Even before nail tech Karla Carrington got her real estate license, her love of the historic brownstones populating Brooklyn’s Bedford–Stuyvesant neighborhood was evident. “I’ve lived in Bed Stuy on the same historic block for the past 11 years,” says Carrington, who owns Brooklyn’s The Nail Belle. “Growing up in North Carolina, we didn’t have brownstones. But walking to the train past these magnificent structures piqued my curiosity, so I started studying the history of the neighborhood. I would research different addresses to find the home’s history. The buildings were just so breathtaking it was as if the edifices beckoned for me to know more about them.”
Carrington has been selling real estate in New York City for eight years, first as an agent, then as an associate broker. She was recruited by the husband of a former coworker at AOL, where she’d been an executive assistant. “He thought I had a great personality and that I would do well in it. I went to school and got my license, but still waited two years before I left AOL and went into real estate full time,” she says.
Her focus is on residential properties in the city she loves. “Each neighborhood has its own story,” she says. “From the cobblestone streets of Tribeca where horses and carriages once trod to the beautiful former carriage houses found in Murray Hill, real estate in this city is downright exciting.” Less enjoyable, she says, is dealing with the co-op boards that have to approve potential buyers. “Ugh. There’s tons of paperwork to be gathered and despite all your efforts, your client may still get rejected by the board,” she says.
It’s the relationships with clients that she finds the most rewarding. “I feel good knowing that I’ve served someone so well that seven years after I sold them their first place they are calling me back to sell it on their behalf, and usually to assist in buying their next place,” she says.