20 Years of Real Estate Industry Wisdom from Every Mann’s Shares

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For 20 years, Alan Mann has made a name for himself in the real estate business in Queens, specializing in his childhood neighborhoods including Elmhurst. He is renowned for his proficient experience and extensive knowledge which he cleverly disseminates through his weekly “Every Mann’s Real Estate” video series, offering an in-depth look into the real estate sector.

Mann asserts, “I am familiar with nearly every property in Elmhurst, Forest Hills, Kew Gardens, and Briarwood from an external perspective, but now I have gained insights from inside as well”. He proclaims, “After about 300 to 400 one-off property deals, you get to know most of the residences in these areas quite well. More significantly though, I have likely sold about three or four apartments in each block.”

Mann, a longtime New Yorker, emphasises his love for the accessibility to public transportation offered by his Forest Hills habitat. He shares, “I could possibly be the only estate agent who does not possess his own house. I have been living in a rent-controlled flat for the past four decades. What attracts me about Forest Hills, Rego Park, and Kew Gardens is that residents do not depend on cars for their daily commute. I could not imagine residing in a place where a car is a necessity to fetch a carton of milk.”

Mann has led two professional lives, first as a globe-trotting shoe sales representative for two decades, and now with an equivalent duration in the real estate sector. The nature of both professions did not guarantee a regular fixed income, demanding him to solely rely on his ability to secure a commission to pay bills. His wife, suffering from a rare disability, has been out of work for quite some time.

According to Mann, “Those engaged in sales-driven professions like mine should understand the importance of living beneath their means, otherwise, they are fooling themselves. There are instances when you do not receive a paycheck for up to three months which can be quite unnerving.”

Post his shoe sales tenure, Mann spent months job hunting before stumbling upon a flyer publicizing adult-education property dealing classes. He recalls, “There was a flyer in the lobby of my building which my wife, Debbie, fetched. She suggested that I consider enrolling in it. ‘The course is offered twice a week at Forest Hills High School. Why not give it a try? It might interest you and, at least, it will give you a reason to leave the house’, she proposed”.

Mann recounts his teacher emphasizing that the course was not an accelerated one intended to enable students to attain their license rapidly, but was instead aimed at effectively teaching the principles of the real estate business. Mann shares, “I turned into ‘that’ student. You remember the one, that guy or girl in school you despised? The one who always sat at the front, raised their hand at every question, and shouted ‘Oh! Oh! Oh!’. I became that person in class since I found it so interesting.”

While prepping for his licensure examination, Mann and Debbie diligently went through newspaper job advertisements and found one looking for recruits at a real estate agency. Mann dialed the number provided and had a half-hour-long conversation about the industry with the manager before disclosing that he wasn’t yet licensed.

Mann recalls, “There was silence at her end when I shared that I was yet to be licensed. I asked, ‘Are you there?’ and she replied, ‘Yes, Alan but I am not even supposed to talk to you until you have your license, but an interesting thing has happened.’ I asked, ‘What’s that?’ and she confessed, ‘I have been in this field for 30 years and you appear to be the most prepared person I have ever conversed with.’”

The manager assured Mann of her conviction in his ability to clear the test with flying colors. Once he obtained his license, he notified her, and was hired the next day.

Mann asserts, “When you are employed at a small realtor company, one thing you miss out on compared to a larger corporation is the training. I learnt about real estate all by myself. From hauling your own placards to open houses to everything else is primarily a solo endeavor.”

Mann is currently an employee of the national real estate heavyweight, Douglas Elliman. He remains committed to suburban residential sales in the very same Queens neighborhoods he has always adored and called home.

Mann confides, “I was certain that I would never top the charts here. In the Hamptons, every house is worth at least $10 million, in the city, all the apartments are valued at $4 million, whilst I am dealing mainly with studio apartments going for $100,000.”

Mann contends that the unique relationship of a localized real estate agent fosters strong connections with the communities he serves as he anticipates bringing a close to the final few years of his career.

He concludes, “The profession is unpredictable yet extremely rewarding. The satisfaction of finding someone their dream home and the bond that you create with them is immeasurable.”

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