Cover: Wendy J. Sarasohn, SVP, Corcoran Group

Her Sixth Sense: The Secret of Her Success

 

by Vanessa Codorniu

 

When you first meet Wendy J. Sarasohn, you might think she looks familiar. And you just may be right. Wendy J. Sarasohn not only plays an upscale real estate broker on a television commercial for The New York Post, she is one in real life.

As a Senior Vice President at The Corcoran Group, Wendy J. Sarasohn has brought her own distinct flair of professionalism, talent, and savvy as well as a whole new dimension to real estate: the psychic dimension. Along with her tireless energy, utmost dedication and great sense of humor, Wendy's prominent "sixth sense" has made her one of The Corcoran Group's top producers.

With an office full of clippings that range from The New York Times, New York Magazine, The Observer, The Boston Globe, More Magazine, The Wall Street Journal… to name just a few. As well as interviews on Bloomberg News, NBC, CNBC, ABC and others, Wendy J. Sarasohn is no stranger to the media. Whether it’s playing a broker on television, imparting expert real estate advice, sporting the latest fashion, hosting a celebrity bash or simply being seen with the Who’s Who of New York’s elite, this power broker seems to be everywhere.

While thriving in the public eye, Wendy is a consummate real estate professional that values people above all else, “I believe that people come into our lives for a reason. I never know who is being sent to me and with the internet it’s become truly magical. An element I truly love about real estate and really, the key element for me is the people.”

Frequently lauded as "Broker of the Year," "Salesperson of the Month," and a consistent member of The Corcoran Group's "Million Dollar Circle," there is no doubt that Wendy J. Sarasohn has perfected her own highly unique winning combination. As a spiritual seeker, an intuitive and as a student of Feng Shui and the Kabbalah, Wendy sees beyond the physical components of real estate and truly taps into the spoken and unspoken needs of her clients.

The Sixth Sense

While growing up in South Orange, New Jersey, Wendy realized that she seemed to know things others didn’t, “As a child I would know who was telephoning our house and of course, this was before caller id. They called it ESP, extra-sensorial perception. I was curious about that. It was frightening at first, for example, if I said someone was going to die and they did, I almost felt as if I was responsible. I hid my intuitive sense for a while.”

Eventually she came to accept her abilities. Wendy started to become more open about her sixth sense, “It changed in my early twenties when people thought it was cool that I could identify the people calling before picking up the phone.”

Her psychic gifts range from physical sensations, “when the apartment is right, chills run up my right arm,” to precognitive dreams and the inner voice of intuition. Wendy explains, “It serves me really well in my business because it means that I can cut through traditional methods of finding spaces for people and just tune into psychic information. Fortunately, there’s less rolling-of-the eyes these days, so even my Goldman Sachs corporate bankers are somewhat amused. I have professional credibility so that substantiates my non-traditional techniques.” Wendy also has a knack for sensing when the energy is not quite right and will suggest a smudging to clear the energy.

Leaning back in her chair, Wendy reminisces, “One morning I was jogging around the reservoir when an inner voice said ‘Call Anne Rice, tell her it’s a good time to sell.’ So I got to my office and there was a message from Anne Rice saying call me. I do and I tell her it’s time to sell. She doesn’t want to sell instead she wants to buy the condo next to hers and expand. How will I explain that in New York it’s difficult to make this happen? I look on my screen and at that very moment,” Wendy pauses, “The apartment adjacent to hers which she is interested in blips on the screen! I tell Anne, you’re not going to believe this!”

 

From Commercials to Corcoran

 

Following her artistic aspirations, Wendy went to school in London and Boston and then graduated from The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York City. While pursuing her acting career, Wendy also continued her studies and graduated Summa Cum Laude and became a member of Kappa Tau Alpha from the New York University School of Journalism.

The truth is that Wendy had never thought of real estate as a career, “I never wanted to be in real estate. I was a television commercial actress. As an actress I saw myself as a creative spirit.  Real estate to me, seemed too corporate, all math… it was foreign and not appealing to me. Yet as an actress I was not generating the income I wanted in order to put my daughter, Jamie through private school.”

Wendy’s husband at the time was teaching a class at Marymount College and she took advantage of the opportunity to attend a class. Choosing a class in real estate, she simply hated it. Not one to give up easily she enrolled at a training course with a real estate company, “That’s when I think there was a feeling of divine guidance. I joined Corcoran, which at the time was a small company. No one could ever pronounce the name back then. I had the amazing good fortune of being at the right place at the right time and meeting Barbara Corcoran and she became my mentor not only in the real estate business but in life as well.”

Barbara Corcoran founded the real estate brokerage firm in 1973 with $1,000, expanded it over two decades into a five-billion-dollar real estate business and sold it in 2001 for about $70 million. The Corcoran Group was created at a time when New York City started to transition from a real estate market predominately composed of rentals to one of individual ownership. Envisioning the impact of these market changes, The Corcoran Group targeted specific neighborhoods and concentrated on Manhattan’s higher-end properties. With over thirty years in real estate, The Corcoran Group has expanded to a total of 45 offices and almost 2,000 agents. In 2005, Corcoran agents generated $11.9 billion in total sales. Four years ago they began to expand into other key luxury markets, acquiring leading firms in both the Hamptons, Shelter Island, North Fork and the Palm Beaches. Simply put, The Corcoran Group is to date, the largest residential real estate firm in New York City.

Wendy’s career at The Corcoran Group has spanned 19 years. “I have learned so much. Important things: stay focused on your own business, don’t take things personally, always keep learning and don’t forget to play and be open to opportunities.”

The opportunities that Wendy describes are life’s adventures, “Someone had referred a conductor to me, he was living in the South of France so we corresponded. When he came to NYC there was some slip up and he wound up being referred to another broker. It turned out that the broker was working out of our West Side office. While that broker wasn’t too pleased…we decided I’d take him on the East Side and he would do the West Side. The apartment I chose for them turned out to be owned by people from the same village in Romania as the conductor’s wife. They didn’t move to Manhattan but they invited me to one of their dress rehearsals. So I ended up in Carnegie Hall, sitting next to Paul McCartney at the dress rehearsal! I feel that I have these amazing experiences that I would never have otherwise because of what I do.”

As Wendy recalls the impact of her long-time mentor, she explains, “Barbara Corcoran immediately became my mentor and for that I am forever grateful. She is extraordinary. She is entrepreneurial, a risk taker, has a great time, is decisive and has great life skills that I was able to ingest and then hopefully model myself after. I admired her commitment to incorporating creativity and fun with hard work and determination. She also inspired me to learn to take risks and to always be able to view market circumstances in a positive way. She guided me to schedule vacations so that I had something to look forward to which helped me work hard.”

In her energetic candor, Wendy continues describing the changes in the last six years, “When Barbara sold the company it slowly became more corporate and less like a family
although Pam Liebman has maintained the family feeling in spite of our enormous growth. She began the yearly trip for our top 25 producers. Each year we're taken on a fabulous trip that becomes more luxurious and extravagant. Pam is incredibly generous in deliciously indulging us.”

 

Dynamic Duo: Mother-Daughter

 

At first glance, Jamie Beilin looks like a fresh faced ingénue; peaches and cream complexion and clear blue eyes. Yet for all her youth, she is definitely not the new kid on the block. The fact is, she is as organically grown a real estate agent as they come, steeped in the details as well as the trials and tribulations of what it takes to succeed in the real estate industry from a very young age. ”I’ve watched my mom do this since I was 8 years old so I think I got a great head start. Because of this, I’ve always known which co-ops have tough boards and different building’s pet policies. I have a great memory and watching her do this for so many years has taught me so many little things that come in handy everyday!”

Jamie continues, “I think the most important thing I’ve learned from my mom is that life is short and I should have fun and enjoy it. She’s also taught me that success in business isn’t luck but hard work and to always be grateful for the people that come into my life through this business. We are very lucky and work with a lot of extraordinary people who are genuine and kind.”

Born and raised in Manhattan, Jamie attended The Spence School (an all girls school on the Upper East Side) before graduating from Cornell University’s College of Arts and Sciences in 2003. Jamie began her career in the entertainment industry working with a well-known casting director/producer. Jamie soon tired of the project by project basis that her casting career entailed. Feeling that it would be more exciting as well as a more secure career choice, Jamie quickly attained her real estate license and began working at The Corcoran Group in 2004 as one of Wendy’s assistants. Brooke Christopher joined the team about three months ago as Wendy’s assistant and is also a talented third-generation photographer.

Mother and daughter both agree that there is plenty of humor to be found in this most interesting profession. Jamie says, “This business has great comedy material all the time and you just need to take the time to appreciate the absurdity of it sometimes. For instance, some buildings only allow dogs that are under 25lbs- and if a customer falls in love with an apartment and their dog is 30lbs- that dog is put on a strict diet and starts exercise classes in the park!”

Multi-talented and extremely versatile, Wendy J. Sarasohn has recently finished writing her first book and both Wendy and Jamie are preparing for their debut seminars at The Learning Annex in NYC. Watch for them in the fall as they both join forces to perform the roles they were most clearly destined for: an unstoppable dynamic duo helping people purchase their dream homes with spirit and style.

 

 

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