SPOTLIGHT ON: Brian Phillips
Mary Prenon | February 12, 2021
The Mobile Broker
You may know Brian Phillips by his moniker, “The Mobile Broker,” which is actually a registered trademark in New York City and Westchester County. Based in the Riverdale section of the Bronx, as well as Harlem in upper Manhattan, the Douglas Elliman Associate Broker finds himself on the road just about all the time.
With more than 23 years in the real estate business, Phillips handles sales and leasing on everything from modest studio apartments to luxury homes throughout Westchester, the Bronx, Manhattan and Brooklyn. Phillips is also a new member of the HGAR Board of Directors and is excited to get started in his new role.
“I applied to join the Board of Directors at HGAR because I enjoy taking part in my industry as well as being the voice of my peers,” said Phillips. “I have been the voice of my peers in Upper Manhattan and Riverdale and on several committees, I have served on at the Real Estate Board of New York (REBNY). Now I can add my voice for my colleagues at HGAR.”
One of his goals for 2021 is to bring more activities and events to the Bronx and Manhattan, when live events finally get the green light to resume.
Originally from St. Vincent and The Grenadines in the southern Caribbean Islands, Phillips came to the U.S. when he was just six years old. “I guess that’s why I don’t have an accent” he quipped. “I do remember it was a harder way of life there, but there was so much natural beauty.”
Always a “people person,” Phillips gravitated toward sales and spent 10 years as a housewares distributor, where he led a quarter-million-dollar sales group selling high-end housewares. “It was very challenging to say the least, but I loved it and excelled at it,” he recalled.
When a friend suggested he consider a real estate career, Phillips followed that advice. He took the real estate salesperson’s course in 1997 at the Long Island Board of Realtors, as he was living in Roslyn at the time. After earning his license, he began working with an independent brokerage in Queens, and gradually transitioned from the housewares business into a full-time real estate agent.
“I left that business for what to me is an easier career, as everyone needs a place to live,” said Phillips. Eventually he found his way to Manhattan working with Sotheby’s International Realty and Warburg Realty before settling into Douglas Elliman.
Experiencing a smooth transition into real estate, Phillips received many referrals from his housewares clients and attended as many networking events as he could. “I love to network and I love helping people,” he said. “Plus, I love the freedom of having my own business that I can grow and earn as much as I want.”
On most days, Phillips is busy hopping between his Riverdale and Harlem offices, while handling listings and showings. “I don’t like being stuck in an office, so I’m always out meeting people. I prefer face-to-face interactions.”
Despite the pandemic sending many New York City natives fleeing for the suburbs, Phillips said he hasn’t experienced those flight trends in upper Manhattan and other sections of the boroughs. “I’ve still had a lot of closings and I find that the Bronx and Brooklyn are still very busy,” he added. “A lot of younger people who have been priced out of Manhattan or Brooklyn are now moving into the Bronx. Any area near a subway station is hot right now.”
In addition to his new duties as an HGAR Director, Phillips in involved with the Greater Harlem Chamber of Commerce, the Mount Morris Park Community Improvement Association and the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture. A resident of Harlem, Phillips is a big believer of giving back to the local community.
In his spare time, he enjoys biking along the Henry Hudson Parkway in Manhattan, in Central Park and at Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx. A vegetarian for the past 20 years, Phillips finds New York City one of the best places for vegetarian food options. “I get to see a lot more when I’m biking and I always enjoy looking for new places that offer vegetarian cuisine,” he said. Phillips loves all forms of exercise and is also a tennis player.
Due to COVID travel restrictions, Phillips has traded in trips to Florida and California for road trips within the tri-state area. “I seem to always be on the road, so as you can see, ‘The Mobile Broker’ description fits me very well,” he noted.