Q&A WITH ARGO'S KAREN BERMAN
|Argo Real Estate VP and director of sales and brokerage Karen Berman has always had a talent for selling—she was always the girl who sold the most raffle tickets in elementary school. She started her professional career with the NYC Conciliation and Appeals Board, which got her interested in residential. She now supervises Argo Residential’s sales force, listing activities, and handles all phases of co-op and condo sales and conversions, including sublets. In ‘76, she launched Argo’s brokerage arm for properties converted and managed by the company, growing this facet to include rentals, condos, and co-ops outside of Argo’s portfolio.|
Bisnow: What was the landscape like for women when you started?Karen: There were very few female leaders at that time. It was a “man’s world.” I guess you could say I had the chutzpah to work well with them as one of the few females leading a sales team.
Bisnow: What is your most memorable moment in the business?
Karen: My first conversion at Argo—a pre-war building, rental to co-op, at 11 W 69th St—will always be my most memorable moment in the business. I was so fascinated that people could own a piece of New York at a very low price for that time.
Bisnow: What is one of the greatest lessons you've learned?
Karen: You have to be honest in the real estate business. Live by this mantra and clients will continue to come back to you and refer their friends and family. I’ve been in the business for 36 years, running the brokerage for 35 years, and I still have people calling me whom I worked with 35 years ago. Henry Moskowitz, who founded Argo in 1952, was my greatest mentor. His entrepreneurial driveand investment in this company as a family-run business always inspired me.
Bisnow: What might people not know about you?Karen: My husband and I eat out seven nights a week. But for Thanksgiving, I make the best large turkey with homemade stuffingthat is talked about all year long.