Some two decades ago, Scott Stewart got off to a quick start at Corcoran by being named Rookie of the Year. Stewart has continued to build on his early success—last year he was named Manhattan Sales Person of the Year and he counts among his clients A-list celebrities like Nicole Kidman and Alec Baldwin and high-profile listings, like a $20 million unit in Time Warner Center.
The Brooklyn-born broker’s razor sharp real estate instincts and formidable track record in the industry could lead one to believe he always intended to work in the business. However, Stewart’s path to real estate was anything but linear—he originally was an actor.
Stewart shares with Inhabit how he got to Corcoran, his best advice for buyers and why living on the Upper West Side is a perfect fit for him.
INHABIT: How did you transition from being an aspiring actor to one of Corcoran’s top agents?
Stewart: I had been trying to make it as an actor for about seven years and was realizing I was likely not going to get where I wanted to go. I was waiting tables at the time and a regular customer of mine was friendly with Barbara Corcoran—that’s how it began. Right from the beginning, I could see that Corcoran just did it right.
INHABIT: How did you break into the real estate?
Stewart: I had no Rolodex because all of my friends at the time were actors. But I brought with me from acting a tireless work ethic and a desire to work from the heart. That was 1996—and I was named Rookie of the Year.
INHABIT: You’ve worked on a number of major deals. Is there one sale that proved particularly memorable?
Stewart: I sold a friend of mine’s a custom apartment, which was difficult because the home was in a new development—The Astor. Over a four-month period, I was able to work with the developer and architects to create a 5,000-square-foot, five-bedroom dream home for my customers. That was the one time in my career that I’ve done that, and it couldn’t have come out better.
INHABIT: What advice would you give first-time buyers in New York City who are apprehensive about making a purchase?
Stewart: If you fall in love with a property, it’s likely that someone else is going to love it too, regardless of the temperature of the market. If you love something, step up to the plate and buy your home.
INHABIT: Where in the city do you call home?
Stewart: I live on the Upper West Side in a modern, high-rise condominium. The reason why I bought my home is the building’s spectacular gym and swimming pool. That was super important to me. My career keeps me incredibly busy, but I’m very athletic and wanted a gym in the building. The light, open exposure, kitchen, and master bathroom also make me really happy and were features that drew me in.
INHABIT: How would you describe your interior-design personality?
Stewart: Classic chic. I like to mix modern and mid-century. When it comes to design, that’s really the realm of my husband, the author Bruce Littlefield. I know what I like when I see it, but he’s built a beautiful life for us in both of our homes.
INHABIT: Outside of the building amenities, what drew you to the Upper West Side?
Stewart: In terms of shops and markets, I prefer West Side Market because it’s a neighborhood market. I run into my neighbors there all the time. There are a number of wonderful little bistros and restaurants in my neighborhood too—Buceo 95, the Mermaid Inn, Machiavelli, and Blossom, to name a few. I also have a farm in Upstate New York, and my uptown location makes it really easy to get there.
INHABIT: Last question. Your home wouldn’t be your home without…
Stewart: My husband and my dog, an Australian Cattle Dog mix named Westminster. He’s the Cary Grant of dogs.