Irvin Ocanto • Your Go-To Agent for Pet-Friendly Buildings
April 10, 2018
As far as we know, there is no other real estate agent who specializes in pet-friendly buildings — other than our own Irvin Ocanto. He’s experienced the heartbreak of clients who had to give their pets away when moving, and he knows the value of a having a loyal, furry friend in the big city. Just ask his own French bulldog, Bo.
“You need someone who loves pets and loves to help pet lovers,” Irvin says. “A pet is like your child. So what better person to help you through a move than someone who has gone through the same experience?”
Irvin has officially lived in New York (the Financial District) for four years, and is currently rocking his second year in real estate. He’s originally from a very small island off the coast of Venezuela — Margarita, population 200,000 — which he calls “slow-paced.” He’ll take Manhattan instead, with its breakneck speed and variety of people and the many ways they speak.
“I love language,” he says. He speaks four of them: French, Portuguese, English and Spanish. “I love that fact that you can go to the street in New York and can right away find someone who is speaking Portuguese.”
Since Irvin specializes in rentals that welcome pets, he loves steering clients through the process. His goal is to be considered trustworthy, transparent and honest (mission accomplished).
“I like the feeling of helping somebody find a home,” he says.
Irvin’s best advice for clients:
Be prepared to ask a lot of questions,” he says. “Reach out to all the people you know in the city to get ideas.”
In addition to pets, Irvin is sensitive to the often-intimidating process of newbies trying to find a reasonable place to live in the city.
“I try to find clients an apartment that’s under or below their budget,” he says. “I think they should try living here for a year at the lowest possible rent. So for the first year, they can adapt to the city. They can figure out if they did the right thing. And next year, they could always upgrade. I try to make them understand that when they sacrifice, it will help them in the long term. Sacrifice will help them make a better decision in the next year. And a year passes very fast in New York.”
Many of Irvin’s clients share the same ambition and drive to make it in the big city.
“You need to want to make it here,” he says. “You need to be committed. If you can get used to it, and commit, then New York is the best place on Earth.”
What’s kept Irvin’s engine going, both in the big city and in his career:
“Being mentally strong,” he says. “Sometimes you are going to be up. Sometimes you are going to be down. You need to create some kind of resistance to the ‘down.’ It’s a rollercoaster. You just need to look forward. You just need to think long term. It’s a matter of circumstances. Focus on the solutions, not the problems. We as brokers, that’s our job, to find solutions — for ourselves, for our clients, and for our landlords.”
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