Edward J. Seisdedos of Compass is ranked in the top 1% of Manhattan brokers, having completed over $100 million in recent sales in the ultra-luxury New York City market.
He has set real estate records in the upper echelon of the city’s rental market and has found great success in the second chapter of his life. The essential ingredient is a major life change he made 34 years ago.
“I chose not to drink. The life that was intended for me immediately took hold the second I put the drink down.” And what does that life look like?
“As a marketing and media consultant I worked with Paul McCartney and ended up in the London Arena with my husband Manolo as his invited guests for the closed set rehearsals for McCartney’s 2003 tour. We were then his guests for opening night of the tour a few days later in Paris, France. Didn’t see that coming.”
Seisdedos was behind a record-setting long-term rental in Manhattan; a $100,000-a-month lease at the Time Warner Center, 25 Columbus Circle’s apartment 75CE. He also touts a record-setting rental for the building at 151 E. 85th Street, in which he rented apartment 14A for $46,000 per month.
A career in the radio and music business (he was a member of the Grammy Awards organization) was an incredible catalyst into real estate at 43.
“I never looked back. I retired from the drag of corporate life and reporting to management. I love that I am the sole proprietor of my success in real estate. I considered that to be my retirement,” he jokes, saying that he enjoys not having to sit at a desk or answering to anyone. “I couldn’t have been happier and at 43 I was able to do whatever the heck I wanted.”
An added bonus: “I made multiples more money on my own than I ever did with a corporation,” he says. “You can be dedicated to your clients without it consuming your life.”
When he is able to escape his busy life in the city, he heads east for a piece of heaven he and his husband have carved out for themselves, a waterfront cottage on Gardiner’s Bay.
“I was asked, ‘You live in East Hampton? That’s where Steven Spielberg lives, do you live near him?’” he says. “My reply: ‘I live about $42 million from Steven Spielberg.’”
With his quick wit, Seisdedos can make fast friends and talk about myriad subjects, from his passion for songwriting to his extensive travel (he’s visited 300 cities across the globe on all seven continents). He has twice been a guest of the president of the United States as a member of the White House Correspondents Dinner at the annual press corps event.
While splitting his time between Manhattan’s Gramercy Park, East Hampton and Miami Beach, he still finds time to regularly volunteer at Gustavus Adolphus Lutheran Church. He even graduated from the Diakonia Program there, a spiritual and theological education program, and stays active in outreach programs.
He has been married 22 years to Manolo Medina, impressive in his own right as a former Martha Graham dancer, a cultural attaché who was granted a visa as a person of extraordinary ability. The couple support the arts on the South Fork when they can.
Seisdedos spends much of his down time writing songs and is a member of the Nashville Songwriters Association International. “Nashville is the Harvard and heartbeat of songwriting. I had the talent and ambition but I needed to learn the craft,” he says. “What I learned in Nashville is invaluable. I now pitch songs to artists and I’m working on my own music projects.
“There’s a moment that happens when you’re taking around a buyer,” he says. “There’s a magic moment. Their face lights up.”
He recalls it happening with one client while viewing a to-die-for apartment on the 52nd floor. He inquired about any apartments exactly like that one but on a higher floor. The developer’s agent said there were, but they weren’t available just yet.
“I said, ‘Make them available. We’re going up. We need to go up and see that apartment.’” Seven floors higher, the client walked in and said, “‘Oh my God. These views are lethal.’”
Seisdedos had two more showings scheduled in other buildings, but when he and his client reached the lobby, the client told him to cancel the other appointments and immediately negotiate. “It’s the magic moment where your buyer gets lit up,” he says. “And the same thing on the sell side as the exclusive listing agent, you get a buyer who’s wild to make the purchase and they go into contract at your ask or higher.”
Seisdedos prides himself on his dedication as a responsible fiduciary when it comes to his clients and brokers — “Brokers are my first client,” he says of the essential network of his fellow brokers in Manhattan, East Hampton, Boston, Miami, Rye, New York and across the world.
“Fiduciary,” he explains. “That is the beginning, middle and end of my broker definition and responsibility for my clients. Protect their money by finding the right home, investment or rental property through thoughtful and thorough due diligence. For sellers, to market their home to the most exacting standards and close at the highest possible price as quickly as possible.
This summer on the South Fork, he is looking forward to cycling, swimming in the ocean and surfing. But, there is nothing better than playing his guitar and writing at the cottage.
“It’s a beautiful place to write,” he says. “You can’t ask for a better spot being near the water like this.”
This article appeared in the June issue of Behind The Hedges.