College football on grass field at night with spot lighting

How a NYC Broker Leveraged His Real Estate Knowledge to Win $100,000 Playing Fantasy Football

On August 25th  2014, I drafted a team in The National Fantasy Football Championship (NFFC), a high-stakes fantasy football competition made up of approximately 2,300 teams. I took my team from a 0-5 start to 1st place overall, winning a $100,000 grand prize. I also won a huge trophy that my wife has yet to let me hang up in our apartment! My football knowledge and experience as a real estate agent in New York City, gave me the winning edge.  Here’s how being a real estate agent helped me to win big:

Finding a needle in a haystack

Finding my clients the right place, in the right area, at the right value is a talent. Searching for an apartment in New York City can be daunting. There are a lot of listings out there and it takes massive amounts of research and the ability to sift through a lot of information. Similarly, in fantasy football, if you want to win, you have to know the free agent market. That takes looking over all of the players available and deciding who to make a move on. There are a lot of guys that have one good game and are never heard from again. Selecting the right free agent can be the difference between winning a championship, and splitting a consolation prize.

See the potential for appreciation

My clients often prefer to invest in areas that are going to appreciate. Sure they want to enjoy living in their homes, but they also want to make money.  Guiding my clients to areas that could appreciate requires expertise. Roster spots in fantasy football have value, and holding onto someone that has underperformed is a risk only worth taking, if that player is likely going to turn it around. Odell Beckham Jr. didn’t play one snap over the first four games of the 2014 NFL season. But I held on to him, because I knew he was a prime candidate for appreciation. Good thing I did, he was my MVP.

Assessing value

A big part of what I do is talk to owners about what their home is worth. Knowing the value of homes, based on comps, is at the heart of my business. In The NFFC each team is given a Free Agent Acquisition Budget (FAAB ) to be used in a blind auction to pick up available players. It is essential for success to know the value of free agents, and not overpay for them. If you end up overpaying for someone in week 2, you may find yourself in the playoff hunt in need of a pickup, but without the necessary funds.

Know the market

My goal is to constantly add value for my clients. So, I have to know my markets. If there’s a new development going up, I need to see it. If a certain segment of the market is short on inventory, I have to let my sellers in that area know that it is time to take action. I obsessively research and read about the local real estate market, so I can educate and advise my clients. In football, if you do not research and prepare for the draft, you will find yourself at the bottom of the rankings. You are going to have 90 seconds once you are on the clock and will need to decide quickly who to pick. With the proper preparation, you will make the right call.

Have a unique perspective

There are a lot of real estate agents out there in NYC. There are over 5,500 just at Douglas Elliman. So why do my clients choose me? I offer them a unique approach that comes from years of real estate investing, and an encyclopedic knowledge of the market landscape. I also relate really well to my clients and listen to what is most important to them, because every client is different. In fantasy football, there are experts abound. I choose one or two that I take advice from, but then I make up my own mind. How I rank my players is unlike anyone else. If I took what the experts said verbatim, I’d end up in the middle of the pack, instead I am the