Brokers making ends meet

By Abby Luby | April 23, 2009 11:07AM

From the April issue:
Waiting for an uptick in the housing market has become a financial endurance test for brokers, and many are finding themselves working new part-time jobs as tutors, caterers and cosmetics retailers to make ends meet. Some, like Judah Domke, 39, a Brooklyn broker with the Corcoran Group since 2001, are returning to previous professions. “I am going back into acting as a way to supplement my dwindling real estate income,” said Domke, who used to star in independent films. Residential sales have fallen off considerably, taking a bite out of brokers’ commissions. The number of sales in the five boroughs in fourth quarter of 2008 totaled 7,739, according to That is down from 10,365 sales in the fourth quarter of the previous year. More recent anecdotal reports show Manhattan sales volume dropping in half. Kathy Braddock, co-founder of Charles Rutenberg Realty in New York City, said the focus of her regular bimonthly meetings has shifted from business updates to how individual brokers are coping with the slow market. Many have taken on side gigs.