First Ashley Olsen, teetering in Balenciaga boots, prances through the heavy glass doors at the TriBeCa outpost of Mr. Chow. Then come socialite Victoria Traina, Alison Mosshart of the Kills and top model Jessica Stam, swathed in leopard-print fur. Finally, Mary-Kate Olsen, her sequined Zandra Rhodes caftan billowing in the December breeze, joins the growing group. The bodyguard count is now at two and climbing. What’s with all the hubbub? “Some birthday party,” says the restaurant’s hostess, distractedly gesturing toward a baby-faced young man with a perma-smile on his face. “That guy.”
“That guy,” his arms full of Hermès shopping bags and other fancy presents, is Jared Seligman, and the scene is his 21st-birthday party. He is not a rising actor, rock star or fashion designer, as his social circle might suggest, but, in fact, a real-estate broker. More precisely, Seligman has gained a reputation as the Manhattan real-estate broker to the young, fashionable and fabulous. Aside from being the Olsens’ agent (he currently holds the listing for their $12 million apartment on Morton Square), he’s found homes for Adam “DJ AM” Goldstein; Tommy Hilfiger’s daughter, Ally; and seemingly every runway model in the city: Stam, Coco Rocha, Caroline Trentini, Hilary Rhoda and Lily Cole.
Seligman, who has worked for the Corcoran Group since 2006, was honored as the powerhouse real-estate company’s 2007 rookie of the year after brokering more than $40 million worth of property. This past February, just two months after reaching the legal drinking age, he was promoted to vice president and associate broker. “I was the youngest person hired and the quickest-ever promotion,” he says with his characteristic brio, sitting in the SoHo one-bedroom that he bought last year and has decorated with a zebra rug and cashmere throws. “This can be an archaic industry,” he proclaims. “And to be honest, it really needs a makeover.”
An Upper East Side native, Seligman got a jump start on his career at age 18 when he earned a real-estate license and landed a job brokering rental apartments for Citi Habitats. His parents wanted him to attend college (his father owns a paper and envelope manufacturing company), but after a tour of Boston University he balked. “I decided I wasn’t a student,” he says. “I wanted to be my own boss and make my own rules.” Seligman, who soon started handling sales as well as rentals, closed a couple of multimillion-dollar deals and won his branch’s award for rookie of the year. After just 10 months, he signed with the more prestigious Corcoran.
Pam Liebman, president and CEO of Corcoran, calls him a “hotshot.” Says Liebman: “He looks young, like a kid. But he has a maturity about him. I met him when he was 20, and he was already doing more business than people who had been around for years.”