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Trouble selling? Cherchez le doorman

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Doormen don’t really like real estate brokers.

They expect us to be polite and answer all the questions a potential buyer may have; to control the lobby during an open house and assist the broker by restricting people to going up one at a time; and to put in a good word if anyone in the building wants to sell their apartment.

And though they peddle us dreams of sharing in the commission, they usually wind up selling us out.

In my 15-plus years at the door, I’ve personally netted a fortune of $70 from hundreds of brokers who have tried to sell an apartment in my building, successful or not.

One doorman told me how a particular broker had been working hard to sell an apartment. How the broker said he would remember the doorman for all the help he’d given.

After about a year, the apartment was finally sold for around $1.5 million. The broker came by one day and discreetly pulled the doorman to the side, slipping him a bill for everything he had done throughout the year. When the doorman reached into his pocket, it was for a crispy new, five-dollar bill.

Not smart, folks.

A broker who gets a bad rep among us can find his sale jeopardized in ways big and small.  We can, and do:

1. Act surly to anyone that comes to an open house so that they don’t like the staff

2. Mention that the owner of the apartment that’s up for sale had such a tragic end. In the apartment no less. (This only works for an apartment up for sale where a real individual did pass away. Details about the passing can be spruced up to the doorman’s liking.)

3. While waiting for the broker to show up to an appointment, announce that another more fabulous apartment is going up for sale, exclusively shown by another real estate company.

4. Let slip, “Quite the kid-friendly building nowadays. In fact your floor has about seven.” (This helps if the potential buyer is single)

5. Talk about the recent police activity in the neighborhood--including stolen or broken-into vehicles, the raid on the bordello across the street, the new club which opened up the block and  the drunks urinating near the building.

6. Curse the damn mice (bed bugs, roaches, asbestos, etc)

7. Mysteriously fail to find the keys to an apartment to be given to a broker for showing. (This will only work once, making the broker be late for another appointment or the buyer ask to reschedule. It also gives impression that the staff may be incompetent.)

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