In another life, Devin Someck may have become a lawyer. He was all set to do so until a turn-of-events sent him toward real estate and deferring from law school indefinitely. Eleven years later, Devin is co-founder and Principal of Living New York, a Real Estate firm based out of New York City with an impressive amount of ever-evolving brands, affiliate companies, real estate syndications, services offered. It seems like one couldn’t walk a block in the city without Devin having had some connection to it down the line.
Devin enjoys his hybrid role at the firm and the managerial role that he also plays with his agents. “Real estate is a relationship business” Devin says assuredly as though his words were a tried and true understanding. It’s a relationships business on the buyer/seller side, but “on the agent side, as well.” He seems excited about the diversity and plethora of experiences that working in real estate affords him. “We have a very different, eclectic group of individuals that come into real estate. People have such different, interesting, fascinating backgrounds and stories.” And, it’s that very unique blend that excites and interests Devin every day. “I like to interact with different people on a daily basis…Every day is different.”
Devin gives me the feeling that he lives very much in the present moment, but is still considerate when choosing his words… not through rehearsal as much as it is through living in a genuine way- it’s his nature. He reminds me of a person that would be a great storyteller because they were actually out there in the world truly living and had a message to share when they returned. So, when I asked about his most memorable experiences, Devin went silent for a brief moment. I tried to assure him it was okay to not have an answer, but before I really could, he responds that there are so many memorable experiences to recall that he wasn’t sure what to say at first. He then elaborates, “the relationships that I’ve established, the friendships with my clients, employees, and brokerage community…” are the biggest takeaway for him. He laughs as though he finds humor in the idea of coming to the cliched understanding, but he says it anyway, “it’s cliche, but true, money comes and goes, but relationships are everlasting.”
Regardless of how you build those relationships and no matter how much you value them, there are many moments that can raise challenge in real estate. For Devin, “the lack of control” that can be experienced throughout any deal raise the most challenge. Devin admits that there are so many variables at play that are out of one’s hands. He states “You can try to quarterback a deal as much as you want, but you can’t control every variable at play such as lenders underwriting process, home inspections, or the emotions of all parties involved” Devin has learned to have patience and how to set his own expectations as a result of these challenges. You have to “be prepared to be let down more times than not” and develop a “rough skin” in response to those let downs. For Devin, seemingly throwing himself into the business, he had to develop this knowledge and experience rather quickly. He now gets to support other Agents in learning those nuances of personal practice that will best ensure their success.
In terms of NuOp, Devin found us through one of his Agents. He said that he is always open to new products and applications considering the way that tech has been influencing our industry. Devin says the “industry is fragmented when it comes to out of market referrals.” Clients want an extension of their Agent, someone in their network… and Devin believes that the platform is good because “it not only provides information on other agents, it gives insight and background, kind of like a resume.” Devin states that “in order to remain competitive brokerages need to serve as a one stop shop,” and NuOp has the potential to increase that capacity.
WIth regard to his personal philosophy, Devin is all about “transparency and honesty.” The industry has changed a bit from one that was more “resource based” to one that is “customer service based,” so it is essential that Devin’s Agents and he always play with their cards face up. Devin trains his Agents “to be as communicative & transparent as possible, to be as available as possible, and to be as informed as possible……” Devin seems like the type of boss that you wouldn’t want to let down, someone who you felt like was truly rooting for you to be the best version of yourself. He seems very principled and sage through experience, but not hardened due to it.
Devin seemed to have accidentally found his passion for a business, but his ability to stay within it and flourish was no accident. His flexibility and willingness to work to build relationships over caring about his commission have guaranteed him a prominent place for years to come.