In the real estate game, buyers and renters are typically looking for a broker with years, if not decades of experience. However, the number of years one spends in a job doesn’t necessarily equate to how well they perform in said job. There are plenty of young real estate agents out there who are amazing at what they do. They work tirelessly to learn the ins and outs of real estate while bringing energy and innovation to the table. CitySignal was lucky enough to speak with one of these talented young agents: Daniela Roman. Remember that name, because she’s going to go far.
Hey Daniela! Thank you for speaking with me.
So tell me about yourself. How did you get into real estate?
I am 22 years old. I’ve been in real estate for about 9 months now and loving it so far! I have always wanted to work for myself and for a while most of my friends and family would tell me that they felt I would be great at real estate. At that time I was feeling underwhelmed with growth opportunities at my previous job and I really didn’t want to work for anyone other than myself anymore.
I was also new to NYC, which made the shift to working independently a little scary. All of my family and my connections were back in Miami where I grew up. This proved to be a challenge for a short period of time. I also decided I would make this shift while we were still mid-pandemic and during the Fall which is when we usually see the rental market cooling off.
I had three months of rent saved up when I left my 9-5. Three months to make this happen for myself. My proudest moment thus far, as silly as it sounds, was when I cashed in on my first deal that I did, completely on my own, about 2 months in from when I started.
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That’s not silly at all! If I may, how different is real estate in New York compared to Miami?
I feel like NY is really so much faster in general and that applies to real estate just like everything else. Property prices are skyrocketing in Miami at the moment which is fantastic for all agents that work down there but I do feel that no place holds greater opportunity than NYC.
What tips would you recommend to someone from Miami who’s looking to move to NYC? What neighborhoods would you send them to?
It really depends where you come from in Miami and what lifestyle you are looking for. I moved from the suburbs and it was a huge lifestyle change just in general. I opted to move to a quiet neighborhood in Brooklyn to help me adjust. But others may be more interested in a faster pace of living, in which case I would recommend LES or Soho.
Interesting. So since cashing in on your first deal was your proudest moment, what has been the most difficult? What are some challenges to being an agent?
I would say that the biggest difficulty I have faced with real estate is setting up my work/life balance and the uncertainty/instability that comes with being 100% accountable for your income. I definitely got burned out my first few months in. I was working 24/7, I would never mentally disconnect from work. I feel that this comes with the territory of being the only one accountable for your success.
However, I learned very quickly that running yourself into the ground is not the most productive or effective way to make money. Just like with any job, there needs to be a time where you disconnect. That is something I feel needs to be talked about more in an industry that heavily promotes hustle culture.
How do you think NYC can move beyond the hustle culture that it’s known for?
I think NYC will always be full of highly driven individuals. There is no changing that and we shouldn’t try to change that. That’s what makes this NYC. However, I think that if we all try to begin appreciating what a break can do for our mental and physical health, we will be on the right track.
I 100% agree. It must especially be hard working in an industry where age and experience are often seen as major assets. Considering how young you are, how do you stand out from that crowd?
People always seem surprised at my age. I see it only as an advantage. I am only 22 and I have managed to figure out what I love to do & how to profit from it. That’s more than I can say for a lot of people.
Haha it’s certainly more than I could say at 22. Did your age make it difficult to get into real estate?
I feel that my age has made it easier for me to transition into real estate. In a way I had nothing to lose. I feel that your early 20’s are the best time to make leaps in terms of career choices. I have never had someone doubt that I am capable or experienced because I do my best to know my product and what I’m talking about.
What are some of your strategies when trying to sell a home?
My clients get my absolute undivided attention. To make this possible I only work with a certain amount of buyers and sellers at any given time. Where you may get lost in the sea of many with another broker, making my clients feel heard and appreciated is my top priority.
So you provide a sense of comfort to those seeking to buy? Your clients must really appreciate that. What other strategies do you employ? Does Social Media play a big role in your work?
I feel that social media plays a huge role in all businesses today. Whether you love it or not, no one can deny the incredible power that a brand’s online presence holds. If you want to stand out, people want to get to know you. They want to associate a personality. A face to your service. Social media gives us the perfect opportunity to showcase that.
What social media platforms have you had the most success on?
I mainly use Instagram for all of my personal marketing. I do my best to keep it personal so that it doesn’t come off as too salesy. I want to leave people the feeling of knowing me on a personal level, not just business.
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Interesting. I like how focused you are on forming a good relationship with your clients.
In my opinion, we should actively practice becoming more personable. Think of your clients, and treat them as more than a paycheck. Transactional agents only get so far.
So, what’s your favorite NYC neighborhood?
Will I sound cheesy if I say the West Village? Truly it is where I love spending time & it’s my favorite neighborhood to work in. If I were to pick a neighborhood in Brooklyn it would be Park Slope
Neither of those are cheesy! You could probably work in those neighborhoods for the rest of your career. What are your own dreams for your future in real estate?
My dream is to devote myself to working only in sales full time. As much as I love rentals, the time you get to spend with a buyer or seller really does allow you to get to know someone and become attached on a more personal level.
In that same vein, what does the future of New York real estate look like to you?
As long as NYC stands, there will always be people who want to live here. We made it through a worldwide pandemic stronger than ever. I believe that the real estate market in NY will always hold new and exciting opportunities. You just need to be willing to adjust to the times we are living in and you will succeed. We are the new face of this industry.
Well said! Daniela, thank you so much for your insight. I learned a lot, and I’m excited that you and your peers will be paving the way for a bright future.
Absolutely! Thank you.
Daniela, and others like her, want to create a kinder, more personal real estate industry in New York City. What struck me were the words, “get lost in a sea of many.” I think everyone in the city can relate to that. Feeling like just another number for a commission is very off putting. The industry definitely needs the care and personability that Daniela is providing. Buying a home isn’t easy. However, with people like Daniela Roman leading the way, New York real estate can transform from an intimidating industry, into an exciting adventure toward your dream home.
Russell is a writer and comic based in New York City. His plays have been featured at Penn State’s Cultural Conversation’s Festival, The NYC Thespis Festival, and Imaginarium’s Inaugural Theater Festival. Follow him on TikTok and Instagram @pooleparty528