Compass’ Phillip Salem Shares Their Path From Style To Actual Property

New markets require new approaches and ways. Specialists and business leaders take the stage at Inman Connect New York in January to assist navigate the market shift — and put together for the subsequent one. Meet the second and be part of us. Register right here.

Six years in the past, Compass agent Phillip Salem — lovingly referred to as Agent P — was closing the door to a dream 17 years within the making.

The Ohio native moved to New York Metropolis in 2006 to pursue a level in style merchandising from the Style Institute of Expertise and shortly earlier than commencement opened their first designer boutique, OWEN. As one of many solely family-owned shops within the metropolis’s well-known Meatpacking District, OWEN gained recognition in Refinery 29, Elle Journal, The New York Instances and WWD. 

Nonetheless, Salem’s style profession was minimize quick after their landlord obtained permission to tear the constructing down and rebuild a brand new business house. Not one to be discouraged for lengthy, Salem took their husband’s recommendation and turned their entrepreneurial power to actual property — ending their licensure in 4 weeks and gaining their footing at Triplemint earlier than shifting to Compass in 2020.

“I say the remainder is historical past, however the remainder is a ton of arduous work, a ton of dedication, a ton of promoting and a ton of placing myself on the market for shoppers,” they stated of their transition from style to actual property.

Forward of their first-ever Inman Connect New York look, Salem shared the connection between style and actual property, the ability of authenticity as a nonbinary particular person and the way they’re serving to consumers and sellers navigate one of many zaniest market shifts in latest historical past.

Earlier than our chat in the present day, I learn your biography on our ICNY homepage, and also you took an unconventional route from style to actual property. Inform me extra about what led you to depart the style world and begin promoting properties.

Salem: Proper after I graduated faculty, I opened up a multi-brand boutique in [New York City’s] Meatpacking District. I’ve all the time had this entrepreneurial spirit, and the shop had a tremendous run for about 4 years. We had been the one family-owned boutique within the District at the moment, however sadly, the owner obtained landmark approval to tear down the constructing and construct an eight-story business house. I used to be like, ‘Oh my God, my profession is over. What am I going to do with my life?’

My husband stated, ‘Phillip, you have already got a consumer base. You might have the persona. You might have the spirit. Why don’t you simply promote actual property as an alternative of clothes? As an alternative of promoting clothes, promote a way of life. Promote residences.’ I took his recommendation, and I did the fast-track program. I went in particular person to do my coursework, and in 4 weeks I used to be licensed.

4 weeks?! I don’t suppose I’ve ever spoken to somebody who has gotten their license that shortly. What was that course of like for you? I can think about it might be an enormous shift, particularly whereas coping with the closure of your retailer.

I went to the New York Actual Property Institute. I went day-after-day, and I used to be devoted to getting my actual property license as quickly as my retailer closed. I believe the wrestle for me was having folks imagine that I used to be an agent. I used to be referred to as style Phillip; I wasn’t referred to as actual property Phillip. However now that I’ve been within the enterprise for five-and-a-half years, I’ve actually branded myself as ‘Agent P,’ and everyone is aware of me now as the actual property go-to person who can be modern. I combined all my worlds collectively — my love for style and my love for actual property and I’m serving to shoppers that used to buy at my retailer.

Let’s contact in your transformation from style Phillip to actual property Phillip. Branding is a big endeavor for brand spanking new brokers, and it may be difficult to seek out your footing, particularly whenever you’ve spent the vast majority of your life being devoted to one thing else. What did it take to make that shift?

Once I obtained into the enterprise, I noticed how brokers regarded on TV and their perspective, and I used to be the alternative — I don’t put on a swimsuit and tie. I’m very flamboyant. I don’t actually have a filter. I say what’s on my thoughts. I’m not imply.  I imply, these had been simply the sorts of issues that I used to be seeing. As a nonbinary particular person, I had these insecurities about not becoming in. So, I went to Barneys, and I went to purchase a tie and I went to purchase a swimsuit jacket, and I used to be like, ‘That is how I must be.’ However then I noticed, ‘You realize what, this isn’t me. This isn’t who I’m, and this isn’t my model.’

So, I began being extra myself and expressing myself by means of style, the best way that I confirmed homes, the best way that I helped shoppers and I didn’t maintain again my flamboyancy. That basically helped model me as what we are saying, #notyourbasicbroker. It actually helped me actually solidify myself within the enterprise with my style shoppers in addition to my buddies. However it isn’t nearly clothes and style and so forth — it took loads of arduous work.

I began taking any deal that I may take. I used to be doing $1,400 rental offers in Queens and $1,800 rental offers up in North Harlem. I used to be taking something I may, and I began posting all the pieces that I presumably may to indicate folks that I used to be in actual property. That credibility simply constructed and constructed and constructed till I began doing greater gross sales, and I simply had no disgrace in publicly displaying my accolades and publicly displaying my success. As a result of, to me, success means much more than the cash that I make or the offers that I shut.

It was exhibiting myself that as a queer particular person, I used to be worthy of getting a spot on this enterprise, and I used to be worthy of constructing my footprint within the sand.

Thanks for sharing that with me. One factor I’ve realized over time from brokers is that authenticity all the time wins in the long term, and I can think about that has helped you navigate this market shift. Patrons and sellers are all the time searching for somebody they will belief. With that in thoughts, what was 2022 like for you? How did NYC actual property change?

The start of 2022 was an epic yr. It was what brokers thought it was going to be — the benchmark of how your entire yr would play out, however we had been clearly flawed. I had listings that had been unique on Compass that didn’t even make it to the general public market and had three affords inside two hours. The shift undoubtedly began as soon as the [Federal Reserve] began growing the rates of interest round Could and June. That’s when loads of sellers seen the listings weren’t as busy and affords weren’t being made the primary weekend. Then issues began getting somewhat bit extra dry towards October, November and December and issues began staying available on the market for much longer.

So clearly, it began shifting right into a consumers’ market. One of many issues that I do for my consumers is present them information, as a result of loads of information on the market casts such a large internet. However whenever you’re talking about New York Metropolis, every neighborhood, every block and actually every constructing is actually a metropolis of its personal. So whenever you’re speaking about days on market and listings not promoting, I like to coach my consumers about how we will strategy placing a aggressive supply on a list.

Loads of consumers, they’re seeing information [about the shift], and so they suppose they will get huge reductions, however that’s not all the time the case. A fascinating itemizing will all the time promote, and a fascinating itemizing in New York has loads of outside house, excessive ceilings, is not too long ago renovated and is on an ideal block. So it’s about educating consumers and actually strategizing with them on crafting the fitting supply.

It’s additionally essential to set expectations for sellers. If they’re priced too excessive, they’re not going to get affords. I all the time advocate pricing on the market or underneath the market to attract consideration. However, loads of sellers are very unrealistic proper now as a result of they’re considering they’re going to get a worth from a comp from 12 months in the past. That’s simply not the case.

Setting expectations is a recurring theme, and as you stated, consumers and sellers are coming into transactions with loads of basic info when what they actually need is hyperlocal perception. What varieties of information are you counting on to assist shoppers?

It’s tremendous hyperlocal in New York Metropolis. It’s even down to love the constructing ground. You may have a list that’s offered on the eighth ground for $2 million after which a list on the ninth ground being listed for $2.5 million as a result of it clears the opposite constructing, and you’ve got a full view of the waterfront beneath. Typically it’s simply even the path of the residence on the ground that makes the distinction.

The best way that I present information to each consumers and sellers is so necessary and making it very clear and straightforward for them to learn. I make it straightforward for them to see footage, see finishes and see the date that it was offered. And I even go so far as getting feedback from itemizing brokers on how the exercise was, what number of affords they’d, how many individuals bid over, what number of [offers] had been all money, what number of had been financing. Getting as a lot information as attainable in entrance of your consumers and sellers is extraordinarily necessary.

And know what you’re speaking about — don’t BS your manner by means of issues as a result of consumers and sellers know whenever you’re faking it. So my greatest recommendation is, don’t faux it, get the information introduced in real-time, and don’t beat across the bush. Say it how it’s.

We’re just a few weeks into 2023, however what are your predictions for NYC actual property this yr? 

I all the time inform my shoppers, each consumers and sellers, if I had a crystal ball I might be a billionaire. However, simply my very own information and experiences, clearly, the market is shifting right into a consumers’ market. I do imagine that sellers who don’t have to promote are going to carry on to their property. I do imagine that sellers who do have to promote due to work or household planning, will promote.

Fascinating residences in New York won’t have a troublesome time promoting and after I say fascinating, I nonetheless suppose loads of the new neighborhoods in Brooklyn, like Cobble Hill, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, Williamsburg and Greenpoint. In loads of the newer developments which have many listings, like over 50 to 60 listings in them, sponsors and sellers should begin being somewhat bit extra practical and giving extra worth reductions and negotiability suppliers.

Total, we’re not going to see such exercise as we did at the start of 2020 and mid-2022. I believe it’s going to be somewhat bit slower. I believe consumers are going to be extra weary and if sellers don’t have to promote they’re not going to promote.

E-mail Marian McPherson