By Sarah Orlinsky-Maitland, NYRS®,
Associate Real Estate Broker, Brown Harris Stevens
When it comes to hiring a residential real estate agent in New York City, savvy sellers tend to do a tremendous amount of research, as they should. Ultimately they make decisions based on an agent’s reputation, talent, market knowledge and more. In a complex city with more than 10,000 licensed residential sales agents, finding the right one is critical. Recently a seller got in touch with me to discuss listing her 17 Warren Street apartment. When I asked how she had found me, I was more than pleased to hear she had done extensive research online and decided to hire me in part because of my New York Residential Specialist® credential.
New York Residential Specialist®, or its acronym, NYRS®, is REBNY’s highest professional credential for residential agents in NYC. First awarded in 2007, the designation identifies professionals who have met qualifying criteria and have successfully completed an advanced course of study designed specifically for the unique challenges of our marketplace. Agents who earn the title gain a competitive edge in more ways than one.
One advantage is the network has been created among like-minded real estate professionals from firms across the city. Both as a group and individually, we are dedicated to the free exchange of market information, fresh ideas and new perspectives. We’re constant learners, driven and always reaching for the next level. Collectively we aim to raise the bar and set the gold standard in our industry. I like to boast that when a client hires me, they’re also hiring my expansive network. Sellers are appreciative of this access, and everybody wins.
Another advantage is the level of education that NYRS® offers. Subjects include everything from professional ethics and fair housing to the nuances of negotiation styles and the commercial market. The curriculum is updated regularly to reflect changing market conditions and emerging issues. Classes are taught by powerhouse industry leaders like Warburg Realty President Frederick Peters, REBNY President Steven Spinola, Massey Knakal CEO Paul Massey and Citibank Loan Consultant Jeff Appel. The course totals 26 hours, of which 24 hours are approved by New York State for continuing education credit.
Personally, my perspective on the entire real estate industry has been enriched. What once felt like a place in which people often looked out only for themselves now feels more convivial, with everyone working together toward the best possible outcome. That sense of collaboration was evident when the seller of 17 Warren Street reached out. Initially she was concerned she had missed the market, that she would never get her asking price and would not be able to find a new home to fit her needs. I called a few NYRS peers to find the perfect stager for her apartment. I invited a few associates to preview the space, and asked for their opinions on pricing. Within six weeks, we had a signed contract. The team working for the seller included NYRS sponsors Katz and Matz, PC as well as Abrams Garfinkel Margolis Bergson, LLP.
My personal experience as an NYRS® agent has provided me with essential talking points at pitches. It’s like having attended an elite school with an impressive alumni association that one can tap into for everything from special invitations and open houses to peer input on the state of the market. I refer to NYRS® at every pitch, and I can see the interest rise in each seller as I describe the value of the network.
As recording secretary of the NYRS Executive Committee since 2011, and an associate broker for the last eight years, I can tell you first hand that NYRS® agents signal immediate credibility and recognition in the industry. To date, professionals from more than 30 companies have achieved the designation. This is so important in an industry where connections are key.
The course is offered twice yearly, in the fall and spring. Attendance is limited to 35 agents each semester to foster an intimate setting and to encourage an exchange of ideas. We’ve sold out every season, and interest continues to grow. For more information on getting involved in NYRS and in earning your own credential, please visit www.nyrs.net.