The Real Deal New York

Day in the life of Nikki Field

The high-powered Sotheby’s broker talks about working with Chinese buyers, watching her daughter on CNN and cold calling clients

January 01, 2014
By Julie Strickland

Nikki Field

Nikki Field

Sotheby’s International broker Nikki Field is a 20-year industry vet with a slew of notable deals under her belt, including the sale of a full-floor unit at Extell’s Stanhope at 995 Fifth Avenue for roughly $30 million and the $48 million sale of former Tommy Hilfiger CEO Joel Horowitz’ Tranquility estate in Lake Tahoe. Here’s a look at her typical day, in her words.

4:00 a.m. Sometime between 4:00 and 4:15, eyes still closed, I start to prioritize my day. By 4:15 a.m. I’m drinking coffee and doing my emails.

5:15 a.m. A tremendous amount of my time is spent talking to China. It’s 12 or 13 hours opposite, so I must do it before 9 in the morning or after 9 at night.

6:00 a.m. I [live] on Park and 87th Street, and I go to David Barton [gym] nearby. I have a trainer, Claudia, my fabulous Brazilian fitness instructor. I’ll follow that with the treadmill. I monitor my daughter Alexandra [a reporter at CNN] while I do that. I always try to catch one of her morning stories. Then I email or text her and critique her makeup, which she hates.

7:15 a.m. I head home, and while I’m getting ready, I will have Alex on TV and FaceTime with my other daughter, Amanda, in Florida, where her husband is doing a cardiology fellowship in St. Petersburg. They just had a baby.

8:45 a.m. My driver Rod comes every day at 8:45, unless I have an 8:30 showing. We’ll review the schedule for the day, which I’ve already emailed to him, but we both know that’s going to change 12 times. He’ll get me to the hairdresser, another daily thing that takes about 20 minutes.

9:15 a.m. I’m generally at my first showing by 9:15 or 9:30. Religiously, my schedule is about showing. That’s my first priority. You can’t sell it unless you get people in, and you have to work around the customer’s schedule.

12:00 p.m. Find me a broker who goes out for lunch in Manhattan, and that’s a dilettante broker. Lunch is our most precious time. Right now, I have 14 properties. If I don’t do lunch showings every day, I’m not getting my message out. People are not seeing this property and I’ve got to send more email blasts, call more brokers. So lunch is generally a hard-boiled egg in the office or granola bar in the car.

1:00 p.m. I will get into the office between showings and have a team meeting. And as I’m leaving a showing or waiting for the next one, I’m often emailing my client — the seller is always anxious to know how a showing went.

3:25 p.m. I call my husband Stephen to check in. We speak at least six times a day.

4:00 p.m. A lot of my sales, particularly to international people, are new development. Developers will often give personal invitations to brokers, and I really like to take advantage of that because it’s an early introduction. … I sold a lot of [Extell’s] One57 that way. I called my clients first, said this is what’s happening, soon we’re going to be able to show it and you need to come to town the first week of January. In 2012, I had 11 billionaires visit me during 10 days in the first two weeks of the year, and five of them bought.

5:30 p.m. I head back to the office for my daily meeting with my partner, Kevin Brown.

6:00 p.m. I have a block in every day that I’m calling people who have no idea they’re buying or selling right now. They haven’t called me, they haven’t emailed me [but I contact them].

6:30 p.m. Almost every day I’ll either meet a client at my club [the Metropolitan Club at 1 East 60th Street], or another broker, and then my husband will meet us .

7:30 p.m. Then we’ll have dinner. I don’t do a lot of work over dinner, because by then, my mind is pretty fried. My favorite dinner spots are the Metropolitan Club, the new Bilboquet, and we are regulars at Le Cirque.

9:30 p.m. Rod delivers us home, where I tackle more emails. When I’m done, my husband and I will watch CNN again and try to catch an Alexandra spotting.

10:00 p.m. Do not call me after 10. I won’t shut down if there’s a deal in negotiations or if I’m still on the line with China. But if there’s no work, in order to get up by four, I’ve got to be to asleep by 10.

  • BigBoysBlast

    This is probably the most pretentious thing I’ve ever read

    • Mike Woods

      What the heck is pretentious about this? Nikki Field is one of the best in the business. Her team is also top notch. She deals with the high end of the market. Her clients are the types you would find dining at the Metropolitan Club. What’s the problem with that! What’s pretentious are the countless brokers in this city that roll out of bed at 11 am, stop in the office for a few mins to post ads on craigslist, walk around like they’re the shit. Meanwhile they are all broke!

  • JGK

    These things are always insufferable