Ten Money Questions for Robin Cloud
Robin Cloud is a comedian and singer/songwriter living in New York City. When not entertaining the masses, Robin hawks real estate. After all, she knows a thing or two about structure, space and historic preservation by attending Columbia University’s Graduate School of Architecture. Robin is a performer at heart and can make buyers and sellers alike laugh in this real estate market.
1. How did you get started in real estate?
I made the move to real estate because I wanted to run my own business and be my own boss. Getting started was really easy I took a three week course took a test, passed, and got my license. I was initially sponsored by Urban View Realty but just made the switch to Citi-Habitats in Chelsea because they are the largest rental and sales firm in NYC.
2. Has the economy and mortgage crisis had an effect on your business?
Yes. People who were eager to purchase property have decided to wait and “see what happens.” Prices are dropping and being New Yorkers everyone wants to get the best deal. Rentals however have continued to be strong because people will always move to NYC and people who had large apartments and can’t afford them anymore are downsizing or getting roommates.
3. It’s rare to be a homeowner in New York City. How did you finance the purchase of your place? savings? loans?
I used the proceeds from my first sale to purchase my house but I recently sold that house to invest in other properties.
4. For people who want to buy real estate in this economy, what piece of advice can you give?
Now is a great time to buy. Owners are willing to negotiate and the market isn’t saturated with buyers. If you can go to open houses and don’t mind being the only one there go for it! I bought my first apartment a month after 9/11 when people were freaking out and leaving the city. Also get pre-qualified and make sure your credit score is very strong 740+.
5. How long have you and your partner been together? Do you always see eye-to-eye on finances?
Sarah and I have been together 7 months. We share very similar financial goals and both enjoy real estate investing.
6. You are also a comedian (a very funny one). As a female comic, have you found opportunities for paying gigs?
HA! I’ve been a paid a couple of times… once at Gotham, once for doing a long set at a country club in Connecticut, and now I’ve been doing hosting which pays pretty well. To get paid you have to leave the city and perform at colleges. I haven’t done that yet but that’s a goal for ’09.
7. When you were a kid, did you get an allowance? What would you buy?
My allowance consisted of going through everyone’s pockets and taking their change. Dominos pizza $6.86 for a small and foot long hot dogs from the Pond House in the park. $1.00. Being a pick pocket who never got caught… priceless.
8. What is the one personal item that you always splurge on?
I love gadgets and engines. Very lesbionic of me. I will spend money on computer equipment and stuff for my Vespa. Like amazing wind proof handle bar muffs. I know. Sad. Also sneakers and an amazing winter coat from Canada because I hate being cold.
9. What is one thing that you feel is always overpriced?
Sex. Just kidding. Um… coffee. Coffee everywhere should just be a dollar.
10. If money can’t buy happiness, what can it buy?
It can buy a diamond ring to give to the woman who I love.
Read other Queercents interviews in the Ten Money Questions archive.