Rachel Sha, Ivy Educated Mathematician, Celebrates 10 Years at Elliman

It turns out being a numbers geek is good for real estate.

10 years ago, Rachel Sha, a graduate of Cornell University’s Masters program in Engineering and crunching numbers in the finance world, met a friend at a party who was looking for help selling a building in Flushing, Queens.

One cold call later she sold the building and a new career took hold.

Ten years later, Rachel, now based out of Elliman’s Port Washington office on Long Island, is celebrating a decade among the firm’s most consistent top performers.

Elliman Insider sat down with Rachel to learn more about her background, how it shapes her approach to clients and the lessons she’s learned in a decade of real estate deals.

Elliman Insider: When did you know that real estate was your calling? ​

Rachel Sha: I was at a holiday party 10 years ago when a realtor friend asked me to help her sell a building in Flushing, Queens. She thought that, because I am Chinese, I might have connections. The property was a tough sell since it was next door to a funeral home. I didn’t have any connections, but the next day I cold called the funeral home and sold the building to them. That was the beginning of my unexpected journey into real estate.

EI: With a decade of real estate experience, what are some lessons you have learned on the job?​

RS: Get to know your clients. Residential real estate is a very personal investment.  Every customer has a unique journey and every home has its own story to tell. Make sure your goals are aligned and only take on what you can deliver.

EI: Do you live by a personal mantra or favorite saying? ​

RS: No gimmick, no fuss, just facts and results.

EI: You have a Masters in Engineering from Cornell University. How does that background help you in real estate? ​

RS: It turns out being a numbers geek is good for real estate.  My first reward was a fruitful conversation with the statistician who designed county’s property tax mathematical model.  Having an analytical background helped me understand value and pricing. The rest is just how to communicate that information with marketing strategy to my clients.

EI: You like to give back to the community philanthropically. Are there any causes you are supporting right now? ​

RS: I am an enthusiastic supporter of the Museum of Chinese in America (MoCA) in NY. As a proud Chinese American, I’m committed to helping this beautiful cultural center and landmark, particularly as it is rebuilding after a fire. My last decade at Douglas Elliman coincided with enormous economic growth in China and surge of Chinese real estate investment in the US.  It’s my civic duty to give back to the community that gave so much to a first generation immigrant like me.

EI: Any advice for new agents? ​

RS: Knowing people will open the doors, but knowing the market and your inventory is what will deliver results. Do your homework and be ready when opportunity knocks.

EI: Where can we find you when you’re not working? ​

RS: When I’m not home with my husband and three children, I am enjoying the best that New York offers.  Nothing beats a day at Metropolitan Museum of Art, Asia Society, Cooper Hewitt or the China Institute.  The perfect day for me will end at the Neue Galerie’s Café Sabarsky with a slice of heavenly apple strudel.

​Contact Rachel for all of your real estate needs today.

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ELLIMAN INSIDER is published by Douglas Elliman Real Estate
© 2020 all rights reserved
Elliman Insider