By Roland Li
Before Vickey Barron became a real estate broker, she interviewed doctors who were considering temporary assignments in Guam.
“It was identifying people, listening to their interests and needs. I really had to honestly hear who they were in a very short period of time,” said Barron, who worked at FHP, a health maintenance organization, and later at her own firm. She considers Robert Gumbiner, a physician who served as FHP’s chief executive, as a mentor.
By scrutinizing the candidates, she selected those who seemed best suited for the new environment, and thanks to her discerning eye, over 90% of those chosen stayed for the full duration, with many extending their time abroad.
When the Barron moved to New York in 1998, the Southern California native put those skills to use in the real estate arena, matching buyers with homes.
She completed 20 deals in her first nine months and won accolades from the Real Estate Board of New York, which named her a “Rookie of the Year.” While at Prudential Douglas Elliman, Barron became one of the top 1% brokers in the area and was ranked among the best brokers in the nation. She is a member of REBNY’s ethics and education committees and an instructor in REBNY’s New York Residential Specialist Credential Committee.
At Elliman, she was one of the listing brokers, along with former colleague Leonard Steinberg, for 81 Barrow Street. The property was recently purchased by Jeffrey Levine, head of Douglaston Development and Levine Builders, and his wife Randi, for $12.75 million.
In March, Barron left Elliman to join the brokerage Core. Although she was happy at Elliman, she was won over by Core’s CEO Shaun Osher, who brought an approach to the industry, full of energy and vision, that was compelling, she said.
“Sometimes in life, you just want to change lanes,” said Barron, who, with blessings from Elliman’s top executives, made the transition.
Core’s emphasis on marketing and branding – the brokerage is a regular on HGTV’s “Selling New York” – has been ideal for Barron, who relishes regular brainstorming and collaboration with her colleagues.
At a recent meeting, they discussed the use of social media, focusing on creating a platform for a colleague. And, as managing director, Barron will play a major role in the growth and development of Core.
The deals have also continued briskly. A contract was recently signed at 80 Chambers Street, which had an asking price of $1.175 million, after just three days on the market. Barron credits the interior renovations of its seller, a Parisian woman who was a repeat client, and who replaced the bathroom and added new finishes to the apartment.
“I think it sold so quickly because it showed so well,” said Barron.
Barron is no stranger to renovations of her own. Last November, she visited an open house for an apartment in the Flatiron district and fell in love immediately, paying close to the asking price. She is currently in the process of gut renovating the unit.
Recently, the New York Times featured Barron’s listings of 18 and 20 Jones Street in the West Village, a duo that is listed together for $16.5 million.
In an unusual arrangement, 20 Jones is also listed separately for $7.495, while its neighbor is only available as a package, which would enable the buyer to combine the two homes into a 42-foot wide single family home.
As a former theater and acting student, Barron has an appreciation for the design and artistic elements of real estate, as well as a passion for brokerage. And at Core, she says she’s found an environment to pursue both.
“I’m an idea person. I’m a faucet that doesn’t shut off,” she said.