Sometimes, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arises … when you’re just 12 years into your lifetime.
That’s how it happened for Taryn Byron, who didn’t let the responsibilities of a junior high school student stop her from seizing on her first foray into the real estate industry.
She did it with the knack for technology that, for millennials, just comes with the territory. It’s the same knack she’s using today in the digital-focused real estate world ushered in during the pandemic … at her new brokerage firm, CJ Dalton.
Byron’s start in the industry — well before she was old enough to hold a real estate license — began as a result of growing up surrounded by real estate agents. Her father and uncle had both been in the industry for many years; both struggled when MLS books that cataloged real estate listings on paper were eliminated in favor of keeping that data on computer systems.
“My dad and uncle didn’t know how to use the computer to save their lives,” Byron said. “So, I learned the new MLS system and taught my dad and uncle at 12. Then I started my own little business tutoring other real estate agents on the computer skills they would need.”
Byron, who would go on to work the front desk of her family’s real estate office throughout high school, got her real estate license shortly after turning 18. Various sales and consultant roles in the real estate industry followed, and eventually led her to a managing broker role in the Summit office of global commercial and residential brokerage firm Nest Seekers International.
The reason the millennial is making news today is that she launched her own firm, which offers brokerage services for new developments and multifamily residential communities along the Gold Coast.
As the world slowed down in reaction to the spread of COVID-19, Byron said she felt that it was the right time to reexamine what her future would hold in the industry.
“Of course, there’s anxiety with launching any new business,” she said. “I don’t know if I would’ve been more or less anxious, honestly, if there were no pandemic. I’m just that type of person — that’s really concerned with putting my best foot forward. But it’s something I’ve had to be more thoughtful about — the pandemic — even just in crafting the branding and creating materials for the business.”
The sort of luxury market she’s going after is exemplified in one of the first major deals she penned: taking over sales and marketing at One Park Condos, an expensive condo development in the Manhattan-overlooking Cliffside Park.
The Gold Coast’s real estate is not a market that COVID-19 did any favors for. Byron said the area has an abundance of rental residential developments, which had their demand cut as some millennials saw more benefits in homeownership and retreated to suburbs.
At the same time, the virus has thrown the importance of digital skills for real estate professionals — the expertise she’s always leaned on — into sharp relief.
“There’s always been this digital influence, but it’s there more so now because buyers are not willing to run out and look at 15 different properties,” she said.
Even if there’s been a temporary lull in the Gold Coast’s rental market, Byron feels confident about starting a business in an industry that’s facing much more permanent changes, such as the comparison shopping on the web.
“Buyers are savvy,” she said. “We’re in a situation now in which people buy things sight-unseen with just a virtual tour experience. The first time they see a home otherwise is the day they move in. That, closings and everything else has gone virtual — and will in some cases stay that way.”
Among the many narratives and trends you could dig up during the world-shaping pandemic, the Gold Coast holds at least one story of a new generation of real estate firm leaders who are hoping to strike it rich, though not at their clients’ expense.
“I think one question that’s just as important as it was before is: What value do you bring as an agent?” she said. “I’m looking to support buyers in the best way possible in this new environment, and growing holistically with the perspective that those buyers come first, instead of the commission.”