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Geoffrey Wigdor

Lic. R.E. Salesperson
Office:(212) 381-3312
Mobile:(646) 623-1392

Mentioned in this Article:
The Real Deal

Some Brokers Find Teaming Up With A Spouse Or Even An Ex Is A Good Bet

By Leigh Kamping-Carder

Nora Ariffin and Christopher Kromer

For some, running into an ex-spouse is a trial to be avoided. Not so for Halstead brokers Nora Ariffin and Christopher Kromer, who started working together about six months after getting divorced (see The Real Deal‘s coverage of broker teams here).

“We were great friends when we were married — we just couldn’t be married to each other,” Ariffin said.

Ariffin, who claims to be Singapore’s original supermodel, was the first to enter the real estate business in 2004 when she was still married to Kromer. He joined the business a year later, but in 2007, their marriage ended. After spending some time apart, they decided to join forces professionally in 2008.

The pair may not have worked as romantic partners, but as business partners they click. Both have dabbled in acting, but Ariffin uses her fashion background to stage apartments, while Kromer, who once worked at Ernst & Young, puts his accounting chops to work analyzing the market.

They work on every deal together and split commissions equally. In February, they found a tenant for a 5,600-square-foot loft at 5 East 17th Street listed for $20,000.

“As you can imagine, knowing somebody so intimately for so long gives you a shorthand communication that really works very well in dealing with different clients,” Kromer said.

These days, Kromer is dating someone, while Ariffin just broke up with her boyfriend of two years. “Having been married to someone,” Ariffin said, “you trust them wholeheartedly.”

Ariffin and Kromer are not the only brokers in the city to mix romance and real estate.

Karen Wigdor, who is also with Halstead, started in the industry about 13 years ago; a few years later, her husband, Fred, joined her in the business. Two years ago, the couple’s son, Jeff, also came on to the team.

Although all three have a hand in every aspect of the business, Wigdor said she tends to handle the negotiations and the conversations with attorneys and mortgage brokers, while Fred oversees showings. The 30-year-old Jeff, who is also an actor (“and I think very nice-looking,” Wigdor said) tends to manage listings in trendier downtown neighborhoods.

“We’re pretty good about not talking real estate at home that much,” she said, “unless it’s a specific issue.”

Sunday, April 01, 2012