Barbara Corcoran

How Barbara Corcoran built a real estate business

Barbara Corcoran is one of the most famous real estate agents in the United States. She founded the Corcoran Group, a major property company. The woman has built a successful business despite selling only 3 apartments herself. Her philosophy is to be visible and to attract attention.

The beginning of her career

Corcoran was born in 1949 into a family of Irish origin. She had 8 brothers and sisters. But only Barbara received a university education. While studying in New York, she worked as a waitress. It was during this time that she met Ray Simone. He persuaded Corcoran to become a real estate agent, noticing her innate sociability. In 1973, Simone invested a thousand dollars in the girl’s company in exchange for 51% of the business. It is worth noting that they were linked both personally and professionally.
Barbara worked in the rental sector for several years and only sold her first apartment in 1977. After receiving a 6% commission, she decided to concentrate her efforts in this sector. Corcoran then took on another salesperson to expand the business.
The agency increased until Simone decided to leave for another woman. The business was divided equally. Ray returned 1% of the shares to Barbara, making her the majority shareholder. He argued that Corcoran would not be able to run the business alone.

success story of Barbara Corcoran

Own business

Not only did she not break down, but she actively expanded the Corcoran Group. Once she had enough staff, Barbara turned her attention to marketing. In 1981, the agency began publishing a New York property prices newsletter. It was a bold move at a time when such information was considered confidential, but it had a positive effect. Corcoran demonstrated its social media savvy. The company gained new clients who trusted the woman’s judgement.
The 1987 stock market crash hit the company hard, and the businesswoman had to cut costs. An offer from a well-known property developer helped Corcoran regain her position. He was unable to sell 263 apartments in old buildings. Despite the small number of square metres, the price of the flats was too high. In this case, Barbara used her skills as a business analyst. She developed an original sales strategy:
– announced a one-day sale;
– all flats had the same price of USD 175,000, regardless of features;
– instead of advertising in the newspapers, Corcoran asked the agents to spread the word;
– thus creating a sense of exclusivity and making a stir.
On the appointed day, a line of people lined up outside the company to buy the apartment. During the day, the company completed 101 transactions. The rest of the apartments were sold within 4 months. Corcoran received USD 1 million in revenue.
In 2001, Barbara sold the company. However, she continues to be active. She appears on television as an expert and invests in new projects.