NYC Seller Stories: Daniel Toder
“I love new construction. I’m all about the razzle dazzle.”
Meet Daniel Toder one of our Elegran team’s newest agents.
Raised just north of Manhattan in Rockland County, Dan grew up in and around New York City, and was influenced greatly by the vibrant culture surrounding it. His love of real estate also began early, cultivated by the scenic drives he took with his family through the Hudson Valley to admire its beautiful estates.
After attending the Lubin School of Business at Pace University, he went on to work in a marketing firm based in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. He also spent time as bar manager, giving him the opportunity for face to face contact with potential new clients. Combined with his lifelong passion for New York architecture, the transition to a career in real estate was natural and seamless.
Q: I’ve read you’re something of a world traveler! Where have you visited?
Something of one! I have been to in Madrid, Buenos Aires, and Mendoza, Argentina. In Mendoza, there was this old woman making about 100 handmade empanadas in her stone oven— they were the most delicious thing I have ever eaten!
Q: That sounds amazing! How has your time spent abroad helped you be a successful real estate agent?
It’s just easier to relate to people when you’ve traveled. You feel a commonality with people that makes it easy to understand them and where they’re coming from.
Q: And what is your academic and career background?
Before I was in real estate I attended the Lubin School of Business at Pace University. Then I worked for a marketing firm in Williamsburg. I also worked as a beverage mananger.
Q: Why the transition into real estate?
At my marketing company, I didn’t get the face-to-face interaction with clients that I thrive on. I’m a very personable guy and I wasn’t able to tap into that. I felt real estate would allow me to interact with clients in a way that was more natural for me. And Elegran was my top choice for a firm.
Q: How did your job as a bar manager prepare you for a career in real estate?
It taught me to be super organized and stay on top of the million different things going on around me. In real estate, that translated to me being efficient, organized, and on top of my clients’ needs, however nuanced they may be.
Q: What’s your favorite part of the real estate industry?
My favorite part, aside from the constant interaction with people, is checking out all these new constructions, and comparing them to the older, classic New York construction. No two buildings are ever alike. They’re all so unique. They’re like snowflakes.
Q: As an agent, what’s been the most difficult challenge you’ve faced?
For multiple clients, the hardest thing right now is their set criteria versus what the market is providing. For instance, the abundance of clients just out of college looking for a two bed in Murray Hill is extremely high, and there simply isn’t enough supply to meet that demand. Vacancy rates are so low and rents are so high it’s very difficult to find that apartment. As a whole, that’s the challenge all agents are facing right now.
Q: And how do you address this challenge?
It comes down to constant hard work and staying on top of the market, knowing the inventory inside out, and jumping on new listings so you get your clients to showings before the competition.
Q: What’s been your most successful transaction to date?
I’m very proud of the deal I did for a $6000 one bedroom at the Instrata Nomad. My clients were considering the building’s penthouse, but I knew while that may have been tempting for them, the apartment below it was a far more efficient use of space, and they would ultimately be happier there—it was better suited for them. It sounds nice to say you live in a penthouse, but then you actually have to live in the space. Even though it had the wow factor, the penthouse wouldn’t have worked for them in the long run.
Q: What’s your favorite New York neighborhood and why?
The West Village is just so beautiful. All those stunning brownstones, the winding, treelined cobblestoned streets, and the great restaurants and boutiques make it so unique.
Q: So would you prefer a West Village brownstone, or you more about new construction?
I love new construction—I’m all about the razzle dazzle! I do have an appreciation for the old pre-war architecture and aesthetic, but for me, every new construction project you walk into—you’re just blown away. All the details of new construction are so incredible.
Q: What’s your favorite NYC Event
I’m a music lover. (Who isn't?!) The addition of the Governors Ball Music Festival has been a great way for city folk to experience music festivals which are usually located in more rural areas. Always a great time!
Q: Can you describe your ideal NYC apartment? It doesn’t have to be even close to reality!
Mine would be a new construction for sure. Hardwood floors throughout, brand new everything, floor-to-ceiling windows to bring in tons of natural light.
Q: What do you attribute your success to? Any lessons that help you get the job done?
A lot of my success has been from life lessons. My father has been in sales my whole life, and he taught me what to do and what not to do, which saved me a lot of having to learn from my own mistakes.
Q: What do you think are the up and coming neighborhoods in NYC?
Battery Park City is going to see a surge. It’s already a great place to buy, but now the Brookfield Place Mall is opening, and high profile chefs are opening places down there. Eataly is opening there, and Danny Meyer’s North End Grill. It’s going to have a more neighborhood feel to it than it has in the past. It’s going to become a destination.
Q: Does working in real estate influence your own home in terms of interior design and location?
Absolutely; I got my apartment in Kips Bay because I knew the price would be better in a slightly under-the-radar neighborhood. It’s cheaper than Murray Hill but is just as convenient. Regarding design, I have framed photos of NYC architecture all over my apartment. It’s a constant reminder of what I get to do and where I get to do it!
Q: What’s the best advice you can give to first time buyers of NYC real estate?
Location, location, location! It’s important for buyers to understand that even though they may be paying a little more upfront to live in a more sought-after neighborhood, those apartments are only going to appreciate over time. It’s a far wiser investment than going for the cheapest place in a less desireable neighborhood.
Q: Do you have any regrets from previous sales?
You can’t have regrets. You have to take a step back, look at the mistakes, amend those mistakes, and move forward with the knowledge gained. That process only makes you stronger.
Q: What are your predictions for the future of real estate in the city?
Prices are going to keep escalating, so buy now!
Q: Duly noted! And what are your future aspirations in real estate?
Nick Agostinelli and Andrew Didomenico just reached #58 on REAL Trends’ 2015 list of top sales teams. I want to break the top 50!
Q: I hear you’re a diehard New York sports fan! So, which is it, Mets or Yankees?
Oh definitely the Yankees! All the way!
If you’d like to contact Dan, he can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or reached by phone at (212) 729-5712 ext. 128.