After two kids, and nearly 10 years of producing the celebrity-studded 24 Hour Plays for Off-Broadway and Broadway, Tina Fallon realized that motherhood and the theater life were not exactly complimentary roles. Working around the clock for two-week stretches, and unemployment between productions was now much harder with small children in the wings. What she didn’t realize was that real estate might be the way to make the show go on.
“People would tell me, ‘You should be a real estate agent,’” she said, a suggestion she dismissed even though she had plenty of experience in the market. She had bought and sold three properties before—a house in Greenport, a condo in Greenpoint, and a house in Rowayton, CT—but beyond that she had the same impression of brokers that many New Yorkers share. Which is, “Why would anyone want to be a real estate agent? Real estate agents are such creeps!”
But a Craigslist ad for Realty Collective, a boutique Brooklyn real estate firm run by Victoria Hagman, inspired her to entertain the idea. She met Hagman and her partner at the time, and thought, “I can work for those ladies.” In her mind, her stint as a real estate agent would be just that—a brief cameo, “because it seemed like it was so different from working as a producer.”
That was nine years ago. In the time since, Fallon has discovered that the parallels of mounting a production and selling a home are “basically indistinguishable—except the quality of life real estate affords is so much better than working full time in the theater.”
Listening to Fallon, who bears no relation to the late night host, it does seem a little uncanny how the two fields converge. The similarities start with the timeline—there is always a beginning, middle and end. The cast of characters are the clients, agents and lawyers. The set is the property, and the crew are the stagers, movers and painters who help the sellers “achieve the character they want to project into the world.”
“It’s very much like creating a show,” she explains. “The opening is like your open house and you go through the process that takes you to closing. I mean, even the language is the same between production and real estate,” she says. “Can you tell I’ve thought a lot about this?” (more…)