“They were the metals-kings of Bolivia,” Larry Kaiser said, pausing for dramatic effect. The Key Ventures founder was referring to the Patiño family who, in 1978, became the first buyers to spend over $1 million on a single-family home in New York City. It was Kaiser who brokered the deal at 834 Fifth Avenue.
Kaiser, who cofounded the brokerage Key Ventures in 1968, is one of the few consistent elements of the city’s ever-changing real estate market. He’s lived through shifting tastes, laws and economic cycles, and still refers to brokerage as “a profession that wraps its arms around you.”
The Real Deal sat down with the industry veteran to discuss how the business has changed during his 50-year career — and how he’s adapted to stay afloat.
“Quite frankly, these days, I don’t understand the difference between a broker and a sales agent — everyone’s a broker,” Kaiser said. “And people don’t specialize anymore. They’ll sell anything and everything.”
To hear from one of the city’s longest-standing brokers, watch the video above.
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