Less than six degrees – Where do I go from here?

Starting from scratch - Connecting and Networking in New York CityPreviously I showed you my video that went viral with over 1 million views in two months and asked, “What does this have to do with moving back to New York?”  Absolutely everything.

I posted that video on lots of social media sites – most importantly on LinkedIn – and one call I received was not for a short sale listing.

A commercial real estate broker in NYC called me and said, “I just saw your video, you have to come and work with us.”  I thanked him and I was flattered, but confused.  He told me that commercial real estate brokers have an “old school” way of thinking and social media is not embraced and under-utilized.  He thought that with my creativity and his wide reach within LinkedIn and other mediums, we could create a series of videos or blogs that attracted potential clients in an authentic way.

I told him that I’m actually from New York, was considering moving back and I would be there in the next few weeks to take my real estate broker’s exam.  Long story short – we met, hit it off and he convinced me that commercial real estate was the best fit for me, rather than continue with residential.

I found an apartment in Midtown West (Hell’s Kitchen), flew back to Vegas, put our house on the market and it sold in 7 days.

This was a huge transition for us.  We went from a 3,000 square foot home with 3 garages and two cars on a ¼ acre lot in a guard-gated golf course community to a 500 square foot, one bedroom, one bath apartment with no balcony on a very busy street near the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel.  The rent for our apartment is more than we were paying for the house, the cars and all our other expenses combined.

We sold all our furniture, rented a truck and drove cross-country.  Being in a small U-Haul with your wife, dog and all your earthly belongings for 5 days makes you drive a little faster to your destination.  It also made our new, very small apartment feel bigger than it really is.

When we got here, I didn’t know anyone except my family in Queens and Long Island.  My biggest hesitation in coming back to New York (especially Manhattan) was – how am I going to compete, stand out and be successful when I’m starting from scratch?

I was a 51 year old guy, starting a career in a new place with no connections.  Now the journey begins.

Until next time

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(Here’s a hint for following this blog easily.  ”Previously” is always hyperlinked to the next article after it’s been posted.  ”Next time” will take you back to the previous post.  Make sure to click on each person’s name when they’re mentioned and see if they aren’t a possible connection for you. I’d be happy to make the introduction.)

Mark Karten is a connector in New York City.  If you’re ready to expand your network of meaningful, relevant relationships, contact Mark at mark@jpday.com.


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