When Sean McPeak unpacks the nuances of real estate, it’s akin to a dancer explaining the motivations behind a contemporary piece, full of passion and a zest for innovation. The real estate market is a heavy trove of trends, numbers, strategies, and a sprinkle of optimism. But someone like McPeak, who has carved out a corner for himself among the established greats, views such a market with an almost idyllic wonder, eager to spark change and solve problems head on. His track record reveals a career that’s seasoned with success and experience in negotiating notoriously high properties, and at the top of 2022, McPeak is showing no signs of slowing down.
Having grown up in New Jersey, McPeak familiarized himself with property transactions while flipping houses with his mother in New York. At a young age he found an interest in problem-solving that carried into his college career, starting out in marketing management and riding a brief wave in technology before shifting his focus to high-end property marketing. Learning from the local landscapes only further supported McPeak’s future in real estate, for it’s a trade secret that entering established markets like New York and Los Angeles demand a level of grit only attained by local talent. When the market crashed in 2008, McPeak channeled his homegrown sense of leadership and dove headfirst into a burning building, stoking a challenge that many industry professionals ran away from. It was this determination that launched his career into the stratosphere, setting the pace for years of steel-plated negotiations and property development.
In his first year with Douglas Elliman, McPeak raked in $25 million dollars worth of property alone on a top ranked team in TriBeCa, navigating a notably tight market by way of problem-solving and building strong relationships with clients and coworkers combined. He quickly leveraged a competitive field to work in his favor, and began paving a path towards aerial growth and upward mobility.
“In our markets, you need a lot of experience to excel, and New York can be challenging compared to other markets,” McPeak explained. “We have to solve very complex problems because of how dense the city is…you can’t just walk in and make noise, there’s a lot of old money here and it helps if you’re local or have the right connections.”
The best connection arrived in November of 2020, when McPeak joined the SERHANT as their third agent. Prior to joining Ryan Serhant, McPeak poured a lot of his energy into activations, social media marketing, and more creative outlets, but upon arriving at Serhant, he discovered a collaborative network of like-minded professionals to grow with. In 2021, McPeak’s team earned the Inman Golden I Club Award for “Best Sales and Marketing Campaign for a Luxury Development”, which tipped a cap to their stellar campaign strategies. The marketing strategy resulted in over $25,000,000 in sales at the Library at 61 Rivington Street in the lower east side of Manhattan with many properties selling at or above original Schedule A and exceeding the developer’s own projections for the sellout. This national award generated a typhoon of related press for the team, cementing McPeak’s position as a leader of the pack.
“Joining Serhant was reinvigorating,” McPeak said, “it made me feel brand new, reconsider possibilities, feel giddy again…like I’m 22! But the past six months have been the highlight of my career, bringing the McPeak team to new heights at SERHANT. I’ve taken a lot of pride in this.”
The success of McPeak’s growth follows a primrose path of support and collaborative hustle, because in order to play the game, one must first prove themselves as a quality coworker.
“It can be very sharky, in a sense…proving your abilities in such a competitive field,” he said. “But you’ve got to be a good colleague, first and foremost. At the end of the day, building a relationship as someone who is collaborative and easy to work with is critical.”
Another pivotal quality for any dynamic force, and perhaps equally impactful, is the execution of creative enterprising. Old strategies get dusty over time, and exploring unique initiatives breathe new life into existing models. In October of last year, McPeak organized the first NFT real estate function, which enjoyed glittering success in New York. The event spurred after selling an $8,795,000 townhouse property that was only on the market for 46 days after being on the market for 416 days with another broker, so in celebration of a quick turnaround, McPeak set up a projector to display rotating NFT’s on the walls and hosted a slew of crypto-experts & real estate professionals at a themed-party that, coincidentally, raved during NFT week in New York. The event was the first of its kind, and a strategy that will surely find a home in property development down the line.
“I’m super dedicated to integrating NFT’s into real estate markets,” McPeak said. “It’s a way to memorialize trade, and it’s still very esoteric subject matter, but NFT’s can curb unnecessary risk-taking.”
McPeak further explained that New York is a very old city, and NFT’s could rejuvenate the market and help to clean up the city’s data and record keeping. This kind of progressive mindset is what will carry real estate markets in the future, and it’s no secret that NFT’s are already holding court in other scenarios beyond property development.
I actually went to Burning Man a few years ago, and we paid for our tickets through Stubhub,” McPeak explained. “Half the fun in attending the festival is that you receive a keepsake ticket and a package arrangement, but when we finally arrived in the desert, they told us our tickets were fake. An NFT would solve this problem.”
McPeak is known for his persuasive charm in reaching a deal, but he also employs a scholastic element to his curriculum, striving to not only secure the strongest properties for his clients but to educate them throughout the process. Real estate can and often is a web of jargon and theoretical discussions that can seem lofty to outsiders, but McPeak excels in dissecting the misconceptions about the market for his clients, ensuring they understand what they’re committing to.
As a consultant, McPeak drives his expertise like a close friend and speaks with kindness. As a professional, he surpasses the average agent, generating an average of $25 million a quarter. His approach to real estate is steady, confident, and creative, an exemplary figure in the frontier of property development marketing. McPeak works hard and plays harder, but his techniques are proving to be a serious focal point of evolution in a hyper charged industry. If you haven’t been paying attention to real estate markets recently, you’d be wise to start with McPeak.