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2024-04-02 00:00:00 Avenue Magazine Working with Celebrity Clients has Made This Real Estate Agent a Star Himself

Working with Celebrity Clients has Made This Real Estate Agent a Star Himself

WINDOW DRESSING The immaculately dressed Noble Black surveying the New York City landscape
Photo by Sara Fox Photography

In the cutthroat world of high-end residential real estate, Noble Black’s smarts (he began his career as a lawyer), old-world Southern gentleman charm (he was raised in Mississippi), good looks, and impeccable style (perfectly tailored bespoke shirts and suits) have made the Douglas Elliman broker a superstar with a string of blockbuster sales that total over $3 billion. A fixture at all the right restaurants and soirees in Manhattan and Sag Harbor, where he has homes with his husband, Marc Rozic, Black is consistently ranked among New York’s top brokers and has marketed and sold properties at 15 Central Park West, One Beacon Court, and Jean Nouvel’s buzzy 100 Eleventh Avenue, to name just a few.

After law school at the University of Virginia, Black moved to New York and worked as an attorney for three and a half years. He auditioned for the third season of The Apprentice and though he wasn’t cast, he got a consulting deal with the show’s producers. When that ended, Black wanted to try something completely new. “Once I was out of law-firm life, my eyes opened,” Black says. “I felt like if I was ever going to try real estate, this is the time to do it.” After 10 years at Corcoran, Black joined Douglas Elliman where, in just eight years, he has become one of the most in-demand brokers in the city.

Black’s iPhone is constantly blowing up with boldfaced clients, so he recently added more members to Noble Black & Partners at Douglas Elliman. “When I got into the business, teams weren’t really a thing,” Black explains with a slight Southern twang. “Now a large group is coming in within my team. We are going to be around 23 or 24 people. It definitely gives me anxiety.” The good kind of anxiousness, of course, as the bigger, bolder, and better team will be pushing more into new development and different markets. “We’re making a concerted effort into Brooklyn. There’s a ton of people that are in Brooklyn, not because they couldn’t afford Manhattan, but because they wanted to be in Brooklyn. Six or seven years ago, it wasn’t like that. Now you’ve got people that are going to Brooklyn that would never even consider living there.”

Inventory in the city is famously low at the moment. “The newest trend is the hotel-branded residence,” Black reports, having sold megabuck apartments at Aman New York on 57th Street. “People want true hotel living. They don’t want to do any work. They want to check in, not worry about things. They want a great gym, a playroom for their kids, an arcade for their teens.”

Another trend is how the rich are scooping up apartments in fully loaded buildings. “The wealthy are buying not only larger residences, but more of them,” he says. “In the past, they may have gone to stay at a hotel. Now they want to have an actual apartment in the city they’re visiting where everything is done for them. When they show up, the butler has gone ahead and stocked the fridge. There are flowers. Amenities are all downstairs. They don’t have to leave. They have dinner catered in. They’re in town for five days and then leave and everything is locked up.”

Black has regularly appeared in magazines, on TV, and has over 18 thousand followers on Instagram. But despite his high profile, he is always discreet (he won’t name his celebrity clients). Black stresses that his customer’s needs always come first. “What I always tell people as a broker is what they’re hiring me to do is manage the marketing,” he explains. “When you’re working with a seller, you’re packaging the product in a way that is going to sell for the best price. That is everything from photography to social media to getting people through the front door. It’s all a matter of how you make it look good and get it in front of as many eyeballs as possible.” Of course, it doesn’t hurt that Black’s good looks and sartorial savvy are also pretty easy on the eyes.

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