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Broker tops in luxury market.

It was a perfect match of student and teacher when Carrie Chiang decided five years ago to take a real estate course taught by Barbara Coreoran, head of the Coreoran Group, one of New York's dominant sellers of luxury co-ops, condominiums and townhouses.

Chiang not only mastered the course but she decided to follow her teacher's lead and went to work for the Coreoran Group, where she has been the company's top producer for three out of the four years she's been there.

Today, Chiang is a vice president and director of the International Division of Corcoran Group, as well as the firm's most successful broker, selling more than $50 million worth of luxury apartments to international buyers since joining the company in 1989. As director of International Operations, Chiang will oversee and direct Coreoran's growing International Division.

After meeting Chiang if the class she taught at New York University, Coreoran was determined to convince Chiang to come to work for Coreoran Group, which was rounded in 1973.

"The irony is that Carrie never said a word in class and I thought she didn't know anything at first," said Coreoran who is a recognized leader in the New York residential field. "Boy, was I wrong."

Chiang, however, credits a lot of her success to Coreoran, whom she says has given her the freedom and flexibility, as well as the support, to service clients in the best manner possible.

"Barbara's word is gold," Chiang said. "It's never felt like she's my boss."

Known by her peers as the "Condo Queen," Chiang recently completed the sale of 14 more apartments -- a package deal accounting for more than $16 million --at Trump Palace in Manhattan. She has now brokered more than 70 apartment sales to overseas buyers at the newest Trump luxury condominium at Third Avenue and 69th Street on New York's fashionable Upper East Side.

In fact, developer Donald Trump was so pleased he hosted a lavish dinner party at the Plaza Hotel for Chiang and Coreoran to celebrate Chiang's accomplishment.

Unlike her previous transactions, which involved lower floor units at Trump Palace, Chiang's recently concluded deal involved a mix of two large penthouses along with a dozen Carrie Chiang is vice president and director of the International Division of Coreoran Group, Inc. high-floor two-and three-bedroom suites, which are some of the largest and most coveted units at the new Trump development.

According to Chiang, in the case of Trump Palace, many Asian investors were attracted because of the "Trump name" and the developer's legendary reputation for successful up-scale products.

Chiang modestly defers to her record to demonstrate she has become one of the most prolific real estate brokers in New York.

"I cater to a condominium-oriented clientele, primarily international buyers who are interested in a solid return on their investment." said Chiang. "I am available to provide timely and concise financial and market information suitable to their needs."

Chiang's fingertip familiarity with individual buildings or legal nuances, combined with her energy and tenacity, has translated into high sales volume for Corcoran Group. In 1991, Chiang's 30 condominium sales translated into more that $15 million, but in three months during the first quarter of 1992, she exceeded her full year accomplishments in 1991 by generating another $15 million.

"Carrie is the most successful international broker in New York City," said Corcoran, noting that last year alone Chiang sold 70 apartments in Manhattan valued at more than $23 million.

Chiang, who was born in China, came to the United States as a teenager. She was studying Mathematics on the university level when she met her husband with whom she moved to Brazil where his family owned a flour mill business. She lived in Brazil for 15 years, raising three children, before deciding to return to the United States.

On the advice of a friend, who is a successful commercial real estate broker, Chiang said she entered the real estate field simply to ensure that she could earn a monthly check.

"It was a good training ground." she said about the first company at which she worked. "They gave me two to three days to learn 20 buildings, and we had to carry beepers and every five minutes they would go off."

There are no beepers in Chiang's life today and she is pleased to have the autonomy that helps her be the broker her clients want.

"Carrie works harder than anyone in the business," said Corcoran. "She never gives up. Where other people would quit, Carrie's still hanging on."

Esther Kaplan, a senior vice president and partner of Corcoran Group, also marvelled at Chiang's determination and drive to get the best deal for her clients.

"She's incredibly knowledgeable," said Kaplan. "In terms of condo sales, she's probably the best in New York. She has a real understanding of investments and a total understanding of the market."

Although she has represented investors from several countries in Europe and South America, Chiang's clients are primarily from China. Chiang said she comes from a prominent family in Hong Kong and she has learned to use a chain of connections. Word-of-mouth from one satisfied buyer to another continues to increase her impressive list of international clients.

"The upper end of Manhattan's luxury condominium market, sales prices of $2 million and up, continues to heat up today as buyers take advantage of what may well be once-in-a-lifetime opportunities," Chiang said. "Competition for these exclusive residences has intensified significantly in recent months as rich Asian buyers have emerged in growing numbers."

According to Chiang, the surge of overseas activity in New York is due to the fact that Asians have been successful in their real estate purchases at home, giving them tremendous confidence in such investments. In addition, the prices of some luxury Manhattan apartments are down by more than 30 percent over the past few years - a fact that Asians are well aware of.

"I believe this trend is just the beginning and I look for increased buying activity at the top end of the condominium marketplace for as long as windows of opportunity remain open," said Chiang.

She explained that many of her clients had very little time to see properties, and, therefore, it was essential for Chiang to give her clients a complete and concise assessment of the market and the value of a property.

"If a client is new, I have to do the homework and narrow down the choices," Chiang said. "And then I give them the information to make a decision."

Chiang's knowledge of Chinese business practices has allowed her to close many deals. In a number of cases, investors who hadn't seen apartments bought them simply based on her reputation.

Communication is another key to Chiang's success, and she continually networks with previous clients and expands her growing list of buyers from all over the world. Her language skills come in handy, too. She is fluent in English, Portuguese, and three Chinese dialects: Mandarin, Cantonese and Shanghi.
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Copyright 1993, Gale Group. All rights reserved. Gale Group is a Thomson Corporation Company.

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Title Annotation:profile of real estate broker Carrie Chiang of Corcoran Group Inc.
Author:Alger, Derek
Publication:Real Estate Weekly
Article Type:Biography
Date:Jun 23, 1993
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