As a first time buyer, I have to say Frank was just perfect. He guided me through every step of the process, and demystified it - which was critical as I had a great deal to learn.
He was particularly good at:
1) Zeroing in on what I could actually afford and helping to set my expectations. 2) At the same time, perservering and being patient with me as I held out for the best possible apartment (we saw a LOT of potentials). 3) Quickly educating me on market dynamics in NYC - which were rapidly changing as I began hunting in mid-2012, and are similar in 2013. 4) Being an excellent negotiator - when the right apartment came up, he ensured I was first to the punch, my bid was accepted immediately, and we were in contract in just 20 days. 5) Being honest if he thought an apt was not the right match for me, or if negotiations were spiraling into rip-off territory. 6) Not disappearing the moment the deal was done. He continues to be a great mentor as I embark on my renovation.
In addition to these core attributes, added pluses are that Frank is:
1) Really fun to work with - great sense of humor. 2) You get to ride around the city on the back of Frank's Vespa - speeds up apt viewing and is exhilarating! 3) Frank's assistant, Daniela, is also very efficient (and a sweetheart).
All in all, no reservations with Frank, and I fully intend to work with him again when I sell my new place in 5 years time!