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Truly High Manhattan

How do you sell ultra high-end Manhattan real estate? By air of course. And by boat. Preferably with a few models in tow. I mean on the boat. And some expensive Champagne. And a Rolls to shuttle you from condo to helicopter to boat slip.

Paolo Zampolli attends his Birthday celebration at Provocateur at The Hotel Gansevoort on March 4, 2010 in New York City.
Jerritt Clark | WireImage | Getty Images
Paolo Zampolli attends his Birthday celebration at Provocateur at The Hotel Gansevoort on March 4, 2010 in New York City.

Such was my day with Manhattan real estate agent Paolo Zampolli.

Don't get me wrong, there is some actual news to this story.

Prudential Douglas Elliman's Q2 Manhattan Market Report showed sales of condos up a whopping 93 percent from Q2 of 2009and prices up 10 percent on this overcrammed island. I had to find out who was pushing these sales.

Clearly it's Paolo.

No, not all of the sales by far, but Paolo is the ace in the market, because the Italian-born, Cipriani-loving, model-surrounded real estate guru is super well connected with the super-rich foreign investor set.

"We deal a lot with the Saudi royalty, the Arab royalty, the Eastern European, the Russian and they still have lots of money, lots of cash." -Real Estate Agent, Paolo Zampolli

"We deal a lot with the Saudi royalty, the Arab royalty, the Eastern European, the Russian and they still have lots of money, lots of cash," says Paolo, who believes that these $5 million and up buyers deserve only the very best when apartment hunting.

"The client knows that you are real and is going to want to work with you from A to Z," he says with confidence, as he shouts over the screaming chopper blades.

Paolo has made his mark on the Manhattan real estate circuit, landing in the tabloidsmore than once, while ensuring that everything and everyone around him is "beaUteeful." And the chopper ride sold me...and quite possibly the client with whom we flew.

"You want to see the bird's eye view of the building, neighborhood, location," agrees Eastern European investor Zeni Tagni. "You can't see everything that's going on in the neighborhood by foot walking."

So as Paolo expertly pointed out from above which architects built what, and then from his boat on the Hudson River, where Calvin Klein and Martha Stewart call home, I began to think he has a point. Anyone who has lived in a box in Manhattan, where I personally grew up, knows that most buildings are far more impressive on the outside than on the inside.

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