For veteran Corcoran associate broker Larry Schier, real estate isn’t merely a line of work — it’s a calling. This top-performing agent has been selling and renting apartments in his Upper West Side neighborhood for decades, and he’s established quite a track record. Named Broker/Team of the Year in Corcoran’s West Side Gallery office for 20 consecutive years, Schier and his associates specialize in luxury properties, both modern and prewar.
As a longtime resident of the Upper West Side, Schier offers his clients an insider’s perspective on the neighborhood. Over the years, he has renovated and customized his home in the storied Level Club on West 73rd Street, creating the type of New York City gem he would seek out for his clients.
“Real estate is in my blood,” says Schier, who is also a frequent participant in Corcoran’s Platinum Workshop Series and a guest lecturer at New York University. “I love this business, and working with Corcoran has truly made me a better person.”
Schier tells Inhabit about his affinity for real estate and his deep connection to the Upper West Side, and shares some timely advice for buyers.
Inhabit: Real estate is actually your second career — you spent the first 20 years in the garment industry. How did you transition into real estate?
Schier: When I was 40, I met a broker in the street one day. People passed by saying, “Hey, Larry!” “Hi, Larry!” “Good to see you, Larry!” — and she deduced from this that I’d be great in real estate. It was a little strange, of course, but I spoke to my mother, and she agreed. She encouraged me to get my license, and then I interviewed with Corcoran.
Inhabit: Were you successful off the mark, or did it take a while to learn the ropes?
Schier: I was actually able to do a deal on my very first day! Learning how to do something so quickly turned me on to the business like crazy. Ever since then I’ve been very blessed to receive many accolades, like Rookie of the Year and Team of the Year. I find this job so rewarding, and ever since the beginning I’ve been constantly learning. Every day you learn something — there’s always another twist and turn to this business.
Inhabit: Do you have a personal motto or mantra that guides you?
Schier: You need to be a chameleon and have a good sense of what your buyer needs. I think I have a good read on that. I work very hard — even when I’m not in the office. I meet people all of the time and help people as best as I can. I don’t expect anything in return, but I’ve found it all comes back to you.
Inhabit: What advice do you have for buyers looking on the Upper West Side?
Schier: Right now is a phenomenal time to purchase. Interest rates are still at an all-time low. Because the market has slowed, there is an incentive to buy, and there’s more negotiability. Honestly, you can’t pick a better time to purchase. On the Upper West Side, in particular, you have two subway lines, you have a great diversity of people, you have parks.
Inhabit: What are some of your favorite neighborhood shops and restaurants?
Schier: I love the 74th Street Cafe, upstairs at the Fairway Market on Broadway. It’s like a little hidden treasure, most people don’t know about it. The prices are reasonable and I eat there three times a week. If you walk up Amsterdam Avenue, it’s almost like Restaurant Row — we have so many unbeatable cafes and restaurants.
Inhabit: Can you tell us why your building, the Level Club, is so special to you?
Schier: The building was constructed in 1925 as a Masonic lodge. It had a cinema, a pool, a gym, conference rooms, and I moved there in 1984. Every apartment in it is one of a kind — it’s such a unique and unusual place.
Inhabit: If you weren’t working in real estate, is there anything else you could see yourself doing?
Schier: Honestly, no. Real estate is in my soul and I wish I had done this from the beginning. I dream about it, I live and breathe it.
Inhabit: Please complete the sentence: Home wouldn’t be home without…
Schier: Without the things you bring back from your travels to remind you of the experiences you’ve had. I travel a lot, and I keep a piece of each place on a shelf in my home — and they’re each like a lucky charm to me.