What are NYC real estate pros’ top superstitions?

Don't let Friday the 13th jinx a deal

TRD New York /
Sep.September 13, 2013 03:53 PM

Whether burying a figure of Saint Joseph, the patron saint of real estate, in the front yard to ensure a quick bid; picking a unit on the eighth floor, considered lucky in Chinese lore; or avoiding an address with the number 13, there is no shortage of superstitions specific to real estate. On Friday the 13th, some are avoiding doing deals altogether.

And while there’s certainly no substitute for hard work and carefully honed market savvy, New York City brokers say it never hurts to have a little extra luck in your back pocket. We spoke with industry insiders in honor of the inauspicious day to see what other tricks they have up their sleeves.

Ari Goldstein, MNS broker:

I always pick up heads-up coins I find, even with my clients. It’s slightly uncomfortable until I tell them why I do it: My grandfather, who is a developer in the D.C. area and an all-around amazing man, is known for always finding and picking up change. So I do it in hopes that there’s some connection to me becoming as successful and good a person as he is.

Carol Staab, Douglas Elliman broker:

I have two objects on my desk that I rub during negotiations. One is a box with a ceremonial Indian elephant that, according to Indian mythology, is a symbol of power, love and good luck. I also have a pair of small wooden ducks from Korea that are given as gifts for good luck. I rub them both!

Lee Rachel Klein, Douglas Elliman broker:

I’m incredibly superstitious with all of my real estate deals and often encourage my clients not to even mention that they are purchasing an apartment until they receive [co-op] board approval.

Jeffrey Schleider, founder of Miron Properties:

I had a buyer reschedule a closing for Tuesday because she didn’t want to sign on Friday the 13th.


Kelly Kreth, president, PR firm Kreth Communications:

Many agents will not discuss a deal … with me because they feel it will jinx the deal [if it’s in the press before it closes]. I also know that many agents say Asian customers are superstitious about the direction an apartment faces and certain numbers, particularly the number 4. From a PR perspective, I never tell a client a clip is definitely happening until it appears. I learned the hard way that stories get bumped all the time. I feel like if I mention it, I’ll jinx it.

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