Lesson Learned: Listen and look beyond the superficial


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As a top-ranked, award-winning real estate professional specializing in Manhattan real estate, Mississippi native Noble Black brings a hyper-personalized approach to the practice of real estate. His law degree from UVA and years of work as an attorney on Wall Street have given him a unique 360º perspective on the legal and financial implications of even the most complex transactions, which keeps him interested and challenged even after nearly two decades in the industry.

Although Black is serious about the exceptional client service he provides, that doesn’t mean he’s an extrovert. “While real estate is a very social industry, I’m actually incredibly shy,” he said. Find out how he puts his knowledge and experience to work and what he’s learned in his years in the business.

Name: Noble Black

Title: Licensed associate real estate broker

Experience: 19 years of experience

Location: New York, New York

Brokerage name: Douglas Elliman

Rankings: The Real Trends Top 1000: No. 29 large teams by sales volume (2022)

No. 14 top residential brokers by closed sales (2021)

Team name: The Noble Black Team

Transaction sides: 62 total sales transactions

Sales volume: $318,177,519.00


  • Douglas Elliman 2022 Ellie Awards, Awards by GCI: The Noble Black Team No. 3 large team
  • Douglas Elliman 2022 Ellie Awards, Awards by Transactions: The Noble Black Team No. 3 large team
  • Douglas Elliman 2022 Ellie Awards, Awards by Volume: The Noble Black Team No. 4 large team
  • Douglas Elliman 2022 Ellie Awards, Manhattan, National Awards by Volume: The Noble Black Team No. 4 large team nationwide
  • Douglas Elliman 2022 Ellie Awards, New York City, Pinnacle Awards: The Noble Black Team
  • Ellies 2021: Top Teams by GCI: The Noble Black Team No. 2
  • Ellies 2021: No. 7 Team Nationwide
  • Ellies 2021: Pinnacle Award (Top 2 percent of agents nationwide): The Noble Black Team
  • Ellies 2019: No. 1 team, GCI Pinnacle Award (Top 2 percent of agents company-wide): The Noble Black Team | Manhattan

What’s one big lesson you’ve learned in real estate, and how did you learn it?

Don’t judge a book by its cover. You never know where the client is coming from; people can be far wealthier than how they visually present themselves.

Some people have huge means yet live modestly, while others can be extremely flashy. You need to look but also listen to your clients to know what makes them tick and what property would be best for them.

What’s the most important thing you learned in school or in your prelicensing classes?

I went to law school at The University of Virginia. Law school was incredibly instructive in teaching me how to think several steps ahead. This has been very helpful in real estate as it has been a skill that has allowed me to efficiently work on deals and work with clients, as I can anticipate issues and think through solutions proactively.

What’s the best advice you ever got from a mentor or colleague?

“The best way to make a good broker a bad broker is to give them too much business.” — Howard Lorber

The moral behind Lorber’s statement is that as brokers grow their businesses and contacts, the challenge can be that they keep their eye on what made them successful originally. As you move forward with your career, you should rather keep your focus on doing a good job for your client. You cannot lose sight of the small details and what’s important for each individual client, no matter your prior personal successes.

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Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams
Alexandra Williams is a writer and editor. Angeles. She writes about politics, art, and culture for LinkDaddy News.

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