This week, we sat down with Triplemint agent Amy McDonald to chat about how she entered the real estate industry after trying her hand at politics, and why she loves helping people.
Why did you become an agent?
I have a degree in International Affairs and French, so while I had a background in sales before I started in real estate I was also working in politics for a while. I was trying to change the world. I really wanted to help people and I found out that in politics it’s quite hard to directly help people. So I began looking into ways to use my sales skills to actually help people, and landing in real estate wasn’t a big surprise. I hail from a real estate family in North Carolina, my father and brother run The McDonald Group, Charlotte, and my sister works at a finance firm with a large real estate arm.
So when I decided to jump into real estate, it was because I could use my sales skills and help people make a very important decision in their life. Whether you’re looking to buy or rent in Manhattan, it’s one of the biggest financial decisions you’ll be making for quite some time, and I really love advising people throughout the entire journey.
What has been your best moment as a real estate agent?
I don’t think I have just one best moment as a real estate agent. The most rewarding part of being an agent is when a client is truly happy with their new home.
Every day you face new challenges, so often being a problem solver behind the scenes is very rewarding because it sets the stage for your clients to have the best experience possible.
What does a typical day as an agent entail?
Part of the reason becoming a real estate agent appealed to me so much was that every day is a bit different. However, the longer I do this job the more I get into routines. I tend to spend my mornings in the office and I try to get in by 8:30 AM.
I start my day with a morning ritual that includes writing handwritten notes to clients, touching base with past and future clients, and getting into a positive mindset. I tend to work in the office until 1-2PM and in the afternoon I’m either out with clients showing apartments, grabbing a late lunch at a favorite neighborhood spot, or going to events to support friends or clients.
What’s the most difficult part of being an agent?
As an agent, you work with so many different people on a daily basis that it can be hard to avoid letting other people dictate your day, mood, or response. For example, we work with clients, agents, lawyers, appraisers, management companies, mortgage brokers, and so many other folks. Making the conscious decision to not let a terrible phone call or an awful meeting ruin your day is tough, but it’ll change your business and life in general.
What tips would you give to aspiring agents who are just starting out?
Call your friends, old colleagues, family members, and even acquaintances. Many real estate agents start out after having other careers, so re-branding yourself as an agent is so important.
Do you have any tips for first-time home buyers looking to buy in the NY market?
Having a knowledgeable team is the most important thing, so find a great agent, mortgage broker, and real estate lawyer. It’s also critical that you understand that you may not get the first home you put an offer on. Most first time home buyers are in a very competitive price point, so it’s important to not let losing one apartment get you down. If you have a good agent, you’ll find a great place that works for you.
What is your favorite NY neighborhood, and why?
My newest favorite neighborhood is Hudson Square. It’s to the west of SoHo, from 6th Avenue to the water. It’s not quite as busy as SoHo, but it’s got a great vibe, delicious restaurants (like Local & Vine on Hudson), and it’s very convenient to the West Side Highway.
What does the future hold for you?
Everything! I see myself buying a home in Hudson Square or the West Village and continuing to do real estate while getting into local politics, so I can help people in more ways than just buying and selling their homes.
If you want Amy to discover your next NYC home, check out her agent profile and get in touch.