Tattoos yield higher pay for agents

More than 35 employees at a New York rental real-estate company have gotten tattoos with the company logo in exchange for a commission boost.

By Teresa at MSN Real Estate May 2, 2013 8:03AM

© Rapid Realty (Via Facebook, employees of a New York City real-estate firm have taken a major step to show loyalty to their employers: They have had the company logo tattooed on their bodies.


In exchange, the agents of Rapid Realty got their commissions raised from 25% to 40%. The location of the tattoo is up to the employee.


The unusual branding tactic came to light when the company submitted it to Inman News' weekly #madREskillz, a Twitter conversation about offbeat marketing tactics.


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Rapid Realty tweeted:

36 agents have gotten tattoos of our logo (so far)! Talk about marketing -- they're walking billboards! #madREskillz

The body-art-for-raises movement started when an employee mentioned to company owner Anthony Lolli that he was getting a tattoo with the company logo, at the suggestion of a client who was a tattoo artist. So far, at least 37 agents have gotten the tattoos.

"They wear it like a badge of honor," Lolli told Inman News. "They get a lot of respect from the other agents with the amount of commitment that they have."

Rapid Realty focuses exclusively on rentals, and clients are served by multiple agents, who play different roles.


Representatives of the company that placed second in the Inman Twitter competition were among the skeptical.

"Tattoos are nice and fun on their own, but within the real-estate industry I’m not sure that send the right message or image out to potential clients — kinda like seeing your attorney with a tattoo of his/her firm on their arm,” Ann Lee Faranda, co-owner of J. Philip Real Estate, wrote on the Inman competition Facebook page.


Her firm, which she co-owns with her husband, Phil Faranda, came in second in the competition, with a proposal to price by ZIP code. For example, if your house is in the 90210 ZIP code, instead of pricing it at $999,999, you'd price it at $999,210, thereby setting yourself up as an expert in the local market.


Tags: rentals
May 11, 2013 12:55PM
Just read the Reviews on YELP and City Search:

Really bad.  And I would question some of the good ones as possibly written by the agents themselves.
May 11, 2013 12:34PM
Since most NYC agencies start you at 50% if you are new, why in the hell would you work at such a place to begin with.  It is just a bait & switch boiler room operation anyway.
A decent agent will get 65% of the commission.

So I guess I could go here and get a tattoo so I could cut my income by over 35%

The agents at this company are what I call 'hot money types'  they have no experience, no decent training and are just in it to try for quick money.  They come and they go very fast.
This company stress that they do rentals, not sales.  Their 'training' video online NEVER mentions how to serve a customer, just how to make money (Supposedly), how to deal with anything 'thrown at you'.  They key to success in this business is to be honest, to serve your customers well, to build long term relationships.

I worked at a place like this 22 years ago when I started, over hyped with a blowhard owner.  I saw through them fairly fast.  They were highly unethical.  This agency is the same.  Just go to their website, you will see the same photos used for numerous apartments that are of all different sizes with no addresses, most have no photos or descriptions at all, floor plans?  Forget that.  These are not exclusives, these are open listings or junk you can find on your own…Except that in the cases where I recognize the kitchen so I know the building, I know there are NO apartments available there at the prices advertised: 

Listing on Rapid Realty:

Actual Building Website:

Click on the "h"  then go to listings!.. No studio at $2850,  No 1BR at $3450, No 1BR at $3895, No Studio at $2750.  Perfect example of BAIT & SWITCH, this is illegal.  IT is against the law to advertise apartments that are not available.  This agency is so low end; you cannot even search above $5000/Month and in Manhattan the average 2BR is more than that.

I feel sorry for agents who are sucked in by this, some are likely decent people who will quit in frustration when they don't make a dime.  When if they had gone to a decent agency, they might have become very successful in a few years.  If they stay here they are ruined by bad habits.

Note Rapid Realty is not even a member of the Real Estate Board,the ethics organization in NYC.  That speaks volumes about them as well over 95% of agents are members.
May 11, 2013 9:30AM
Just goes to show the old adage is true, : A FOOL and his money are soon parted !!! "
May 11, 2013 9:15AM

25 to 40%.  Rip off.  At Century 21 you start at 50% and it increases with your production up to 85% in some offices.

May 11, 2013 7:49AM
LOL..I often wonder who would have paid the medical bill if one of these agents got hepatitis from the tat needle?
May 11, 2013 4:59AM

Sorry!!! But this self mutilation is not body art!! It is gross, dirty, filthy, and sloppy. Remember back a few years ago?? When Bill Gates fired his right hand man after returning to work with a tattoo??

Way to go Bill.  Now that is style, class, & total professionalism. & wade ( Luvfreckles) Great post

You hit it right on the head.

May 11, 2013 3:46AM
And what happens if you get fired?  You have a permanent reminder of the idiot company you worked for and continue advertising for them the rest of your life. What if you go to work for a rival firm.  Do you add "sucks under the tattoo? But then salesmen aren't' too bright and will go to any lengths to sell or promote their product. While I was servicing copiers in the 70s we had a salesman who was at three different companies while I was at one.  He would sell you a copier and thirty days later be at another company and come back to you telling you he had a better "box" and your should buy his new "box". Service's job was to keep the copier in.  I'd tell the customer if he had your best interest at heart why did' he tell you this was the "best out there" if he know otherwise. One salesman hired a customer's daughter for the summer to get a copier in.  Problem was she broke up the company president's marriage and wound up marrying him. Karma, aint it great.
May 11, 2013 3:19AM

stupid is, stupid does. anyone that caves in to A holes like this co have no self respect. Can you trust a person with

no self respect to give you a honest deal? sold out to the man.

May 11, 2013 1:19AM
May 4, 2013 5:14PM
This brings new meaning to the concepts of Value Proposition and "Branding."  Not sure body art would work in all areas of the country and with most customers. I'm hoping I can continue to rely on being a caring, real estate professional and the local market for best results.  You can view properties in our local Georgia market at and
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