Broker carries detailed client database around with him at all times

Thirty-six-year-old Citi Habitats broker Matthew Berkson doesn’t forget a client. Or their likes, dislikes, profession, salary, birthday, spouse’s birthday, or dog’s name and weight. Old pay stubs and employment records? No problem. Berkson keeps a database of all 1,200-plus clients he has ever worked with, and the apartments he’s visited — and carries it around with him wherever he goes. According to a profile in the Times today, Berkson enters meticulous notes and scans each document he receives into his database each day. The hard drive is protected by passwords in case he should ever lose it, which is good news for clients, considering it includes intimate records like tax returns, bank statements and old co-op board applications. “Plugging the hard drive into a computer at one of Citi Habitats’ offices, he pulled up the completed application of three women trying to rent a three-bedroom, two-bath apartment downtown for less than $6,000 a month,” the Times describes. “Mr. Berkson then pulled up the photograph of one client’s Lhasa apso, so he could quickly show landlords that the dog weighed less than 20 pounds.” Creepy? Perhaps. Berkson admits that some are “shocked” when they find out “the level of detail” he has on file, but says others are impressed. “You say toh-MAY-toh. I say toh-MAH-toh,” he said. [NYT]

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