How Barbara Corcoran made her first sale

Shark and founder of the Corcoran Group reveals the deal that opened the floodgates

New York /
Dec.December 18, 2017 08:00 AM

Barbara Corcoran (Credit: www.barbaracorcoran.com)

For most agents, scoring that first listing is the golden ticket to breaking into the sales game. But Barbara Corcoran ain’t most agents.

In a wide-ranging recent interview for NPR’s “How I Built This” podcast, the founder of the Corcoran Group and star of “Shark Tank” recounted how she built her firm into a New York City powerhouse. Her start in the business involves a swashbuckling boyfriend with a Lincoln Continental, a “dungeon” of a rental listing, and many more tales of grit and hustle. But perhaps the most fascinating nugget is the tale of how she transitioned into the lucrative sales business.

    Related: Barbara Corcoran is back in the NYC real estate game

Corcoran had started hitting her stride in the rental game when she got referred a young engineer client. By then, she had already honed the art of fending off competition by tying her clients up for the whole day.

“I had learned by then in sales if you could control someone’s time, they can’t go to anyone else,” Corcoran said. “I would say, ‘I’ll pick you up at the Drake Hotel’ – it’s now a new name – ‘at 9 o’clock. And be aware, we won’t be finished till at least 5:30.’”

She showed this engineer two rental apartments, at which point he asked when he could see units that were actually for sale. Of course, she didn’t actually have access to any sales listings.

“He said, ‘well, when am I going to see the ones for sale?’” she recalled. “I said, ‘oh, no, these are for rent.’ He said, ‘no, I want to buy something.’ I was like, oh, crap. So I said, ‘well, that’s excellent.’”

    Related: The Real Deal’s Closing interview with Barbara Corcoran

“So I said I was going to take him on a tour of all New York ’cause it was very important for him to learn all the neighborhoods to see what he could choose from to see what he reacted to best, and that the next day we would show him the sale apartments. Of course, I had no sale apartments. So I got him in a taxi, walked him around every street, showed him every place in town. And then that night, I went home and I hit the floor running.”

Corcoran scrambled to reach out to every For-Sale-By-Owner listing. She recalls telling the owners: “‘He’s Looking Exactly For Your Apartment On Sutton Place. He’s looking for a small terrace.’ I’d read him the ad back and then go ‘but he must see it tomorrow.’ And I booked everything that night. And the third apartment we saw, he bought the next day.”

That commission check allowed Corcoran to hire her first two sales agents. You know the rest.


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
JetBlue cancels flight to Florida, keeps HQ in New York City
JetBlue cancels flight to Florida, keeps HQ in New York City
JetBlue cancels flight to Florida, keeps HQ in New York City
Keller Williams president Marc King and kwx CEO Carl Liebert 
Keller Williams breaks sales records for fourth straight quarter
Keller Williams breaks sales records for fourth straight quarter
Clinton Street condo edges Park Slope townhouse in Brooklyn sales’ slow week
Clinton Street condo edges Park Slope townhouse in Brooklyn sales’ slow week
Clinton Street condo edges Park Slope townhouse in Brooklyn sales’ slow week
After scandal, Scott Rudin sells San Remo pad for $13M
After scandal, Scott Rudin sells San Remo pad for $13M
After scandal, Scott Rudin sells San Remo pad for $13M
Diane Ramirez
Diane Ramirez, after leaving BHS, joins Berkshire’s HomeServices
Diane Ramirez, after leaving BHS, joins Berkshire’s HomeServices
Related chairman Stephen Ross (Getty, iStock)
Related the latest company to mandate vaccines for employees
Related the latest company to mandate vaccines for employees
HGTV Founder Kenneth Lowe with the ONe57 condo (Getty, Douglas Elliman via Realtor)
HGTV founder buys One57 condo for $12.7 million
HGTV founder buys One57 condo for $12.7 million
45 South Grove St in East Orange (Rendering via Progress Capital)
Hero Construction lands $20M loan to build East Orange apartments
Hero Construction lands $20M loan to build East Orange apartments
arrow_forward_ios

The Deal's newsletters give you the latest scoops, fresh headlines, marketing data, and things to know within the industry.

Loading...