SPOTLIGHT ON: Danielle Noak

SPOTLIGHT ON: Danielle Noak
Danielle Noak

Keeping it All in the Family

A temporary position in her mother’s real estate office almost 30 years ago transitioned into a successful full-time career for Danielle Noak, a broker with Sandra Erickson Real Estate in the Bronx. “I guess it was really no surprise,” she admitted. “Mom was involved in real estate since I was a kid, so I guess it eventually had to rub off.”

After graduating from college, where she majored in social work, Noak thought about getting her Master’s degree, but her mother convinced her to come to the office in 1995—and she’s been there ever since. “I really had no idea of what I wanted to do, and back then, the office didn’t even have a computer. We used typewriters and carbon paper!”

At the time, her mother owned just one building and rented out apartments in others, working with local landlords. Soon afterwards, Noak earned her real estate license, and years later, in 2016, she became a broker. After a few years, the company began to grow, and they eventually moved to a new location in a building her mother purchased.

In the early 2000s, the brokerage got involved with the Neighborhood Entrepreneurial Program, a New York City-based program that gave local businesses the opportunity to have ownership in city-owned residential buildings. “We agreed to take this on, handle all the renovation work, manage the buildings and keep the apartments affordable,” she explained. “That took us to a whole different level.”

For Noak, the most exciting part of her new career was working together with her mother. “We saw some totally dilapidated, pigeon-infested apartments and fixed them up to create decent homes for people,” she said. “Good housing is such an important part of peoples’ lives and we’ve been able to provide clean, safe environments for them. It can really change someone’s life.”

Noak’s brother, Ron Erickson, also joined the business and now the family manages 730 affordable rental apartments in the Bronx. All have income restrictions of 50% to 60% of the median area income.

They also have two projects in the pre-development pipeline. The first is a preservation rehab of three buildings, with 101 units and three stores. The second is the firm’s first new construction project of eight, two-family homes and 23 co-ops for affordable home ownership opportunities. That also includes four buildings for affordable rentals. Both are scheduled for construction loans closings later this year.

“What I love about my work is that we do it as a family business, and yes, we do all get along pretty well,” she revealed. “A lot of times I talk to my mom on my ride back home to Long Island, even though I just saw her. My mom raised us as a single parent so she’s still the boss, but she respects our opinions.”

This is also Noak’s first year as a member of the HGAR Board of Directors. Prior to the merger with the former Bronx Manhattan North Association of Realtors (BMAR), she was the president-elect of BMAR. “I was excited to jump into HGAR and become a Board member, and I think the merger was great for everyone,” she said. Noak also serves as HGAR’s Regional Director and Chapter Representative for the Bronx.

She continues to meet monthly via Zoom with Bronx chapter members to maintain friendships and connections. In addition, she currently serves on the Board of Managers for the Castle Hill YMCA.

She and her husband, John, have four children—Brianna, 26, Danny, 25, Bethany, 24 Andrew, 18, and a chocolate lab puppy, Sadie. Residing on Long Island’s north shore, Noak grew up in the same area, and her son is the third generation to graduate from the same local high school. While her older children are out on their own, her 87-year-old grandmother lives with her now. “I’ve been so lucky to be able to have her stay with us,” she added.

In her free time, she loves gardening, and listening to podcasts and audiobooks on her daily commute to the Bronx. “I’ve been doing this commute for 26 years, but I never get tired of it.”

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