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Career 180: His party days are behind him
Raphael Chejade-Bloom worked in hospitality/nightlife for eight years before jumping into apartment sales. He joined CORE Real Estate in January as a licensed real estate salesperson, working alongside top-producing associate broker Jarrod Guy Randolph. His extensive resume starts at Rubenstein Communications and MTV, before becoming nightlife company Gerber Group's director of marketing and entertainment and its youngest managing partner. He left hospitality in 2012. Chejade-Bloom, 30, lives in the West Village with his girlfriend and his French Bulldog puppy.
Why did you leave hospitality?
I left hospitality because my professional background was essentially corporate nightlife and I was really ready for a lifestyle change and my priorities had shifted.
How did you get interested in real estate?
I've been on the periphery of real estate now for many years. Scott Gerber was a tremendous mentor and his business was and will always be underlined by real estate. He's very surgical about the placement of his venues. So as a former partner of Gerber Group I really had great access to all aspects of business and deal-making. What attracted me to residential real estate specifically was the low barrier to entry; it's very easy to get into residential real estate, but the industry has a way of weeding out those without any defined skill set. For that reason, I liked my odds for success.
What do you love about the residential market here?
The top of the market is never banal and always impossibly unique. Combine that with steep competition and an unwavering pace and you might as well consider it a daily adrenaline shot.
Can you tell us about your apartment?
It's a lofted one-bedroom. It has very high ceilings and a very nice view of the Village.
Are there any tips you can give apartment hunters?
Invest in new development because it appreciates disproportionately higher than the rest of the market in the first five years. You're securing better capital appreciation and new infrastructure with zero or limited barrier to entry. Also, don't wait. Do it now -- your goal is to purchase in the first or second round.
What is a pro and a con of your new job?
I think one of my strengths and one of the things that I really enjoy is paying a lot of acute attention to details that most people grossly overlook. The worst part, the cons would be, I guess as a licensed real estate broker in New York City, there's a certain stigma or perception of the industry. I guess there is a lot of noise and a lot of bad apples in our business, but I’ve faced similar challenges before.
Do you wish you had gone into this originally?
I'm definitely happy that I did hospitality first. From graciousness to humility to strong listening and interpersonal skills and plainly just service, I think there's a ton of parallels.
What's coming up for you in the future?
Within a year, I would like to secure a boutique condo project that's in pre-development to list exclusively. That's a coveted assignment that's won with the strength of your Rolodex. Between my contacts and marketing background, along with Jarrod's new development experience, I think we're strong competition. Ultimately, this move extends far beyond the conventional parameters of residential real estate, and involves working intimately with the developers involved with these projects. My interest is development and all aspects of design, consulting and leasing.
Any advice for readers who are considering a career 180?
The biggest misconception in any business is that it's all about instant gratification. If you don't have some healthy perspective, an elevated game plan and mentorship from a high-level executive, you're in for a reality check. That's not a deterrent; it's just what separates long-term strategists like me from the rest of the pack. That, and fortune favors the bold.