Day in the life of: Chany Rosen

The upstart expeditor on defying expectations, all-nighters and Chanel

Jun.June 01, 2019 01:00 PM

Chany Rosen (Photo by Axel Dupeux)

Chany Rosen is on a path less traveled. The 28-year-old expeditor got her start in the real estate business a half-dozen years ago after discovering she had a penchant for battling the bureaucracy of New York City’s Department of Buildings. As one of the few women from her Hasidic Jewish community in Midwood, Brooklyn, to earn a college degree, Rosen spent a few years as a teacher before jumping into property management for a bigger salary. Whether it’s going to housing court, bidding on foreclosed homes or overseeing renovation work for her former employer, Elliot Frankel, Rosen worked hard to teach herself the real estate business.

After two-and-a-half years at Frankel’s EF Properties, Rosen’s brother, Yoel Bochner, who was also working in property management, suggested they form their own company, Cavalry Associates. The current mother of five young daughters admitted she was nervous about the move but grew to enjoy being her own boss. “You’re not answering to anybody,” said Rosen, recalling her early days sitting in cafes, jotting down ideas on how to find her first clients. “I put myself on a deadline. After four weeks, you’ve got to make an income.” Rosen and her brother won their first business by fighting $100 sanitation violations for landlords. Rosen said she succeeded in finding a discrepancy or inaccuracy that undermined them. “But instead of actually giving me their properties to manage, they started bringing me more intense violations,” she said.

Most of Cavalry’s business is focused on expediting, although the firm does offer limited cleaning services for landlords. While some developers from her Hasidic community initially refused to work with Cavalry because she is a woman, attitudes gradually changed, and Rosen claims several of her former critics have become clients. “I guess their project is more important to them than the fact that I’m female,” she said. These days, Rosen is in growth mode — professionally and personally — with Cavalry’s 15-person team expected to earn $7 million this year, up from $4 million in 2018, and her fifth daughter being born in December. Rosen spends every day traveling throughout the five boroughs in a fleet of ride-sharing cars, often dragging behind her a suitcase or two filled with building plans and other documents.

4:00 a.m. I don’t have a typical day. If there’s a big project we’re in the middle of, I get up early, grab a coffee and come to the office. I usually put my email in offline mode so I can get a lot written up and accomplished without incoming distractions.

8:00 a.m. All my emails, about 50, go out. When my secretaries come in, they’re like, “Ugh.” Then I come back home. My kids are dressed (I have a nanny at home). I have breakfast with them and put them on the bus. I have two shifts: My 6- and 7-year-old go at 8:30 a.m., and my 2- and 4-year-old leave at 9:30 a.m. Then I spend time with the baby before I rush back to the office. I have 40 pairs of shoes — Chanel Ballet — I wear every single day in a different color.

8:30 a.m. On some days my husband sends the kids off to school so I can get to the DOB early. If you don’t get there at 8:30, you’re done for the day. I don’t drive — women in our [Hasidic] community don’t drive, so Uber, Lyft and Juno are my go-tos. I have all three and I coordinate them. If I want to go straight from my house to the DOB, I’ll take an Uber, and I’ll have the office paperwork meet me with Juno. Then, if I have a client who has to send me a bank check — it’s required to pull a permit — I have Lyft.

10:00 a.m. My inbox is full, no matter how empty it was before. The office is buzzing, and the day has officially started. I do whatever the calendar says. If somebody calls and they’re not on there, regardless of how big a client it is, they don’t get to speak to me. I try to turn my two cell phones off because, the minute I start with them, it’s going to be endless and I won’t follow my schedule.

10:30 a.m. Usually, there’s a lot of conference calls to start the day, and I like to do them at my desk. I do a lot of things on the go, but these calls can involve an architect, engineer, developer or a contractor all coming together, so I need to focus.

12:00 p.m. The conference calls end and it varies — I could go to the DOB to meet with a plan examiner or a site to meet a contractor. I deal with a lot of stop-work orders and vacate orders. Not in our developments — we own properties in Brooklyn and thank God those go smoothly —  but a big chunk of my clients are people coming to me with messes that need cleaning up. All day, every day, I’m trying to get my clients to their end results the fastest way possible.

4:45 p.m. My children get home at 5 p.m., and I want to be there for them. It’s difficult because our associates are coming back from the DOB and we’re preparing the paperwork for the next day. There’s a lot going on, and that’s the time I have to go. It’s important that even when I’m running the [office] side, the home front should be just as well taken care of. No matter what’s going on, despite the chaos, I leave.

5:00 p.m. The next two hours… are an automatic do not disturb. The kids are coming off the bus or I’m standing by the door, welcoming them home. They have so much to say, they love to talk! I prefer to start dinner right away. When they finish eating, they put on their pajamas, and we sit down at the kitchen table again and do their homework. Then my husband, the savior, comes home. He tells them bedtime stories because, by now, I’m wiped out. I’ve heard every single story. I just tuck them into bed.

7:00 p.m. My day starts again. I have an evening calendar, which my clients like because during the day I’m so busy. If they get to speak to their expeditor when the development site is closed down, they’re not on-site anymore. This is the best time for us to analyze and discuss. I have a home office, and I’ll lock the door, and it’s as if I’m not home. Sometimes I’ll go back to the office if I need certain plans or documentation. I need to have everything at my fingertips.

2:00 a.m. It used to be 9 p.m., lights out. I loved that. But these days it’s crazy. If I go back to the office, I won’t get home until now. Sometimes I’ll just skip sleeping. If I finish work at 3 a.m., it’s not worth it, I just stick it through. Those are actually good days; it’s like a 24-hour [cyclone]. When I get to bed the next night at 10 p.m., after 48 hours up, I’m like, “That was good.” Why do humans sleep? That’s bothersome.

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