Judy Sahagian says she had a difficult childhood as a first-generation American whose family had immigrated from Armenia to Egypt, then from Egypt and Scotland to New York. One of the highlights, though, was helping her grandfather create furniture and mix cement to build houses in the Bronx. She struggled in school, eventually earned a GED, attended some college classes and pivoted to real estate.
Today, she is known as the “Commercial Real Estate Diva of Manhattan.” As the president of Judy Networks, a full-service real estate events firm, she has hosted a party for Bravo TV’s “Million Dollar Listing New York” cast; a web show called “What’s Cooking in Real Estate,” which paired real estate celebrities with executive chefs to cook, network and discuss real estate; and a “New York Real Estate Subway Series” of networking events. In July 2021, she launched N.E.W. New York, an event series to discuss the new post-pandemic real estate environment.
“I had a really, really hard upbringing,” Sahagian said. “I wouldn’t change it for the world. It made me curious and a fighter, and that’s what I bring to the table. I naturally fell into real estate.”
Sahagian first heard about eXp Realty in 2009, when she was working as a real estate franchiser in New York’s Westchester County and ran across an eXp logo. She did not think much of it at the time, but considered eXp in 2020, when COVID-19 hit and real estate agents started searching for remote solutions.
After learning more about eXp Commercial, Sahagian joined eXp in February 2021.
Sahagian Is Attracted to eXp’s Borderless Model and Collaborative Spirit
“When I see eXp, the first word that comes to mind is expansion,” Sahagian said. “eXp to me is collaboration, sharing, building and empowering. Part of my goal with eXp is to be a liaison and build awareness in Manhattan and New York, because there are so many talented brokers and agents in this city. And they deserve their share!”
In May 2021, a few months after joining eXp, Sahagian won the CoStar Power Broker Quarterly Deals Award for a deal that she had been working on for more than a year. As the landlord representative for Freddy Srour of Triangle Assets and F.R.A. Willis Realty Co. Inc., Sahagian had closed a deal for a 7,600-square-foot office lease in the Bronx with the U.S. General Services Administration, which was represented by William Korchak of JLL.
“In October , I won the government contract in the middle of a global pandemic and election — it was nearly impossible,” Sahagian said. “I changed real estate agencies three times in the middle of all that while still negotiating the most complicated deal of my career.”
Learn more about Judy Sahagian:
Years in real estate: Since 1996
- Nest Seekers International (March 2020-Jan. 2021)
- Compass (Feb. 2019-March 2020)
- Douglas Elliman Real Estate (July 2011-Dec. 2016)
- EXIT Realty Group (May 2007-June 2009)
Main territory: New York City
Main focus: Commercial real estate, leasing and sales; global new development; luxury estates
Number of people on team: 1
Accolades, accomplishments & awards:
- CoStar Power Broker Award (2021)
- Appeared on “Cash Cab” (season 14, episode 35)
- Past board of directors for the Asian Real Estate Association of America’s Manhattan chapter
- Past communications chair of CCIM’s New York Metro chapter
What makes eXp special to you?
“The business model and the morale of the company. For the first time in my 25 years in real estate, I heard of a company that I make over 100% and I am the priority. I have always been a person of collaboration versus competition and I am finally aligned with a company that matches my purpose.”
Is there a significant experience you can share since you joined eXp?
“Yes, for the last year and a half I have been working on a very complicated GSA deal that I have been negotiating through a global pandemic, election and switching between companies without any assistance. To my surprise, I won the lease award and then the Co-Star Q1 2021 Power Broker Award, which put me in the top tier and capped me on my first deal.”
What is one thing about eXp that surprised you?
“The amount of leads and business you can generate through the ecosystem, such as the Workplace, which gives you direct access to more than 60,000 agents and brokers globally right at your fingertips!”
What kind of collaboration have you experienced at eXp?
“I am lucky enough to say that I came to eXp with Dick Lee and Tom Truong who are longtime friends from when I served on the board of AREAA [Asian Real Estate Association of America] Manhattan in 2015. They have spent hours and hours speaking to possible new agents that I brought in and have followed up with everyone while I learn the platform and get myself acclimated into the company. They host daily Zoom calls with ICON agents, commercial Zooms and Zooms for people new to the business. Their tireless devotion to their downline is inspiring and I am thankful to be a part of Team Disrupter at eXp.”
Best tip to share with other agents:
“New agents: train, train and train some more! Connect with a mentor that you align with. Know what part of the industry you are passionate about and build your business from there.
“Seasoned agents: Have an open mind. Always know how to pivot and have a strategy for every market. Always be a student, only a fool knows everything. Even the best can learn from someone new!
“ICON agents: Stay humble and build the people around you. Share your wisdom and success. When you win, we all win together!”
10 Fun Things About Judy Sahagian
What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Health, wealth and love — and time to enjoy it.
Who is the person you most admire?
There is no one person I admire over another. I admire people who are authentic and true to their beliefs and are genuinely good people who care to make this world and the people around them better.
One thing you can’t live without?
Personal freedom to live life by my own standards and create wealth while pursuing my dreams.
One trait that has led to your success?
What celebrity would play you in a movie or TV show?
Lucille Ball in “I Love Lucy” or “Auntie Mame.”
When you get on the phone with someone and they open the conversation with “I only have a few minutes.” It sets the tone with tension. Maybe I am old school… if you are so busy, maybe I need to work with someone who has time for me. Being busy is not a sign of success, it’s a sign that you haven’t made enough money to hire an assistant!
Little known fact about yourself?
I started my first business at 7, selling balloons door to door in the Bronx and then started another business at 12, standing in front of Alexander’s on Fordham Road in a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles costume making a minimum of $250 a day.
Song you never tire of?
“Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen.
Seafood boil with Old Bay seasoning and steak.
Your epitaph will say:
Know your value so not anyone can tell you what you’re worth!
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