By Orlando Lee Rodriguez
In O.G. Mandino’s book, ‘The Greatest Salesman in the World’, most of the principles regarding salesmanship have absolutely nothing to do with selling. They have more to do with the salesperson building quality and honest relationships, with himself and then with the world.
When Jason T. Greenstein and Daniel L. Levine met at Newmark Grubb Knight Frank in 2001 as young trainees, they fast became friends, despite one being a diehard Boston Celtics fan and the other being fiercely loyal to the New York Knicks.
This friendship led to them partnering up on a key endeavor, running the 2004 New York City Marathon together.
“When you spend hours training with someone you get to know them pretty well,” said Mr. Greenstein, 33. “Work tied in by default.”
“We became friends first,” said Mr. Levine, 35. “Then it started to mold together with the whole work situation and partnering up.”
Today they work on everything together, representing commercial tenants and landlords for NGKF. Recently promoted to senior managing directors on the team of tri-state region president David Falk, they share an office. One side of the room is decked out with Boston sports paraphernalia, the other side with New York sports colors.
In the middle is a putting range, where they share their love for golf.
Together, the team was involved in executing 41 transactions measuring over one million square feet in 2012 alone, working on deals from Shanghai to San Francisco on behalf of the Merkle Group to closing Manhattan office deals for Havas, Kushner Companies, The Whitney Museum, Kate Spade & Juicy Couture, Centaur Properties, SL Green, Somerset Partners,, Eileen Fisher and Corbis, a privately held company owned by Bill Gates.
“It’s all about integrity and to have our clients speak highly of us,” said Mr. Levine. “When a client thinks of who is going to handle their real estate, or a friend of theirs asks them, we want them to say: ‘Call Danny Levine, call Jason Greenstein, no one will work harder for you than those two’. Our reputation is everything.”
The foundation, for their success so far, says the duo, has been their ability to forge longstanding relationships with the people who represent their client companies.
“We started out making cold calls, for almost three years,” said Greenstein. “After a while, we developed friendships and our own network.”
Those cold calls eventually built personal friendships with the executives on the other end of the line. Over time, these relationships, the teamsays, created the trust factor that helps deals forge forward.
“They genuinely see the true Danny and Jay,” said Mr. Levine.. We want to go out there and have just as much fun as they do and at the same time work as hard as possible for them. It’s a good mix.”
As the complexion of the city’s office landscape transforms itself from one very Midtown and FIDI centric, to one of enormous possibilities, Mr. Greenstein, who holds a BA in Economics from Arizona State University and Mr. Levine, who has a BA in finance from Syracuse, both say that they are excited to be involved with where companies want to go in the 21st century.
“The greatest thing to do is to represent companies each time their leases are coming up,” said Mr. Greenstein. “We’re getting more mature and older and the companies are getting more mature. We are growing with these companies.”
“We’re in the early stages of our careers and still have a long time to go,” he said. “You can’t buy your reputation you have to develop it. Nothing would be better than to look back and have someone say ‘trust him’ and ‘he’s a good friend’. At the end of the day, our clients are friends, and that’s what makes the business work.”