One of Corcoran’s newest brokers has brought more than a decade of experience to his new position, including founding and running his own firm.
James Endress joined the firm after selling his own company, Absolute Properties, to BOND. He founded the firm in the spring of 2009, in the wake of the financial collapse that sent the economy into a recession.
Endress, a New Jersey native, got the real estate bug when he was a child, walking through developments with his father, who would show him under-construction homes near their home on the weekends.
In college, Endress studied marketing and business, graduating with a degree in marketing. After graduation, he was looking to work in ad sales for The New York Times or positions in marketing, but he found that the starting salaries were very low, and with the burden of student loan debt, he needed to find something that paid more.
He began leasing rentals in Lower Manhattan in 2005 with Best Apartments, a small firm where he started as a junior agent for a top producer at the company. Within six months, he was ready to move on. A year and half later, he earned his brokers license and started working for another company, while living in Upper Manhattan.
Endress began to feel frustrated with the way the firm split a brokers commission in half. “It got to the point where I thought ‘why am I giving 50 percent away? Why don’t I just go out on my own?” said Endress.
So he did just that, launching Absolute Properties with his partner out of an extra bedroom in their Harlem apartment in 2009. After just a couple years, the firm had swelled to 70 agents, an impressive feat for a company that began during the economic crisis and suffered through 2010, a year Endress called the worst year he ever had in residential real estate.
Things got so bad at one point that Endress began taking hour-long bus rides to the north Bronx, leasing $1,000 a month apartments near Albert Einstein Medical Center to keep the company afloat.
“Managing a firm takes a lot of time, a lot of patience, and my partner and I put our blood, sweat and tears into that company,” said Endress. “A lot of late night screaming at each other over things but that just comes with the territory of running a company.”
Last fall, the duo was approached by one of the owners of brokerage firm BOND NY, who was looking to either acquire a firm with local experience in the uptown market, or open their own branch. They met at Absolute Properties’ office, and things immediately clicked. By the end of the day, there was an offer on the table for BOND to acquire Absolute.
In December, BOND officially took over Absolute Properties’ office, and Endress officially joined Corcoran. After interviewing at a few top firms, the choice came down to which brand he felt was stronger.
“I just felt there was more opportunity at the office to grow as an agent,” said Endress, who added that he already knew eight other agents at Corcoran’s Chelsea office, the location where he is now based.
Though he is still acclimating and meeting everyone, he’s clicked well with the office managers, who he said have given him valuable advice and helped mold him into a strong agent. “Up until this point, it was just me learning everything on my own,” he said.
Endress has done co-op, condo, and townhouse sales for the last three years, all self-taught. Sometimes he had to resort to googling something for to figure something out, or reaching out to a network of other agents he had professional relationships with. “Now that I’m with Corcoran, if I have a question I can just walk into (his manager’s) office and we can figure it out.”
Endress is focusing on working in the Upper Manhattan, Riverdale, and Financial District markets, as well as new development projects. One of those new developments was The Solaria, a 19-story building with 65 units in Riverdale. He helped the director of sales finish out sales in the building.
He is looking to continue expanding his network and double his business over the next few years. “Having Corcoran behind me I feel is going to help propel me and help me grow my business even more because I’ll have a strong brand behind me instead of a botique brand, and when I got into a meeting, people immediately know Corcoran, and I don’t have to explain who I work for,” he said.
Endress is a Harlem resident, the neighborhood he has called home for ten years. In his spare time, he enjoys boating and spending time in Fire Island, as well as his property in North Carolina.