This week, we sat down with Triplemint agent Olgierd Minkiewicz to discuss his love for music, the arts, and the real estate industry.
How do you marry your love for the arts and real estate?
This relationship works very well. I’m inspired by the clients I worked with and learning about their lives and transitions. I’m also inspired by the places I’ve seen, discovering the city in different ways, by trying new food in a new neighborhood, and sipping a cup of coffee at a new coffee joint. I’m out there meeting people, hearing about someone’s ambition or dream, and finding someone the perfect home. It’s a tremendously personal endeavor, and that fuels my writing and art.
Both the arts and real estate require a lot of attention. It motivates me to be more productive and effective with my schedule. Restriction of time is actually a gift to creativity.
Trying to understand people and their impulses translates well into sales, which is first and foremost about people. All the intricate real estate transactions and all the nuances of salesapply to any sphere of life. And that adds to the knowledge of how to sell my songs to make money doing what I love.
In real estate, as well as on stage, everybody knows within seconds who’s a good actor and who isn’t. If you’ve got it, you’ve got it. You can’t fool anybody, and neither should you.
What was your journey to becoming a real estate agent?
When I was looking for an apartment a few years back, I was working with a real estate agent. He was a nephew of a choral conductor I was working with at the time, and naturally I was referred to him. As we were walking and looking at my potential new apartments, he was showing me places that were the exact opposite of what I’d requested. It occurred to me that the best real estate agents know how to listen. Really listen. And a few days later I went to my first brokerage and told them that that’s who I aspire to be.
What has been your best moment as a real estate agent?
A New York City real estate agent sees a lot. I’ve seen apartments that I was ready to put an offer on myself, because they were such a good deal, and I’ve seen apartments that I would never live in. I’ve seen little things that make a big difference, and big things that do not matter at all. Weird things, funny things, exciting things, and that all becomes a truly wonderful experience when shared with my clients.
When we bond, and create a relationship that we cultivate outside of the real estate transaction, when we meet for coffee months after we worked together, when I hear that they love their new apartment and I’ve been invited to their housewarming, those are the best and most rewarding moments of being a New York City real estate agent.
How do you think your passion for music and the arts helps you better serve your clients?
It makes me happy. It keeps me going. It makes me creative and enthusiastic, and I can apply the same energy in my clients’ best interest. It puts a smile on my face when I interact with them. It allows me to express clients’ needs with ease, and listen to them more attentively.
It equips me with determination and perseverance, the same determination and perseverance I have in my ambitions for excellence in the arts. It turned me into a fierce negotiator for my clients. It makes me grateful to be able to open my eyes in the morning, and let them rest at night.
There are several movements and variations of the real estate symphony. Whether it’s a lively and energetic sonata-allegro summer rental, or a slow and lyrical adagio multi-million dollar condo in West Village, it’s always very fulfilling to bring the whole undertaking to an exuberant grand finale, where, hopefully, every client feels inclined to give a standing ovation, and leaves the theater inspired and satisfied.
What tips would you give to aspiring agents who are just starting out?
In such a big city like New York, it’s easy to believe you and another person will never cross paths again. You’ll realize that’s not true within just the first few months in real estate. You constantly work with the same brokers, management companies, and buildings. It always helps to be kind. We deal with a lot of people, some have better days, some have not-so-good days, some have different opinions than us, but kindness goes a long way. And of course be professional in everything you do.
Find a mentor within your agency. Usually the managers are there to guide you, and willing to help, but you can also reach out to a senior agent to ask for advice, or to listen to their phone conversations with clients. Go to the workshops, meetings, and seminars. There is always something to learn there.
Be organized, and find some time off during the week. Exercise and try to eat well. There’s going to be a lot of walking in New York City, and you need to be healthy and ready.
Every agent that just started their career in real estate is eager to close that first deal, or to get that first listing. One needs to be committed to be successful but be careful not to feel or act desperate. That never reads well.
Don’t take things personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. In real estate, there’s going to be some disappointments and some last-minute deals that get lost. If you feel down, give yourself the rest of the day to dwell on it, and then get back to work the next morning like nothing happened.
What’s a typical weekend look like for you?
Every day, whether it’s a weekday or weekend, I like to do something creative and something fun. I may wake up a little later on Saturday or Sunday, and try to make a semi-elaborate breakfast. My dogs will go on a longer walk in the morning, and I may have a longer session of piano/guitar practice. I will do some work, read a book, clean my apartment, go swimming or to the gym, try to write a little, look at my laundry and not do it, wrestle with my dogs, and by the time the evening comes, I’ve already eaten 5 times. Oh, and I always watch a movie on the weekend.
What is your favorite NY neighborhood, and why?
I would have to say Greenpoint, Brooklyn. I currently live on the Upper West Side, where I appreciate its quiet and more relaxed atmosphere. I’m close to the Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, home to the New York Philharmonic, Metropolitan Opera, and New York City Ballet, all of which inspire and amaze me tremendously every time I have a chance to see them. I live a block away from Riverside Park, which my two beloved dogs (Illusion and Polka) enjoy every day. There’s a lot to love on the Upper West Side, but I would still say Greenpoint.
There’s something in Greenpoint that always seemed like home for me. It’s a very vibrant neighborhood, with a lot of little restaurants, enticing bars, coffee shops, and bookstores, with a lot of green places and smaller buildings, both of which allow you to breathe better. It’s outside of the erratic city, but still very close to it, just by the river, with great views of the Manhattan skyline. A big community of artists and writers lives there, there’s a lot of dogs walking around, and people seem a little happier overall.
What does the future hold for you?
I prefer to show rather than tell, however, I hope for a future of continual learning, joy, exploration, and creative expression.