NYC Seller Stories: Anna Carlson
Anna Carlson has only been with Elegran for three months, but during that time she has closed a remarkable 13 deals. We sat down with her to find out more about her recent success, and learn what motivates a pastry chef from Virginia to move from working with one of the top cake decorators in New York City to becoming a real estate agent.
Tell me a bit about your background and what you were doing before you came to Elegran
I actually moved to New York to pursue a career as pastry chef. After graduating from the University of Virginia, I immediately went to pastry school in Chicago before moving to NYC. I worked my way through different bakeries and restaurants for a while before I decided that I couldn’t picture myself making a lifelong career out of being pastry chef. It didn’t seem sustainable to me, so I started looking for other opportunities where I could be creative in a different way.
What fueled your decision to become a real estate agent?
I know Christa Chi, who is an agent at Elegran, and I would often see her running around to various showings. She mentioned that she needed someone to help her manage her vast client base, so I went home and researched what it meant to be a real estate agent in NYC. I had been exploring other careers but nothing really felt right, but once I began learning more about the industry it seemed like it was exactly what I was looking for and it matched my personality. I could see how happy Christa was with her job and that really encouraged me to make the leap to Elegran.
What are some of the successes you have experienced since coming to Elegran?
I had talked to other agents I had met and they told me that it takes a long time to close your first deal, and advised me to just be patient. This made me question if I had made the right career move, but I quickly learned that Elegran was different. My very first week I closed a difficult deal, and I just kept building momentum from there.
How has Elegran helped you succeed?
I’ve closed 13 deals in my first three months at Elegran, and I think a lot of that success can be attributed to the leads Elegran provides. It has allowed me to dedicate more time to my clients, and less time networking with strangers who may or may not be interested. I’ve heard that agents at other companies spend up to 60 percent of their time looking for leads, and that’s a huge amount of time that should be dedicated to your clients.
I’ve also received a lot of support from the amazing agents at Elegran who have allowed me to shadow them and brought me in to help with deals. I would be completely lost if it weren’t for the agents next to me who have enabled me to develop my own style while learning from them at the same time and helping me along the way. I also think that one unique thing about Elegran is how accessible the CEO, Michael Rossi, is, even to new agents who haven’t been fully integrated into the industry yet. Everyone has made themselves so accessible, there is no space or office that’s off limits because everyone is willing to help.
What is your favorite part of the industry?
I love being with clients and seeing them get excited about an apartment. Sometimes you will go out with clients and see a few places they don’t really like, but then as you learn more about them you can find the home that’s right for them. When you finally take them to the perfect place and watch them light up when they see it, it’s a really great experience. I recently sent a “welcome home” card to a client to congratulate her on moving in, and she responded saying “thank you so much, you made it so much easier for me.” She didn’t have to respond to my card, but she did, and it was really wonderful.
What’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
I would say the West Village. I went to Paris last year and I really loved that there were so many places where you could sit outside and enjoy the outdoors while eating. I live in Midtown right now and there aren’t that many places where you can do that since sidewalk space is premium. When I go down to the West Village though, I see so many cute boutique shops and places where you can eat outside and enjoy the area, it feels like a little Parisian neighborhood in that sense.
Do you prefer new construction or pre-war buildings?
I like the character of pre-war, but I think I prefer new construction buildings because of their ability to provide residents with so many amenities. A lot of the new buildings in Manhattan offer fitness centers and pools, saving you from having to pay for a gym membership or go to a crowded public pool. Also, they often provide communal spaces in new construction buildings where you can have friends over and host events, which adds a dynamic of suburban life into the city.
Describe your ideal NYC apartment.
One feature I would love to have in my ideal NYC apartment would be floor-to-ceiling windows with river views. The most important thing to me is to have space to host people. I love having friends over and my current apartment doesn’t really allow for me to do that. If I had communal space where I could host friends, it would make things feel a little more like they did when I was growing up in Virginia.
What are your future goals?
I want to continue focusing on the rental side of the business for a little longer to get comfortable with closing bigger deals, but the end goal is to transition to sales. That being said, I would like to always have some rental deals in the works because I like how fast-paced the rental side is. I was talking to a new agent recently who said they wanted to jump into sales right away because they thought the more gradual, long-term approach was more their style. I come from a background where I’m used to working in busy kitchens where you have to handle 15 orders at a time, so I like the idea of managing a number of fast-paced deals at once.