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Expert advice on how not to get left out in the cold this winter

Fresh off the Labor Day holiday, city rental agents took notes on ‘Surviving the Winter Rental Season,” at the Real Estate Board’s first Tips from the Top seminar of the season.

Dan Marrello of Town Residential moderated a panel that included his colleague Karen Stone, Bond Real Estate’s Neil Nerich, and Jessica Escobar of Citi Habitats.

Photo by Barney Bishop/ Flickr
Photo by Barney Bishop/ Flickr

Communication was the common theme of the advice for keeping business rolling during the traditionally quieter winter rental months.

“Most people finish the deal, get the check, and move onto the next client,” said Escobar. “I’m in a position now where I have great relationships with my clients because they hear from me every couple of months.

“Reach out to them for their birthdays, the anniversary of when they moved in, and other occasions,” she advised.

“Be as organized as possible with all of your contacts. Our job is to build relationships, not just sell houses.”

Among the other pieces of advice were how to market yourself to clients, and how to discover new ways to prioritize that marketing based on the time of year.

Good old-fashioned hand-shaking should also be a priority during any sales season.

“You can’t rent an apartment out with just a picture,” advised Nerich. “You have to meet the clients and show them the property.  Phones are crucial, but it’s even more crucial to get clients in front of you. You can’t identify with a client through texting, and you certainly can’t hear emotion, which is huge.”

“I also like to operate using humor, which is harder to convey through texting,” he added.

Stone emphasized resilience, noting it as one of the most important qualities a real estate agent can have.

“Being a master of resilience means that more opportunities will present themselves to you and you’ll be more prepared to act on them,” she said.

“There can be opportunities right around the corner, but if you aren’t resilient and pro-active, you’re not going to find them. The most resilient agents are the most successful.”

REBNY’s Residential Rental Clinics are free for REBNY members and are provided by the Rental Committee. For more information on our upcoming seminars, visit

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