Believe it or not, there aren’t that many born and bred Manhattanites in the Big Apple. But Nicole Beauchamp is one of them.
And that is what makes her a such valuable resource for all things New York City. What restaurants are hot? Who has a trustworthy dog walker? What clubs have the best jazz? Anyone who knows Nikki knows to ask her first.
In fact, it was her ability to make recommendations and connect people to other people that brought her to real estate in the first place.
From making referrals to being the real estate agent.
“I was working as a technology consultant, but had a friend who was an agent,” Nikki explained. “And everyone I knew who was moving to New York or changing apartments would ask me about neighborhoods or apartment buildings. And I’d send most of them to this one agent.”
Then at a holiday party, Nikki saw this agent friend’s brand new car. “She told me that I helped her buy that car with all my referrals, and suggested I get my real estate license!”
In embarking on her life as an agent, many people told her she’d have more flexibility and better time management. “It’s an illusion of choice,” she warned. “I can choose to prioritize, but it’s the same as any other consulting opportunity.”
Be the resource and they’ll always need you.
Being the go-to woman for information and insight about New York and all it has to offer has become Nikki’s calling card.
“The most important part of my brand is being accessible and being a resource,” she explained. “I can recommend a nanny, a maid, a contractor, a driver or a travel agent. That is the core of who I have always been, and that was easy to integrate into my business.”
Even in an age where there is an app for everything, Nikki’s know-how is still in demand. Just recently, a colleague booked an AirBnB, but texted Nikki for insight on the neighborhood.
Giving clients the benefit of her experience and expertise is the end goal — even if a sale isn’t part of it. “I had one instance where a client and I spent one long cold day looking at apartments, but then he rented an apartment in the building where their short term rental was located.” But the story didn’t end there.
“The client told me, ‘I want to pay you for your services. Because without you, I wouldn’t have known that this was a good idea.’” This client is due to close on a purchase this spring.
Always listen more than you talk.
For Nikki, the ultimate measurement of success is your willingness to refer her. “If I finished a deal and I am not still involved with the client or being referred, I’d say that I didn’t do my job.” And staying involved is what it’s all about. But no one can remember every little detail about every person, so Nikki makes sure she uses every tool she can to improve her recall.
“From my Rolodex to my Blackberry to my iPhone, I’ve always kept notes. I’ll note your birthday, your job change, your kids’ names, your hobbies and what Broadway shows you love. It allows me to be interested in you and your life, which makes you interested in continuing to talk to me.”
It’s not about showering clients with gifts — even though she’s always got Starbucks gift cards in her pocket. It’s small, genuine and heartfelt connections that are the foundation of her brand. “My relationships are my gold,” she said with a smile.
And Nikki wants all real estate agents to know that they can do this, too. “People are already telling you what you need to know — if you’re actually listening.”