A long time Associate Broker and Corporate Relocation Manager at Mirador, Thomas Walker talks about his creative background, his family, and NYC real estate!
When did you start your real estate career, and how many years have you been with Mirador?
I became an NYC real estate agent in 2001 and joined Mirador in 2015.
Why real estate?
After working in corporate for so long, one day I decided I wanted to be my own boss. I looked in the NY Times and saw a real estate job posting and decided to apply. I figured I’d enjoy being a real estate agent because of the flexibility and all the interesting architecture I’d be exposed to.
I didn’t realize it when I applied, but after being in real estate for over 15 years, I learned how much I actually love talking to people and really enjoy all the new people I meet every day!
What were your previous career paths?
Before moving to NYC in 1993, I was in London running my own sound system. I was a DJ and an art student at the same time. After I moved to NYC, I worked for many graphic design companies and multimedia startups. I have always been very artistic.
Tell us a bit about your family:
I have a lovely wife and 3 children ages 2, 12, and 17 who I live with in Sheepshead Bay, Brookyln. Of course sometimes it is hard to balance work and spending quality time with family but overall, I love growing with them and they inspire me to want to become a better father, husband, and businessman.
What is one fun fact about yourself?
I walked on fire at a Tony Robbins (popular life coach) event. It was great until when I made it about halfway through, I thought to myself “There is no way I feel no pain this is unreal”, and then I screamed in pain as my feet started to burn. The trick is to walk with consistent pace and pressure until the end. If you stand in one spot for too long, it will start to burn you! Nonetheless, I finished the walk and felt great afterwards.
Where is the favorite place you’ve traveled to?
I love Cornwall in England. Back when I lived in London, my family and I would travel there once a year for 21 years. We visit the Nanquidno Valley where we’d go to the beach, fish, and just simply walk around in the middle of nowhere. I also loved Rio, Brazil. It was a beautiful place!
What are some of your side hobbies?
I absolutely love cooking. I love cooking all types of food all the time. If I had to choose my favorite cuisine to cook, it would have to be Indian food. I love spices, not so much for their heat but for their rich flavors. I also love smoking meats.
I enjoy eating very much, too. I’m a huge dessert guy. I love dessert, it’s my weakness. I probably eat more dessert than I should.
What is the funkiest food you’ve ever eaten?
Durian - the funkiest food I’ve ever eaten happens to be one of my favorite foods (laughs). It’s a Chinese fruit known for their pungent smell. Every year on my birthday I buy one for myself, and my wife doesn’t allow me in the house because the fruit stinks too much!
What is the craziest thing that happened to you in your real estate career?
One time I went to an open house with a client and about ten other agent and clients were there too.. One of us tried to use the restroom but the door was locked even though no one was supposed to be home at the time. Seconds later, the apartment owner walks out of the bedroom with nothing but a towel on. He was showering and completely forgot the open house was taking place.
What is the most unusual thing you have seen in a home?
I remember I went to visit an apartment in the West Village and the basement duplex was a dominatrix studio with whips and cuffs everywhere!
What do you find unique about NYC real estate?
I find the most unique part of NYC real estate is that the market is extremely international. I grew up in London, which was also a very international city so I really enjoy meeting people from different culture and backgrounds.
What advice would you give new renters and buyers in NYC?
Make sure that all your paperwork is ready before you start seeing apartments. The market moves so fast in NYC that apartments come and go so quickly. If you have all your paperwork ready, you can submit your application ASAP and not risk your apartment being taken by someone else.
What is your favorite neighborhood and why?
I love the Upper West Side. I used to visit my aunt there when I was younger so it brings back great memories.
I’d recommend this neighborhood mostly because of their parks, the tree lined streets, brownstones, and the diversity of housing options there; there’s a good mix of walk ups and high rises. The whole area just feels very Manhattan.
What is your favorite building and why?
My favorite building in NYC is Tower 67. I love the vibe of the building - it is very relaxed and welcoming. Everything from the quality of the apartments, the location, to the classic and clean finishes is amazing.
Your dream home must have ___?
My dream home must have a big garden, but in the City, I would just like to have a penthouse with nice city views.
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