bred New Yorker, Christina Kremidas always had a taste for real estate. In fact, after she graduated college and purchased her first property (a Manhattan studio), the experience was so exhilarating she knew wanted to share that feeling with others. After working in advertising for six years, she finally made the decision to become a real estate agent, and she hasn’t looked back. Now at Douglas Elliman in New York City, she was quickly recognized as the region’s Rookie of the Year.
Elliman Insider sat down with Christina to find out why this New York native chose Elliman to level-up her career, her goals for her sophomore campaign and the advice she’d give any new agent looking to succeed.
You were named Elliman’s Rookie of the Year for New York City. How does that feel?
Christina Kremidas: I am filled with gratitude. To be able to grow my business and receive recognition from a firm as prestigious as Douglas Elliman during a scary and volatile year gives me hope for the future. I am thankful to Douglas Elliman for elevating me as an agent and giving me a strong platform to be seen and achieve greatness.
EI: Tell us a little about your background. Did you always love real estate?
CK: I did always love real estate! It is such an amazing vehicle for building wealth. Real estate also serves such a valuable role in our lives; it is a home, a place where memories are created. From a young age, I intuitively felt comfortable investing my own money in real estate and I’ve always had an infatuation with knowing what was behind every door in New York. I purchased my first piece of real estate as soon as I was able to, shortly after graduating college, and closing on my studio apartment in Manhattan’s Financial District was one of the greatest feelings. Ever since, I’ve wanted to share that feeling with others. Though I spent about 6 years in the advertising industry as a young college grad, real estate always called me, and I am so thankful that I made the switch into the industry when I did.
EI: 2020 was an interesting year for everyone, but especially for a rookie. How did you manage to rise to the top?
CK: I think every entrepreneur had a moment of panic at the beginning of the pandemic, and I was no different. The uncertainty was extremely stressful, and the fact that our industry was shut down for several months didn’t help. I kept reminding myself to do as much as I could with the time I was blessed to have each day. With my extra time at home, I started a project that I had been meaning to get around to: a video and podcast series named ‘Real Estate Investing in New York’ where I share the knowledge I’ve accumulated as a professional in this industry. The show ended up becoming a source of clients and allows me to communicate my credibility, as well as network with thousands of people virtually. I reminded myself that I have what it takes to succeed in even the toughest environment, and I truly believe that maintaining a positive but realistic mindset is the most important first step to succeeding in the face of any challenge.
EI: What motivates you?
CK: One of the greatest scientists of our day, David Sinclair, wonderfully stated, “to live an inconsequential life is worse than death itself.” I feel this every day! It sounds corny, but I believe that touching people’s lives in a positive way is how I can do my part to spread love and make the world a better place. Of course I enjoy making money as I’m sure we all do, but I know that we are here for way bigger reasons than to make lots of money. I want to think that the monetary benefits of success that stand the test of time are mostly correlated to the good that you are doing in the world. This helps me remember to only engage in work that will result in a net positive for all parties involved, and trust in the fact that success naturally follows those who lead with love.
EI: How did Elliman help guide you through the year? Did you have any mentors?
CK: I constantly look to my sales manager, Denise Joseph, to gut-check my ideas and to elevate my voice within the company. I believe that people fail the moment they think they know everything, so I am always seeking knowledge from my manager. When it comes to this past year, on a small scale, Denise’s monthly virtual meetings brought together the agents in our office and helped us stay positive. On a grander scale, as a young person in the cut-throat world of real estate, Denise is often my pulse on what is going on between agencies and how we are moving through an ever-changing industry environment, which helps me adjust my own business strategy. As a member of the Fort Greene Douglas Elliman office, there is a camaraderie among our agents that is so rare in this line of business. When I need support or guidance, I look to the agents in my office first and I am always blown away by the collaboration they bring to the table. It really is incredibly special.
EI: Why did you choose Elliman?
CK: This company holds its agents to the highest professional and ethical standards, which is completely aligned with how I run my business as an agent. Elliman is a huge company, but there is an ideal structure in place that allows agents to elevate themselves and be seen, even early in their careers. There is a reason why Elliman holds the level of prestige that it does. It isn’t marketing claims and empty promises. The tools and resources I have at my disposal at Elliman enable me to work more efficiently and effectively, which is very important to me.
EI: Any advice for new agents?
CK: Believe in yourself. Seek constructive criticism, but always use it as a learning tool to grow and never compromise your values. Don’t adjust your vision based on people’s opinions: negativity shouldn’t hold you back and praise should not make you comfortable. Finally, learn your faults and find partners who excel in the areas where you need improvement.
EI: What are your goals for next year?
CK: I plan to grow my business by intuitively following what I believe to be the right next step each and every day. I know that through my consistent work with new and existing clients, along with the content I produce via my podcast and YouTube shows each day, that I will become the first name that New Yorkers think of when they consider a real estate transaction. To be any bit closer to that goal next year will make me a very happy girl.