By Grace Cassidy
Abraham Sarway got an early start in real estate. While attending Hunter College in New York City, he was already working as a marketing director for the business and real estate financing firm Global Financial Services. But the born-and-raised New Yorker was looking to get into the game in a different way.
“I realized that I was looking to be in a deal-making environment,” Sarway said. “I knew I had a knack for deal-making, but I also wanted to work with and learn from interesting people on a daily basis. Residential real estate was the clear career choice.”
Since becoming a licensed agent, joining Douglas Elliman in 2016 and founding the Sarway Team three years later, Sarway has drawn on a combination of deal-making instinct and marketing acumen to become one of the brokerage’s top sales and rental agents in NYC, where he represents luxury homes and rentals in Manhattan and rentals in Brooklyn and the South Bronx.
In 2022, he was among the top 10 sales agents within Douglas Elliman, set multiple records and represented a $70,000 rental at 432 Park Avenue—the most expensive rental in the city for a majority of the year. This year, in addition to receiving Elliman’s Pinnacle Award recognizing the top 3% of agents nationwide, he was ranked the No. 1 rental team as a solo act and has generated $5 million in rental volume alone.
Sarway credits his marketing background with enabling him to position his listings in order to cut through the clutter and capture consumer interest.
“Most brokers believe that if they list a nice property on the major listing platforms that they will be able to sell the property from the incoming interest that the listing generates,” he said. “Unfortunately, in today’s market, where there is so much information available to the consumer, the listing has to stand out. My experience has helped me understand what a potential customer is looking for—and once I identify the element that is going to engage buyers, I work at length to highlight and utilize it.”
Having navigated the market turbulence over the past seven years, most recently and dramatically during the pandemic, Sarway expects demand for residential property in NYC to grow and remain strong well into the future. The challenge, he says, is to educate clients on current market conditions and help them to manage expectations accordingly.
“As long as you are advised properly, the property you buy should still continue to appreciate in value,” he said. “But everyone has their own view of where the market is and where it’s going. Helping them see eye-to-eye on the reality can be difficult.”
For Sarway, it’s a challenge he welcomes.
“Every market change allows you to prove if you are a capable agent or not,” he said. “I appreciate the tougher times because it forces you to be more creative and potentially put sales methods in place that wouldn’t normally be visited.”