While he spends many weekdays sealing deals in Manhattan, Noble Black finds respite from the grind in Sag Harbor. This top Douglas Elliman agent shows us how to live the good life!
What’s your background?
I’m from Mississippi, and I went to law school at UVA. I practiced security law in the city, and then consulted for Mark Burnett’s company for a few months. We were consulting for The Apprentice’s third season. I got into real estate in 2005 at Corcoran, and switched over to Douglas Elliman two years ago.
Did you meet President Trump?
I did, but I didn’t have any substantive meetings—it was just hand-shaking and hellos.
Are you named after anyone?
Yes, my grandfather was Noble Felix Black. They dropped the Felix, thankfully!
What got you into real estate?
I always loved real estate—the architecture, design, décor. Even as a little kid, I loved to go to open houses on Sundays. The only thing I really enjoyed about practicing law was the client contact. Real estate is a good combination of those skills and the things that I enjoy. I thought I would always like it, but I was scared to try it. I gave myself a certain amount of time to make it work. Frankly, every year since then, I’ve done better than I would have done if I were still practicing law.
Many of your listings are in Manhattan, but you have some major Hamptons properties, too.
We have a listing at Montauk, but I mostly focus on Manhattan. We just listed a new property in New Jersey, as well, which is spectacular. It’s absolutely over the top. If 30,000 square feet can feel warm and livable, it does. It has amazing finishes, tons of space, beautiful country, tennis courts, an Olympic-size swimming pool, basketball court, a movie theater, and a wine cellar.
What makes you so effective at your job?
I think I have the right mix of skills, and I feel fortunate that I found something that rewards that. I always tell people that it’s not rocket science, but frankly, I think I’m smarter than most. I’m very ethical and honest. I legitimately care for my clients, whether they’re buyers or sellers. I want to get them what they want, whether that’s the highest price or a great property. Personally, it can be very gratifying.
You have a home in Sag Harbor. Why’d you pick that nabe?
My fiancé, Marc [Rozic], and I have good friends who live around the corner from us, and we would visit and stay with them sometimes. Out of all the towns in the Hamptons, Sag felt the most authentic to me. It’s changed a lot in the past three years, but it still has the most year-round residents and there is still a normalcy to it. I also really like that we’re on Main Street, and we’re just a few minutes away from downtown, where all the restaurants are. It’s the most harbor-centric of all the villages, and feels like it’s really about the boating and yachting.
What’s your taste when it comes to architecture and design?
The house in Sag was built in 1840, and it’s very traditional. The living room is lacquered; the patio is all navy and white-striped. When I go out there, I want to feel like I’m in Sag Harbor—it should be classic, old-school, and very quaint.
In terms of fashion, what’s your sense of style?
Classic and preppy. I pretty much have a uniform: jeans and a button-down and a blazer, or khaki shorts and a polo. If it’s casual, then J.Crew or Club Monaco. For work, I either have suits and shirts made, or it’s Ralph Lauren or Hermès.
What are your favorite Hamptons haunts?
We love Wölffer Kitchen, The Beacon, Almond, and East Hampton Grill.
How do you like to unwind?
I’m a huge gardener, and our friends just bought East Hampton Gardens, so we spend a lot of time there. We have a lot of friends on Shelter Island, so we’ll drive over and do dinner or go to Vine Street Café.
How’s your green thumb?
It’s greening. [Laughs] It’s made greener with the help of an architect and a maintenance crew. I’m a really good pruner and weeder. Marc told me last week that it’s become an obsession, which is probably true. Our friend, Joe Cornetta, is one of the most prominent landscape designers out here, and he’s really the one who did our yard.
How else do you spend your downtime?
Honestly, I’m either working or gardening. We try, usually unsuccessfully, to have a lazy weekend at the beach or on friends’ boats, but it’s pretty much spent piddling with the house restorations and the garden.
Where do you get your fitness fix during the summer?
A Friday morning or afternoon with SoulCycle’s Stacey [Griffith] is a great way to start my weekend. We just got bikes, so we’ll bike around town a lot in the afternoons. I just did the Tracy Anderson workout a couple of times. At first I was laughing because I was picturing Jane Fonda back in the ’80s, knowing that I looked like an idiot, until it started kicking my ass. Of course, when it was done, I could barely stand.
What’s on tap this summer?
It’ll be a stream of guests coming through, and different events and fund-raisers. Marc and I are getting married next March, so that’s the next big thing to look forward to. I won’t say it’s been a full-time job, but wedding planning has been a lot!