Stribling Insiders: Ria Browne
Many who meet Brooklyn-based Ria have the same reaction: she is effortlessly cool. From her personal style (she comes from a fashion background, duh!) to her love of working with people, Ria is every bit authenticity personified. We caught up with her to talk about why she jumped from fashion to houses, her love of food, and her national Instagram campaign that forever changed the conversation about gun control in the USA:
When did you first get into residential real estate and why?
I got into real estate about five years ago — I was looking for a transition out of the fashion/luxury lifestyle world and thought that getting my license could complement my retail consulting work because I opened a lot of stores for people and always worked with semi-not-so-good commercial agents. But once I got my license, I realized my heart was really in residential.
What is your favorite part about being a real estate agent?
I love exploring and getting to know new neighborhoods! I also really like forging meaningful relationships with my clients — you get to know people very well through the whole real estate process. I keep in touch with all of them. And then on top of everything, I get to see beautiful homes all around NYC! It’s all so fun.
Why did you choose Stribling & Associates?
Libba is an old acquaintance of my mother-in-law, and when I decided to get my license, she made the introduction. Before that, Stribling wasn’t really on my radar. But I loved how intimate and warm the environment was at the Brooklyn office, and they agreed to take me on and train me. I always say that this is the most supportive work environment I’ve ever been in. Prior to real estate, I was always the boss, or consulting and taking care of others without anyone taking care of me. Now, I feel like whatever happens, I have an amazing support team at Stribling behind me to face any challenge.
Do you have a favorite neighborhood?
I love my home neighborhood of Brooklyn Heights. It’s a super easy commute to anywhere in Manhattan or Brooklyn and that is very important to me since I work everywhere! I also love that this area has not changed much over the years: It’s still quiet and beautiful as it’s always been, and there has been almost no new commercial development because of landmarks and zoning laws. I really imagine that I will live in Brooklyn Heights for the rest of my life.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time with friends and family. A lot of our free time is spent at our weekend home on Shelter Island. We’ve been going there for over 15 years and have a ton of friends so we do lots of cozy dinners and cookouts. Most of what I like to do revolves around food!
What is an achievement of which you are most proud?
I’m really proud of my recent campaign to get more Instagram followers than the NRA for the Everytown for Gun Safety organization. I launched the campaign a few days after the shootings in Parkland and in 8 days, we got 600k new followers for Everytown. And I’m launching an orange wish ribbon bracelet for Wear Orange day, June 1, to further raise awareness and money for common sense gun reform. Most Americans support common sense measures like universal background checks, age limits, and keeping guns away from domestic abusers, but the politicians taking money from the gun lobby are ignoring the masses. Gun safety should be a bi-partisan issue, which is why I’m also including a purple wish ribbon that says “Red or Blue we welcome you”
I’m an avid reader, so I go through a lot books. The last one I read was All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr which I loved, and I’m currently reading Make Trouble which is the autobiography of Cecile Richards. She was the head of Planned Parenthood for over 10 years and is a famed women’s activist.
Tampopo. For my 41st birthday party, I had a screening of it at the Wythe Hotel cinema and it was one of my favorite parties ever!
Favorite travel destination?
Anywhere! I love renting apartments or homes in foreign places and trying to live like a local.
I like so many different things but I tend to crave Asian foods — a beautiful traditional Japanese breakfast, spicy Korean stew cooked at the table and then finished off with a crispy fried rice they make in the same pot, and street food noodles are all so so good. But honestly, take me anywhere in the world and I will find something new to love.
If you weren’t a real estate agent, what would you be?
I would be a full-time activist for common sense gun reform! The gun laws in our country are so broken that Americans are 25 times more likely to be shot and killed than in any other developed country in the world. And there is no other country that experiences the level of mass shootings like we do. It’s time for change!