Stribling Insiders: Ellen Cohen

Having been in real estate for more than 15 years, Ellen has seen just about everything. Fortunately for us, she always has her camera ready to document the extraordinary moments born out of quotidian life here in NYC. Her Instagram account is beautiful, intriguing, and insightful — and has become as much a part of her real estate career as contracts and open houses. We sat down with Ellen to talk about her photo-journalist tendencies, her penchant for NYC pizza, and her first language (hint — it’s not English!)

Ellen Cohen

When did you first get into residential real estate and why?

I, personally, looked at 68 apartments when searching for my own home and found the process onerous. It struck me that there was no real reason that it had to be this way and that working with someone who communicated clearly, who you could trust, and who listened carefully would simplify things. I’ve always been fascinated by reading spaces and people. Selling homes seemed to be a perfect blend of my skills with the goal of finding the perfect fit for a customer or to ease the transition when clients leave behind a home and memories they cherished.

What is your favorite part about being a real estate agent?

Nothing makes me happier than seeing a seller or a buyer happy with the outcome of the process, whether it’s finding the right buyer for their home or simply finding the right home for them. And I love discovering new neighborhoods and making new friends!

Why did you choose Stribling & Associates?

I knew that it would be an honor to work for Stribling & Associates. Being part of a high-quality firm was important to me and the reputation that the name carries is known far and wide. As a bonus, the environment is kind, civilized, and more than supportive.

Do you have a favorite neighborhood and why?

As a born and bred Upper West Sider of course my own neighborhood, but right now I would have to say the Lower East Side is an exciting and rapidly blossoming hot spot . The shopping, restaurants, energy, development and on-going changes make for a new adventure every time I go Downtown. But even in established neighborhoods that I know like the back of my hand, I’m always amazed to discover something new. The city is constantly evolving and that’s what makes it so exhilarating.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

Most of the time I carry my camera with me and am able to do a lot of cityscape photography while I’m on the go. You’ll often find me editing my photos on the bus or subway between appointments!

What is an achievement of which you are most proud?

That’s easy: My daughters, who have grown into wonderful, bright, caring and successful young women. I couldn’t be prouder of them.

Favorite book?

The Alchemist by Paolo Coelho. All of his books are like poems — moving, touching, honest, and profound.

Favorite movie?

Bladerunner (the original), and I must say that I recently saw RBG which was incredibly inspiring! Amazing how one person’s positive actions can create so much wonderful change in the world — a very aspirational message.

Favorite travel destination?

Just about anywhere in Europe. Good food, beautiful destinations, fascinating history, and a wide variety of textures and colors.

Favorite meal?

A good slice of NY style pizza or dinner at Cafe Boulud — talk about extremes!

If you weren’t a real estate agent, what would you be?

A jewelry designer or photographer. I am very visual and also love to work with my hands. Creative outlets relax my soul.

What else should we know about you?

Most people don’t realize this, but my first language is French, and I have always spoken both languages. This is a skill for which I am forever indebted to my parents.