SPOTLIGHT ON: Maurice Owen-Michaane
Mary Prenon | July 2018
The Best of Both Worlds
Maurice Owen-Michaane has the best of both worlds—real estate offices in New York City and Westchester. The Broker/Owner of Capital Realty NYC LL lives in Pelham, but spends much of his time running between his New Rochelle and Manhattan brokerages to list and show properties or close deals.
“I don’t mind being ‘on the go’ all the time. It keeps me grounded,” he said. “If I need to get down to Greenwich Village or up to Cortlandt, it’s not a problem. If I can get there with my car, I’m going.”
Owen-Michaane is also a new HGMLS Board Member and currently co-chairs HGAR’s Member Experience Committee. “It’s been great getting to see the inside track of how associations and MLSs work,” he said. “I’m also looking forward to the planned joint venture with MLSLI to create an even larger regional MLS.”
Currently, there is no structured MLS operating in Manhattan and Owen-Michaane says that’s something he’s also looking forward to for the future. “We desperately need it,” he adds.
Owen-Michaane credits his background in finance with helping him to ease into a real estate career. After receiving a B.A. in government from Hamilton College in Clinton, NY, he began his career at the law firm of Skadden Arps in Manhattan. Later, he worked with Goldman Sachs in the Debt Capital Markets and Investment Banking groups, covering financial institutions and managing deal activity in the billions. “My typical weeks were often over 100 hours” he said. He spent about five years there before deciding to pursue his MBA in Finance at Baruch College in New York City.
In 2008, while still in his MBA program, he decided to get his real estate license and actually sold two apartments over the course of the summer. “That’s when I realized that I wanted to do this all the time,” he said. “There’s a lot of numbers involved with real estate and I wanted to be able to offer my clients a really good perspective based on my background.”
Jumping full time into real estate, he began his career in Manhattan with City Habitats, then joined the boutique firm of the Maz Group NY. Since he knew so many people in the financial industry, Owen-Michaane was able to build a viable referral business from the beginning.
In 2015, he struck out on his own, forming Capital Realty NY LLC in Manhattan. “Going solo felt a little overwhelming at first, but I knew it was something I had to do,” he said. The following year he moved to Pelham and opened his New Rochelle office. Owen-Michaane admits he currently does more deals in New York City than Westchester, but he enjoys the uniqueness of both areas. “You have to be fully knowledgeable about all the areas you work in, so this gives me a great opportunity to always be learning about new communities.”
Owen-Michaane explains that today’s technology makes boutique real estate operations like his business sustainable. “Everyone has access to the same information and people usually come in knowing what they want,” he said.
While real estate can be time consuming, Owen-Michaane said he makes the most of his free time by relishing his time at home with husband Michael, an attending physician at Columbia Presbyterian Medical Center, and their three children ages 6, 3 and 9 months. “Being in real estate gives me the flexibility to spend time with my family,” he added.
He also finds time to serve on the Site-Based Council at Siwanoy School, and is a member of the Siwanoy School PTA, a member of the Pelham Manor Zoning & Appeals Board, and a member of the Alumni Council/President of the Class of 2003 from Hamilton College. In addition, Owen-Michaane is a member of the Friends of Pelham Library Committee and the Pelham Jewish Center.
What he likes best about his real estate business is being able to give some good solid financial advice to his clients—especially first-time homebuyers. “Having a financial background, I can help them decide what they can afford,” he said. “Whether I’m working on a large or small deal, I treat everything like it’s a million-dollar deal. I give it the same focus as if it were my own property and I try to make the whole thing as seamless as possible.”