Julie Zelman got her start in real estate when, as a celebrity personal assistant, one of her job requirements was finding her boss an apartment. Unfortunately for her boss, Julie discovered her true passion and soon after, entered the real estate world. She also worked as an actress in “Blast from the Past” next to stars like Brandon Fraser, Alicia Silverstone and Christopher Walken and she`s a passionate poker player.
Right after graduating college I moved to LA to pursue acting. I quickly learned that my passion was with improv, which is how a majority of the commercial auditions are structured. I had immediate success, booking national Hallmark and Visa commercials, among some other regional spots. I recommend improvisation classes for everyone, not just actors. It pushes you to think on your feet, think outside the box, and most important, listen. As a real estate broker, listening and really understanding my clients’ needs is so important and improv really helped me perfect that skill.
2. You are a passionate poker player. Does this help you in your everyday life?
Yes – I absolutely love poker. There are so many ways it helps me in both my everyday life and in real estate. I play tournament poker which can last up to 12 hours a day, and extend for many days. This takes an extreme amount of patience. Many real estate deals take weeks or even months longer than we hope for, whether it’s because we’re waiting for the contract to be signed, the bank to provide the commitment letter, or punch lists to be completed. Most seller and buyers are anxious to move fast so patience is the key. My ability to stay patient during anxious times helps my clients relax and learn to be more patient as well. Poker is also all about being able to read people. Just like in poker, with real estate, we’re often working with only partial information. For example, if I’m working with a buyer, I never really know how low the seller will actually go, or how many other offers there really are. I can only guess, based on limited information, the listing broker’s tone of voice, body language, etc. Poker has helped me process this type of information so I can guide my clients the best way possible.
3. What is your secret of success?
I wouldn’t be a very good business woman if I revealed my secrets, would I? Actually, I’m lucky because nobody can duplicate my success secret…
it’s my amazing partner, Nataly Rothschild. Actually, the secret is our incredible partnership. I am so grateful to have found her. We have the same sensibilities about real estate, and business in general. We balance each other and strive to help each other. There is absolutely no competitiveness between us. And most importantly, we make each other laugh. You cannot survive in New York City real estate without a sense of humour.
4. What are your next business goals?
Nataly and I have had a stellar year and it’s only August. I’m really looking forward to what the last quarter of 2015 will bring. We’ve been very fortunate that our clients consistently refer us to their friends, business associates, family, etc. My business goals are to keep satisfying our clients with our approachability, knowledge and accessibility. There may be a big new development or building project coming up as well but it’s too soon to talk about….stay tuned!
5. Why do you like working as real estate agent?
It sounds cliché but I love finding people their new homes. Of course selling an apartment is exciting and fun and profitable, but I find real joy in the actual searching of, and then finding an apartment for my customers that they can’t wait to call home.