136 Madison Avenue 6th Floor
New York, NY 10016
Tom Ripellino is the Founder and President of Metropolis Real Estate of Manhattan. He has resided on Manhattan’s Upper East Side for over 25 years. “You have got to love this business to live it. I started in this industry just after grammar school working for my father helping him to maintain and manage his rental properties in the Buffalo area.. I spent the summers of my youth fixing up his houses and apartments. Not only did I get experience in maintenance and repairs, but in dealing with tenants as well.
After graduating from NYU’s Stern Business School I traveled, lived and worked abroad including an eight year stint in East Africa. Upon returning to New York, I tried my luck as a floor trader on the COMEX exchange, trading precious metals options. But I eventually realized that my true talents and passion were for Real Estate.
I bought my first property in Manhattan back in 1993. It was a studio apartment on the Upper East Side which I eventually sold for a 333% profit. Not bad after realizing over a 20% annual Cap Rate on the rental for the 7 years that I held the property. Since that first transaction I have bought and sold many properties as an investor.
In 1996 I entered the Real Estate Brokerage industry signing on as a Licensed Real Estate Sales Person for a now defunct brokerage company in midtown Manhattan. Six months into my rookie year as an agent, my manager suggested we open our own office. Six months later, we opened a branch office in Murray Hill of Metropolis Real Estate of Western New York, my father’s upstate brokerage company. A year later, Metropolis Real Estate of Manhattan was launched.
We started out as a rag tag group of agents trying to break into the extremely tight Manhattan rental market. There was no internet marketing to speak of in those days and good apartments would usually rent before they even hit the market. Renters gladly paid broker fees of 15% to 18% of the yearly rent for un-renovated and over priced apartments. Our landlord contacts were few. Each listing had to be wrenched away from a larger, better connected competitor. Somehow we survived those beginnings and slowly built our company from the ground up.
By 2003 Metropolis Real Estate of Manhattan boasted over 60 agents with a residential sales and rental divisions, occupying over 4000 square feet of office space in Midtown East. Around that time I was getting more involved in the Real Estate investment markets throughout New York State, both for clients and for my personal portfolio. I went back to Buffalo and started to invest in residential rental property there. Once I had learned the ropes of that market, setting up a network of brokers, property managers, contractors, mortgage brokers, banks and attorneys—I began to offer my services to outside investors.
From 2003 to the present I have introduced Real Estate investors from around the world to investment opportunities in New York City and upstate New York. Being an investor myself, I understand what it takes to be profitable. Rather than broker a transaction and walk away with the commission I make sure that all the elements for a successful investment are in place from the outset and then I monitor and maintain the investment for my clients. It is a formula that has proved to be a winner for everyone.
Metropolis is still involved in leasing and sales markets in New York. In addition to our agents’ activities I personally get involved in servicing my clients’ interests. I recently rented a $1,600 studio apartment for a client I have known for years. I also recently rented the Haitian Consulate and Mission to the UN a 12,000 square foot office on a 15 year lease. I am equally committed to both clients. It’s not about the commission earned. I am in it for the game. Large or small, every transaction brings the joy that only this industry can give.”