Updated: Mar 6
Often dubbed the "Queen of New York City Real Estate," Barbara Corcoran has served as a mentor and inspiration to many, including Brown Harris Stevens CEO Bess Freedman.
As part of Fordham Real Estate Institute’s ongoing series “Titan Talks"—and in anticipation of Women's History Month—Freedman recently sat down with Corcoran to discuss a variety of topics, from Freedman's time working as a manager under Corcoran, to Corcoran's own experience with ABC's "Shark Tank."
The 40-minute interview featured some unique tidbits about Corcoran's life many fans may not be privy to, including the fact that she worked 22 jobs before the age of 23 and has invested in over 150 businesses. She also shared tips for success, noting that her primary barometer for measuring a prospective investment or new hire is not necessarily experience or knowledge, but attitude and perseverance.
"Have a passion for your business and an attitude that you're going to find a way to do it ... I think most of success is about attitude." — Barbara Corcoran
Corcoran also touched on the importance of branding, sharing a humorous anecdote about how, in the early days of her real estate career, she used her first significant commission to purchase an expensive, outlandish coat from Bergdorf Goodman as a means of distinguishing herself. "You have to invest in yourself and your own brand," Freedman noted in response.
Not a stranger to rejection, Corcoran noted how, had it not been for her own persistence, she might never have become a TV star.
After being in talks to star on "Shark Tank," Corcoran was initially slated to be a fallback by the show's production. In response, she composed a lengthy email to producers on why they should still consider her, noting, "I'm much more accustomed to coming in first." Impressed by her verve, and with her being the only executive out of many cut from the show to send a rebuttal, producers decided to cast her.
Other topics mentioned in the interview include Corcoran's advice to up-and-coming real estate agents, how she grew a billion-dollar business from a $1,000 investment, and more.