By Sarah Trefethen
Joanie Schumacher and her husband moved to New York from San Francisco 20 years ago to pursue their acting careers.
Real estate was something she fell into through a part-time job, but Schumacher, now a sales director with Corcoran Sunshine, still sees her stage experience shining through in her professional life.
“Just trying to be genuine with people I think is important. Part of what I found about acting is the kind of stripping away the layers of a character that you do and finding what’s real. And I find the more real you are with people the easier it is for them to be real with you,” she said.
“I don’t put on a show for anyone, but I use that to be as genuine as I can. I think of that as part of my theater training, though not specifically theatrical.”
Schumacher was recently named director of sales at the Witkoff Group’s 515 East 72.
“It’s a fantastic building to work in. I’m so overwhelmed by the amenities,” she said, describing the building’s rock climbing wall, fitness classes, and children’s art room. Residences range in price from $699,000 to over $12.5 million.
She has previously represented Macklowe Properties’ 310 East 53rd Street condominium, The Worldwide Group’s Milan condominium at 300 East 55th Street, and The Trump Corporation’s Trump World Tower at 845 United Nations Plaza.
“I enjoy working with people, but I also love representing a property, being an authority on it and knowing it inside and out,” she said.
The best part of her job is the satisfaction of matching a person with their new home, Schumacher said. “It becomes so emotional for them, and so personal.”
Schumacher lives near Columbus Circle with her husband of 27 years, Jed Dickson, and their cat, Lucy.
Dickson is a professional actor who works in theater and commercially, and appears occasionally on the Letterman Show in sketch comedy routines.
The couple met in San Francisco working together on a play, appearing as brother and sister in a production of Mother Courage and Her Children.
Schumacher, a singer and actress, is on the board of directors for the Workshop Theater Company and still performs in her free time.
Most recently, she appeared in a series of one-act plays called Cold Snaps. “I was part of a middle-aged couple looking at modern art, so it was very amusing,” she said.
She prefers to work on new plays, the focus of the Workshop Theater Company. “I really like working on new material and not having pre-conceived notions of how a character should be,” she said.
Schumacher is originally from Oregon and has a Bachelor of Arts in communications with an emphasis in theater from Washington State University.
She started in real estate as a part-time sales assistant for Metropolitan Tower. Within two years, Harry Macklowe had persuaded her to get her broker’s license. “He thought I was very good with people,” she said.
The 326-residence 515 East 72 was 77 percent sold when Schumacher took over the sales office. In response to demand for large units, the developers are currently redesigning the floor plans and combining one-bedroom units to create more two bedrooms, she said.
Confident in her product, Schumacher thinks the sales program should complete fairly quickly, she said.
But she’ll be approaching each sale one client at a time.
“You work with people that are very particular in what they’re looking for,” she said. “So you have to listen very carefully and find out what it is they’re looking for and what it is they want to not have to deal with in their lives.”