Famous Real Estate Agent Found Dead

Linda Stein, a New York real estate known as “broker to the stars,” was found dead, apparently bludgeoned to death in her Manhattan apartment.

[photopress:Linda_Stein.jpg,thumb,alignright]Her body was found on Tuesday by her daughter but the cause of death was not confirmed until an autopsy Wednesday. Linda lived by herself. The building featured heavy security and there was no sign of forced entry or robbery. Reports say that all people entering the building use the elevator and there is an elevator operator. Officials have not announced any motives or suspects in the case.

Linda was the ex-wife of Seymour Stein, former president of Sire Records, which was the launching pad for the Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna.

Before real estate Stein was a pivotal figure in the early New York punk scene, co-managing the Ramones with Danny Fields, and was a friend to David Bowie, Talking Heads, The B-52s and Madonna as wife of Sire Records founder Seymour Stein.

Her career continued into the world of expensive real estate, as she brokered property deals for stars like Sting, Billy Joel, Harrison Ford, Rolling Stone editor Jann Wenner, LaToya Jackson, Sylvester Stallone and Andrew Lloyd Webber, amongst others.

For many local Seattle-area agents this brings up painful memories of Windermere agent Michael Emert who was murdered in January 2001 in a Woodinville home listed for sale. Mr. Emert was showing the home or previewing it for a buyer at the time of his murder. Mr. Emert’s body was found by the seller, who is represented by another real estate firm and was a stranger to Mr. Emert. Police believe that Mr. Emert’s late-model Cadillac SUV was taken by the perpetrator and later abandoned in Kirkland. As far as I know this murder was never solved. But it caused a major change in many agents behavior when meeting prospective clients and help inspire SKAR‘s (Seattle-King County Association of Realtors) “Safety Week

Interview with Manhattan's Property Grunt

Grunt“This is a blog by a soldier in the trenches of the Manhattan real estate war presenting information and commentary on the market.”

With his his anonymity firmly in hand, the Property Grunt is always good for some no-hold-barred real estate analysis. Reading his blog, I often wished I lived in New York where things seem so much more exciting. From the Grunt’s stories, it is obvious that this person is an experienced and successful agent. Some day the Grunt may be unmasked, but for now, I’m just happy he’s blogging!

What inspired you to start blogging?

First of all I enjoy writing and quickly realized there were many people who were just as clueless as I once was about real estate and I decided to pull the curtains back.

Are there any special topics or issues that you enjoy covering?

I enjoy looking at every aspect of real estate from mortgages to property management. The one thing I do emphasize in my blog is that whether you are buying for personal or for investment purposes you should exercise extreme caution. Real estate is sensitive to many outside forces and it is also illiquid. It is these aspects that get people into trouble.

What have you done to personalize your blog?

The only thing I have done to personalize it is my content. However I will be implementing other features to further personalize it.

Do you have any favorite posts?

I have had so many favorite entries but I have narrowed them down to four.

One of the things I dislike about this business is that the general public is unaware of the various nuances of my profession. This article clearly displayed that ignorance and I was more than happy to educate this writer.

This was an incident that actually happened to me on the 4th of July. It was so bizarre and so New York I had to write about it

I was beyond aggravated with this agent for what she did. She was very lucky that she was dealing with me. I knew other brokers who would drop her in a second. It is also indicative of the type of people that gravitate to this business.

These were two incidents where I quickly learned that being an agent brings a ton of hazards.

What are some of your favorite blogs (real estate or otherwise)?

I have a whole Torah of blogs and sites I enjoy. Anything that is on the Curbed links list which include Inman News, The Real Deal, The Walk Through, and The Matrix. The Realty Gram Blogger and Your Best Agent these are just some of the many other sites I check for news and developments in real estate. Opinionistas is a fantastic lawyer blog and Mimi in New York is another guilty pleasure. And of course a new favorite is the Rain City Guide.

What tools/websites do you find most helpful in putting together your blog?

Honestly, the only thing I have used is blogger. Parts of the design that I have customized is just code I have picked up. I do plan on utilizing dreamweaver and hunt for some javascript that would spruce up the place.

How does blogging fit into the overall marketing of your business?

At this point it doesn’t. I do not use my blog to generate sellers or buyers since I just interested in educating people the best I can. However I am examining other opportunities.

What plans do you have to improve your blog over this next year?

My objective next year is to update the GUI. More on that later.

What is the one tool or feature that you wish your site had?

There is actually a lot of tools I would like to have and I plan on implementing them in the near future.

What do you think real estate blogging will look like 3 years from now?

Everyone in real estate is going to have a blog which will be used primarily as a marketing tool. However there will be factions that will play the Matt Drudge card by kicking open the closets and airing out the dirty unmentionables. Expect a lot of firings and lawsuits in the future.

(Read more interviews with some of real estate’s top bloggers under the Real Estate Q&A category)