Corcoran was born in Edgewater, New Jersey, in 1949. She was a pretty typical college kid who worked several small jobs before branching out and finding her niche. According to her Shark Tank bio, she didn’t do well in school, despite earning a degree in education from St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1971. She worked as a teacher for a year before branching into the world of real estate, starting a small real estate business — The Corcoran Group — with a $1,000 loan from her then-boyfriend.
“Over the next 25 years, Barbara would parlay that $1,000 loan into a $5 billion real estate business, building the largest and best-known brand in the business,” reads her Shark Tank bio.
Barbara Corcoran Net Worth: $80 Million
Barbara Corcoran has a net worth of $80 million, as estimated by Celebrity Net Worth. Her aforementioned real estate company was acquired by NRT for a reported $70 million back in 2001. She has since earned money as a columnist and speaker — and, of course, as a Shark.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. She Has Been on ‘Shark Tank’ for 9 Seasons
Corcoran has been a shark for the past nine seasons of the show. During those nine seasons, she’s appeared on 82 episodes, according to show tracker Sharkalytics. Across those episodes, Corcoran has been witness to 336 pitches. Of those 336 pitches, she has invested a total of 52 times.
Corcoran’s 52 investments averaged among the 82 episodes in which she’s appeared means she’s made a deal in more than 60 percent of her appearances. When averaged over the 336 pitches to which she’s been privy, those 52 deals make fore a 16 percent rate of investment.
Corcoran’s largest investment was made on the fourth episode of the show’s first season; she invested $350,000 for 40 percent equity in Coverplay, a company than makes children’s play yards, in addition to slip cover and sheet accessories to accompany. Corcoran’s average investment, according to Sharkalytics, is just over $100,000. The stake she takes for these investments averages 27 percent of the business. Twenty-two of the 52 deals in which Corcoran’s been involved have also involved another shark (most frequently Mark Cuban).
2. She Turned a $1,000 Loan into a $4 billion Real Estate Business
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Corcoran started her first business, a real estate firm called the Corcoran Group, with a $1,000 loan in 1973, two years after graduating from St. Thomas Aquinas College with a degree in education.
“The story of Barbara Corcoran is the stuff of entrepreneurial lore. Three decades ago, she quit her waitress job, borrowed $1,000 from her boyfriend, and started a real estate shop that eventually blossomed into one of New York City’s largest residential brokerages generating more than $4 billion in gross sales annually,” Bloomberg reported in 2005.
In 2001, Corcoran’s business was acquired by NRT, “the largest residential real estate brokerage company in the nation.” A source reportedly close to the deal told the New York Times that the selling price was “about $70 million.” Bloomberg estimated that the company was worth $4 billion at the time of the sale.
3. She Was the Featured Speaker at the Champions School of Real Estate Keynote Events in 2016 & Has Appeared on Programs on Several Major Networks
On March 18, 2016, the Champions School of Real Estate announced that Corcoran would serve as the featured speaker for that year’s Keynote Events.
“Over 1,200 attendees are expected at each of the Champions School of Real Estate® Keynote 2016 events for a gathering that will bring together one of the largest audiences of influential real estate professionals in the Dallas and Houston metropolitan areas. Corcoran’s address, ‘Rags to Riches,’ will discuss how she turned a $1,000 loan into a thriving $6 billion dollar business empire,” the school’s press release announced.
According to her website, Corcoran has appeared on various other programs, from The $100,000 Pyramid to The View.
4. She Has Admitted That She Isn’t Good at Saving Money & Credits Her Business Partner, Esther Kaplan, for Keeping Her in Check
Corcoran’s net worth could have been higher than it is; she’s admitted to being poor at saving.
“The idea that I have any money in the bank for myself today is sheer accident. I’m very good at making money, but I’m no good at saving money,” Corcoran said in an interview with Money.
Despite being a prolific earner, Corcoran’s spending abilities seem to match her talents for generating income. Her propensity to let money burn a hole in her pocket was instilled by her mother.
“My mother always said: ‘Money is meant to be spent.’ They never had a penny to spare in any way raising all ten of us, but my mother’s attitude was to never worry about money,” Corcoran told Money.
Her solution was to find someone she trusted to manage her wealth, which she did in partner Esther Kaplan, whom she made a 10 percent partner in exchange for sharing her brilliance in finance.
5. Her Book, ‘Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business!’ Is a Best Seller
Corcoran’s rags-to-riches legend is also the subject of her bestselling book, Shark Tales: How I Turned $1,000 into a Billion Dollar Business! Released in 2011, a year and a half after Shark Tank premiered, the book was co-written by Bruce Littlefield, with whom she collaborated on a previous book, If You Don’t Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails: And Other Lessons I Learned from My Mom. The book, 320 pages in length, is touted as a National Bestseller and received glowing reviews.
“Entrepreneurs’ visions don’t always translate well to the page, but Corcoran’s book … is cleanly written and humorous. The squeaky-clean Waltons-esque descriptions of Corcoran’s family lend it an almost folksy feel,” reads the review from Fortune Small Business.
“In Manhattan, where real estate is not just a major industry but also a full contact sport, Barbara Corcoran is hall-of-fame material,” according to Inc.com.
“Ms. Corcoran, a fifty-one year-old former receptionist who started her current real estate firm with just seven agents in 1978, now commands the kind of market power that makers her smaller competitors tremble with envy,” said the Wall Street Journal’s review.