The Real Deal New York

What I Did for the Gig: Adelaide Polsinelli

February 20, 2013 03:00PM
By Hiten Samtani

Inset: Adelaide Polsinelli

“What I did for the gig” is a weekly web feature that chronicles the outlandish, risky and comical strategies that residential and commercial real estate brokers have used to land listings, clients and jobs.

Call me maybe?

Five years ago, Adelaide Polsinelli, an investment sales broker at Eastern Consolidated, was trying to nab an exclusive listing for a walk-up apartment building in the East Village. But the owner, a landlord who Polsinelli declined to name, refused to hear her pitch. 

Multiple calls and messages over a number of weeks were left unreturned. Undaunted, Polsinelli, then a broker at Marcus & Millichap, bought a disposable cellphone and programmed her number in it. She mailed the phone to the landlord with a note saying: “So it’s easy for you to call me.”

The ballsy move could have backfired spectacularly, but the next day, Polsinelli got the call, and subsequently, the deal.

“He called me back from that same cellphone,” she said. It was a question of getting his attention, she said. “You’re a broker, not everybody wants to talk to you. Sometimes their agenda just doesn’t jive with yours.”

Polsinelli is no stranger to stepping outside the norm to make things happen. She said it’s something she’s done several times over the course of a 26-year-career with $8 billion in sales under her belt, including Savanna Partners’ $43 million purchase in 2007 of the Children’s Wear Building at 131 West 33rd Street in Midtown and the 2008 sale of the Knitting Factory at 74 Leonard Street in Tribeca for $12 million.

“That’s what I’m good at, trying to think out of the box,” she said, adding that she once spent an entire week visiting 90 different offices in an office building in order to find the property’s landlord and secure an exclusive listing. She even sent a bag of casino chips to a landlord who was having personal problems. The note she attached with the package said: “I’m here for you when the chips are down.”

Check out our previous gig stories on David Maundrell and Robert Shapiro. To share your story in a future column, please email news@therealdeal.com with “gig” in the subject line.

One Response to “What I Did for the Gig: Adelaide Polsinelli”

  1. February 22, 2013 at 8:12 am, Cleo said:

    I actually do really like brokers because like business owners, they are beautifully practical which is a breath of fresh air if you have dealt too often with bizarre rent regulated tenants.

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