Emily Kahn
Emily Kahn

Meet Realtor Emily Kahn, back from NYC.

Emily Kahn spent seven years working in the fast-paced fashion industry in New York City. She held sales positions for leading brands such as Ralph Lauren, Marc Jacobs, Helmut Lang and more but never anticipated switching career paths to real estate.

Kahn, 30, of Birmingham, studied apparel merchandising at Indiana University. “I always knew I wanted to work in fashion,” she explains.

As Emily was growing up, her mother, Cindy Kahn, operated a children’s boutique in Birmingham called Kiddlywinks that introduced her daughters to the world of fashion. “I grew up working at the store,” Kahn says.

Later, her mother transitioned to working in real estate, and Kahn began to learn about the home buying and selling process, as well. “Sales has always been in my blood,” she explains.

Still, although her mother expressed interest in having her children join the real estate business, Kahn was firm in her desire to pursue a field in fashion.

Then, COVID-19 hit.

Moving to Real Estate

Like many young New Yorkers with family in other states, Kahn moved home to ride out the ongoing pandemic with her family.

She worked remotely from her parents’ home for eight months for Marc Jacobs before realizing staying in Michigan and remaining in the fast-paced fashion world of New York City simply wasn’t possible.

“Moving back here, I knew my career would have to change,” Kahn says. “I knew my fashion career was over, but with sales, it’s so transferable with any kind of product.

“If you can sell a shirt, you can sell a house,” she adds. “You have the skill to sell anything.”

With her mother’s business growing, Kahn decided now was the right time to test the waters of real estate. She took a six-week course to get her real estate license and never looked back.

“No one can prepare you for working with a parent, but it’s been so rewarding,” Kahn explains. “I’ve learned so much from [my mother] and I feel so lucky to have her as a mentor in the business.”

Kahn focuses primarily on homes in the Oakland County area, particularly Birmingham, Bloomfield, Franklin and Royal Oak. She maintains her own client roster while also taking on joint projects with her mother.

From $250,000 to $6 million homes, Kahn works with a diverse array of properties that include both sales and leases. “We do it all,” she says. “We don’t say no to anything.”

Making a Commitment

Over two years working in the real estate industry that have been some of the most turbulent times in home buying and selling, Kahn has learned important lessons about what it takes to be a successful Realtor in Metro Detroit.

Elaina Ryder, Cindy Kahn and Emily Kahn of Cindy Kahn Real Estate
Elaina Ryder, Cindy Kahn and Emily Kahn of Cindy Kahn Real Estate Emily Kahn

“There were so many people who, in 2020, went and got their license to be a part-time real estate agent,” Kahn explains. “You have to do it full time. It’s a seven-day-a-week job, and you have to be able to put the time into it in order to grow your business.”

It’s the most challenging, but also the most gratifying part of the industry, she says.

“You have to be on call and ready to jump at whatever,” Kahn describes. “It’s fun because every day is so unpredictable.”

Still, Kahn says the adjustment felt natural after coming from the fast-paced world of New York City fashion. “It’s a lot of work,” she explains. “You have to be passionate to put in the time and effort. It’s very demanding, but very rewarding in the end.”

Outside of work in real estate, Kahn hosts events for NEXTGen Detroit, an arm of Jewish Federation of Metropolitan Detroit that strives to build a vibrant community for young Jewish adults. This year, she was a host for EPIC, the biggest annual fundraiser.

She’s also involved with The Community House in Birmingham as part of the house tour committee, which is planning a Birmingham house tour later this year on Sept. 14.

In addition to volunteering, Kahn enjoys cooking, working out, taking dance classes and traveling. Most importantly, however, she loves spending time with her family.

“The best part of being back here is that I’m back with my family,” she says. “We haven’t lived in the same city in about 11 years. It’s been so nice for us to be back together.”

This is part of a series of young adults who left the state and have decided to come home and plant their roots in Metro Detroit. If you or someone you know want to be featured in this series, send an email to jheadapohl@thejewishnews.com.

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