Real Estate Broker Philip Scheinfeld on New York City and His Potential LA Expansion

December 13, 2019
Photo courtesy of Philip Scheinfeld

Since entering the real estate market in 2013, Philip Scheinfeld has become a top broker within the New York City market. He did his first rental within a week and sold his first apartment within his month in the business. Now with the backing of Compass, he works with all sorts of exclusives and developments.

I had the pleasure of doing Q&A with Philip Scheinfeld about his journey into the real estate market, whether he plans to expand into the Los Angeles market, and what he wishes more people knew about the work he does for a living. Highlights from that interview are below.

Darren Paltrowitz: Who or what inspired you to get into the real estate field?

Philip Scheinfeld: I watched a friend on a real estate TV show many years ago and it sparked my interest in real estate. Many of my friends and family encouraged me at the same time to get my license and figured I would be good at it so I did. I haven’t looked back and I am now coming up on 6 years in the business.

DP: What is it that you enjoy most about real estate?

PS: I love that I am my own boss and that I create my own schedule. I get back what I put in. On a week where I work 40 hours versus a week where I work 80 hours, I am going to be more successful on that 80-hour week. There is no ceiling in how successful I can be in real estate, which I love the most. I could never sit behind a desk 9-5, I have too much ADD to do that so being in real estate gives me the flexibility to go out and meet people and network. I also love real estate and architecture.

DP: You recently started the Philip Scheinfeld Team at Compass based in New York City, but your parent company Compass has teams all over the country. Would you ever consider practicing real estate in another high-end luxury market, like Los Angeles for example? 

PS: A few years ago I contemplated moving to L.A. and going to work with my good friend Bjorn Farrugia of Hilton and Hyland. He is a top broker over there and is crushing the market. I ultimately decided to stay in New York City and form my team, but I work with Bjorn on many many deals and we use each other to help come up with strategies for marketing properties.

DP: The average real estate developer is not known to be heavily tattooed. Where does your interest in tattoos come from?

PS: Honestly, when I was young growing up I was always fascinated by tattoos. I always wanted to get them. When I got sober almost 9 years ago I used tattoos as an outlet of expressing myself. Some say I turned my addiction from substances into getting a tattoo and I wouldn’t disagree with them. Getting tattoos are very addicting and the whole process of getting them is quite enjoyable to me. I love when it’s done and the big reveal happens as well as the healing process.

Photo courtesy of Philip Scheinfeld

DP: Was there ever fear of getting tattoos based on the old lore that you can’t be buried in a Jewish cemetery?

PS: My mom always used to tell me that when I die I wouldn’t be able to be buried in a jewish cemetery and what I would tell her was “I will be dead so it’s someone else’s problem.” Actually though a rabbi I once talked to explained to me that it’s an old wive’s tale and that, in fact, I can still be buried in a Jewish cemetery.

DP: Back to you, what do you wish more people knew about the real estate world?

PS: A lot of people think brokers’ jobs are so easy and that anyone could do it. I wish people could see the struggles brokers face. I can name countless times where I have had listings come close to selling and then the day before the contract is supposed to be signed the buyer backs out.

I once was working with a good friend of mine to buy an apartment. We looked for over a year, and although we are still friends and looking at apartments was always fun, after over a year of looking he told me that his family friend sold him a place off market and I was excluded from the deal. He told me that he plans to sell it in a few years and will give me the deal but people out there think it’s so easy and in fact it’s a very challenging job with many ups and downs. You must learn to move on quickly and not get excited too soon.

DP: What is coming up for you professionally in 2020?

PS: My team is officially going to be launched in 2020 and I plan to do some sort of launch event/party where I will invite friends, family, clients and colleagues to join me.

DP: Is there a career accomplishment you are most proud of?

PS: Getting added to the sales team of 570 Broome is my proudest accomplishment to date. 54 condo units that I am in charge of selling alongside Ian Slater and Sean Turner. The product is amazing and you can’t beat the prices anywhere.

DP: Finally, Phil, any last words for the kids?

PS: Graduate from college and do what makes you happy.

More on Philip Scheinfeld can be found here.

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