Sheila Lokitz came to New York 16 years ago with a career change in mind. Moving from Los Angeles to work in the garment industry, she knew that New York was different from other places and she wanted to be a part of it. As much as anything else she noticed the buildings - and not just because a lot of them are so big that they're impossible to overlook.
"Most of the architecture in L.A., if it gets old, they tear it down," Lokitz says. "When we came to New York, I was so fascinated at all the different types of buildings - brownstones and lofts and pre-war and post-war - that I became very interested in them. I stayed in the garment industry for [a little while longer] and I decided it was time to make a change. [Real estate] seemed like a natural progression for me because it kept me in something I knew very well - sales - but allowed me to sell something different."
That's how Lokitz, a senior vice president with the Corcoran Group ended up being a real estate broker - and it's a decision she's certainly satisfied with.
Along with getting a good job and raising a family, owning your own home is part of the American dream. And that dream is rarely achieved without the help of a real estate broker.
Brokers are like walking encyclopedias; they know what apartments are out there and which ones fit their clients' needs. They know the neighborhoods, buildings and school districts, whether the neighborhood is bustling or quiet, and how motivated a given seller is. After the sale, a good broker can also act as something of a concierge, helping new owners connect with all sorts of services and organizations in their new neighborhood to make the transition smooth and trouble-free.