Want to learn more about what drives New York brokers? Subscribe to our daily real estate newsletter to be alerted to new topics.

When Brian Strout decided to join the real estate industry in Florida, he realized that his resume didn’t suit him.

“From the start of college, my friends who were interested in real estate all had their internships and course choices for that,” he says. “They were getting all the sexy high-rise jobs in Miami and Orlando.”

But he was studying engineering.

Strout spent time working for a developer in rural Lakeland, Florida. He worked for another developer in South Carolina, then moved to New York in 2011 to earn a master’s degree in real estate from New York University. His interest in city planning led him to start reading about the city’s dense zoning laws and air rights – the open space above properties that can be sold to neighboring developers looking to build more. high.

“As I research, I find that Robert Shapiro’s name keeps coming up, and he’s sort of the godfather of [the air rights] industry in New York,” Strout said. “I cold called him and told him I wanted to talk to him about a set of circumstances surrounding three neighboring properties.”

After discussing it, Shapiro offered her a job. Today, 95% of Strout’s business is focused on air rights deals.