Conversations with Compound gives unique insight into the rapidly changing world of New York City real estate.
Experts in the industry come from all corners of the globe and from all walks of life. This blog will give leaders of the industry the opportunity to share stories of their professional achievements, their proudest moments and why they love the city that never sleeps.
We caught up with the amazing Roy Abraham, an Associate Director at Vicus Partners, who schooled us on what's cool about Queens (everything) and why New York City real estate is all about the daily rise and grind. Roy also plays lead guitar in The U.S. Americans, an alt-rock/bit of rap/punk/acid rock band based in, you guessed it, Queens.
Where are you from?
Where do you live now?
How long have you worked in real estate?
The better part of 10 years.
What inspired you to work in real estate?
A bunch of things. I had grown tired of carnie life in California and wanted to find a job that was tied to one geographic place. That combined with the idea of being your own boss, making a lot of money, not working too hard, showing up to work when you wanna, etc. was super enticing. I was wrong about the 'make a lot of money' and 'not working hard' though. Real estate in New York City isn't for the lazy. I bust my butt, BUT it's loads of fun.
Who do you respect the most in the real estate industry?
Bert Rosenblatt from Vicus Partners. Picture your typical broker that you dealt with when renting you first apartment in New York City. He's the total opposite of that. He's not a big name like Stephen Green, Paul Massey, Larry Silverstein, or Durst (YET), but he was the first person higher-on-the-totem-pole to really care about my success. In a city where everyone's focused only on their bottom line, Bert's the first person who showed me that for-profit and for-good can propel each other. Ask any of his clients, everyone loves him. Plus he's funny AF.
What is your favorite thing about New York City real estate?
One's success, or lack of it, is directly contingent on how hard they work. Put in the hours, wax on wax off, success will be yours. You can't just surf on your daddy's rolodex as a broker. Plus, if New York City is the place that tells the rest of the world what to like and how to be, the Big Apple's real-estate market dictates to all the business people and creatives what they can and can't do.
What is your favorite neighborhood?
I won't tell you, don't want all of you wonderful readers visiting and bumping up the rent. Second favorite is the Lower East Side.
What is your favorite restaurant?
Bread Brothers Bagels...they're all over Brooklyn and coming to ya! Their bagels are perfect. There's also Salute in Queens, an Uzbek joint where the prices are diametrically opposed to the portion sizes, and the food is too delicious. Order the plov.
What do you think is the next up-and-coming neighborhood?
Somewhere not in New York City. New York City has up and come already; the spot got too hot.
What has been the most rewarding or craziest real estate deal or project you have been a part of?
Really, every day in this business is a trip. When you've got your antennae open you'll find yourself in all sorts of crazy places. There was the time I was working on a casino sale in Las Vegas and Don King ended up on the conference call trying to convince me to hire him. The most rewarding projects are the clients whose businesses have grown in tandem with my practice. I put them in their first shared office. Then, in their first modest private office, followed by their first Class A building. And now they're taking 15,000 square-feet on Madison Ave!