The Strange Former Lives of New York City Real Estate Brokers

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New York City residents and their real estate brokers have a special kind of relationship. A relationship reserved for two people, one of whom has a key to an apartment, and the other of whom has large amounts of cash to give to that person just for having that key. Is it any wonder, then, that we're entranced by these fascinating creatures who wield such power? That we want to know what they might have done in the lead-ups to their lives now? Who, exactly, was the Stefani Germanotta to their current Real Estate Gaga incarnations? If you've ever wondered such questions, The New York Times' Elizabeth A. Harris has the fascinating answers.

True story. Real estate agents currently working in New York City used to be:

  • a successful hand model who once poked the Pillsbury Doughboy.
  • a rapper from Notorious B.I.G.'s Junior M.A.F.I.A. known as "Kleptomaniac."
  • "acrobats and opera singers, ballerinas and models, jazz dancers, a gay-porn star and many, many actors."
  • the woman who voiced Baxter the cat in Meow Mix commercials. 
  • the daughter of the Hair Club for Men's Sy Sperling and marketing director for the family biz. 
  • the actress who played the girlfriend of the cute guy in Sixteen Candles

“People come to New York from far-off lands and states with a dream,” said Leonard Steinberg, a managing director at Prudential Douglas Elliman and a former fashion designer. “Oftentimes, those dreams don’t pan out as well as you’d like them to, and then you start looking at alternative careers.”

It's a heart-warming lesson for us all! If at first you don't succeed, and maybe even if you do, next, try real estate. We hear the market's improving. 

Image via Shutterstock by Kzenon.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.