At 23 years old, Reba Miller walked into the luxury boutique real estate firm Whitbread-Nolan for her first day.
She was promptly given a seat and told: “you’re on your own.”
Today, over $1 billion worth of sales and almost 30 years later, Ms.Miller, who made her name by almost dominating the market on Madison Avenue, continues to be a go-to name in New York City real estate across continents.
“I recently received a call 20 years after I sold several apartments to and for an international buyer,” said Miller.“[They] asked for my help and I negotiated a park view two bedroom unit with all rooms facing the Park. They wrote to me today that it was the best apartment they have ever owned.”
Miller’s name should ring international bells.
She has sold apartments at The Plaza for $5,000 a square foot; at 15 Central Park West for $4000 per foot.
She has sold apartments in Trump Tower, Olympic Tower, The Empire and Morgan Court. She once received six commissions at closing in a property on East 78th Street.
After graduating from SUNY Albany, Miller started her career at the same company that gave legendary brokers such as Elizabeth Stribling and Barbara Fox their beginnings.
Later on, she found a willing mentor in David Burley, the owner of Walter & Samuels, Inc.
There, Miller was put in charge of sales and was allowed to shape the department as she saw fit. The experience, she says, taught her “anything was possible.”
“He gave me the freedom to run the department the way I believed could bring the most success,” she said. “He valued my opinion. He was a pioneer of much and it resonated with me.”
After years in the business, Miller started her own firm, RP Miller and Associates in 1998, bringing in some $400 million in sales in 13 years.
Now senior managing director of sales for CORE, the boutique firm founded six years ago, Miller says that her contacts on the Upper East Side have made combining with CORE a win-win situation as the brokerage expands its presence uptown with an office on E. 61st Street and Madison Avenue.
“One appeal of my working as the manager of CORE was the exciting opportunity to open up their office in an area I know best,” she said.
“I still have maintained much of the business contacts along Madison Avenue. My relationships in the brokerage community and knowledge of the buildings uptown will help expand the CORE brand.”
Outside of the brokerage world, Miller has won two bronze metals for tennis in the Pan American Maccabiah Games in Mexico City. She has served for the past three years as the co-chairman of REBNY’s board of directors.
Despite slower than desired recovering sales on a national scale, Miller remains bullish on the strength of the New York apartment market, even after the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy.
“We have just been through a major, catastrophic hurricane and people are lining up to buy real estate,” she said. “If that doesn’t reflect Manhattan’s market then I am unsure of what measure to consider.”