For Halstead Property broker Brian Lewis, who’s done deals for the likes of Patrick Stewart and Christopher Meloni, the move to real estate came after years of hauling luggage as a bellhop at the Four Seasons Hotel.
“My only connection to real estate before coming to New York was that we moved a lot. I thought it was normal to have a ‘For Sale’ sign in your yard,” Lewis said. “My mother trained us to make a house show-worthy.”
Lewis aspired to be an actor. His big break came after the Actors Fund, a nonprofit that helps out-of-work actors secure jobs in New York, referred him to a real estate company. There, he was handed an assignment to help find a small apartment for a client relocating to New York. After successfully completing the deal, Lewis sent a mailing to the building, informing prospective sellers that he could get them the best price for their apartments.
He soon got a call from the penthouse’s owner, who wanted to sell her apartment. He sold the property for a record price.
“The most important thing is the person reading it,” he said of the art of mailing. “Your success is good for you, and your ego, but the most important thing is being able to leverage it to make the client money. If they’re hiring you, it’s because they want to make money.”