Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Win Brown

17 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Best Apartment I Ever Sold invites our agents to share the unique story of their best selling experience to date. This week, learn why Win Brown‘s sale at 50 Avenue A, PHB is his best one yet.

Without a doubt, the best apartment I ever sold is 50 Avenue A, PHB. My client bought the apartment back in 2005 in a very strong market for a high price. Originally the apartment was a small, cut up two bedroom, two bathroom that needed a complete renovation. After a year and more than a hundred thousand dollars, the owner had turned the apartment into a gracious oversized one bedroom, one and a half bathroom triplex, with new finishes and fixtures throughout.

The apartment was outfitted with a really modern Cor-Ten trim staircase, with a matching fireplace mantle and kitchen cabinet accents. The king-sized master bedroom spanned an entire floor, with a huge walk-in closet. The open master bathroom featured glass mosaic tiles throughout with double sinks, a bathtub with rain dome shower and separate commode. The open living/dining room on the main floor had a wood-burning fireplace and a large 20-foot long terrace. Upstairs there was an open glass solarium with windows facing east and south that could be used as a guest room or home office with a 250-square-foot private rooftop terrace!

The seller unexpectedly moved to the West Coast, and didn’t have time to interview listing agents, so he gave the listing to the agent that helped him buy the apartment, a local real estate company. After six months, the asking price had dropped four times by 30% to $995,000 with no real offers, and no buyers showing interest. As soon as I heard the seller’s story, I asked if I could take a tour. The apartment had been on the market for six months; it looked stale and needed a fresh look. It needed a marketing strategy. It needed to be staged with beautiful and relevant furniture to give a buyer a sense of what the space really “felt” like at its best. Additionally, I had the apartment painted, professionally cleaned and the rooftop terrace planted with great summer plants – it all came together perfectly.

The next hurdle was pricing. The client purchased the apartment for $1,100,000, and spent $150,000 on renovations. He wanted to be made whole after selling. But the market had changed, and the apartment had been on the market for six months with its last asking price at $995,000. We had to price it to the current market. With two terraces and a solarium, one of the key features was all of the outdoor space. We priced the apartment at $1,100,000. We went online after July 4th weekend and planned a huge brokers open house with a DJ and local restaurants to cater. More than 100 buyers attended. We hit the market perfectly, and received multiple offers within a week. Within two weeks I had a signed contract for $1,225,000 –  all cash and no contingencies! The buyer couldn’t have been happier. The sale was also a great comp for the neighborhood and the building, and I’ve been working with clients in the building since then.

I enjoyed every part of the process: strategizing the sale, positioning the property in the market, staging it, throwing a great broker party, ultimately negotiating multiple bids and getting my client the highest possible price possible. But my favorite part of the transaction at 50 Avenue A, PHB was receiving thank you notes from the buyer and the seller, each letting me know they were thrilled with the outcome!


Commercial Basis: The Real Disruption

14 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Photo: Tooykrub /

Commercial Basis explores how technology, branding and demographic preferences are shaping office and retail real estate in New York City. As these forces break down the barriers from where we live to where we work and shop, Lead Commercial Specialist Alex Cohen assesses the impact on real estate values and opportunities.

Business analysts (and commentators in general) harp on our current environment of disruption, in which entrepreneurs are harnessing unprecedented breakthroughs in technology and ubiquitous connectivity to build alternative means of consumption.  Many of these ventures (Airbnb, Uber, Breather, Rover, etc.) are tied to growing consumer acceptance and preference for sharing resources, fueled by the capacity of mobile devices and their addictive impact on our behavior.

In this milieu, it it simplistic to implicate retail’s current challenges, particularly the struggles of department stores, shopping centers and certain fashion brands just to the “disruption” caused by e-commerce and related trends.  Clearly, tastes and shopping habits have changed rapidly and dramatically. Discount retailers are performing quite well as are the “fast fashion” category of Zara, Uniqlo and Forever 21. Certain luxury brands’ “brick and mortar” (Gucci, Goyard, Hublot, etc.) are thriving, even as internet sales continue to rise. But department stores with a lackluster, uncurated assortment of brands and merchandise are suffering, just as historically strong fashion brands that failed to update their perennially consistent style (Ralph Lauren, Ann Taylor, MaxMara, etc.) are compelled to close poorly performing stores.

While activist investors are pushing Saks Fifth Avenue’s parent company, Hudson’s Bay, to sell the Fifth Avenue flagship store,  so that upper floors might be possibly converted to luxury apartments, the department store is all over the place trying to boost lagging sales. Saks is shifting its traditional make-up floor upstairs, moving leather goods to the ground floor, installing a temporary “wellery” on the 2nd floor with pop-up cross-fit classes, spa services and athleisure displays. Meanwhile, just down the street, Adidas may have hit the mark with its year-old, engaging global flagship. The store is designed to mimic a high school sports stadium interior with professional sports trainers providing free advice, plus a floor dedicated to New York sports teams targeting tourists, who don’t appear to have stopped shopping!


House Call: 15 Renwick Street, PH3

11 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

15 Renwick Street, PH3

Doron Zwickel
Lic. Assoc. Real Estate Broker

Offered at $8,900,000, this 4-bedroom, 5-bathroom penthouse with sprawling terraces and oversized windows throughout is located on a single-block street, one of only a handful in New York City. Be sure to stop by this Sunday for a preview of this ODA-Architecture designed home!

Sunday, August 13th, 1:30pm – 2:30pm


Hot Topic: Tribeca Loft among Cobblestones in Former Horse Stables

09 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Did you catch Emily Beare‘s listing at 60 Collister Street, 3D on Curbed earlier this week? This Tribeca loft in the former American Express horse stables is highlighted for its historic origins and a den illuminated by a wall of windows overlooking the building’s interior atrium – among other details. Click below to see more of this impeccably designed home!

Click here to read the full article: Quirky loft in Tribeca horse stable reappears, subdued, for $4.5M


CORE 10: John Harrison

08 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Welcome to CORE 10, an off-the-cuff interview series with prominent CORE figures. Read on to learn more about this week’s guest, CORE broker, John Harrison.

Who is the living person you most admire? Elon Musk, Tony Robbins and Tyler Perry to name a few. I most admire people who have come from nothing and created something or who have creatively ventured to change their world with massive impact.

Who is the most interesting New Yorker you know? My wife, Christi Harrison. She has been a teacher at two of the most prestigious schools (Trinity School and St. Ann’s) and still manages to bounce around the city so frequently with our 3 kids. She absolutely dominates the tireless cycle of getting out there and exploring/enjoying this amazing city.

What is your earliest New York memory? I first visited New York City in 1996 and arrived 3 days before the “Blizzard of ’96.” I remember the transformation from the nosiest and busiest city I had ever visited to complete quiet. To this day, the city remains a place of extremes but there is certainly a lot of vibrancy in that spectrum!

What is the best advice you’ve ever received? My father always used to say that he “needs a hole, not a drill.” This mantra, paraphrased from economist and Harvard University professor Theodore Levitt is often used when selling a function vs focusing on a product. In real estate the product is extremely important but the underlying drive on what a client is trying to achieve is paramount. So much of NYC real estate can be confusing, misleading, irrational, or sometimes seemingly “unfair.” By getting to the essence of what a client really needs, we can determine the best tools and tactics to ensure their success.

What do you consider your greatest achievement so far?
My family, for sure. I’ve gotten to travel quite a bit, I’ve enjoyed some tremendously rich experiences but my wife and 3 kids are still the greatest. For many, living life in the city with kids can seem challenging, but sometimes it feels like we have cracked the system and absolutely love it!

What are your three most treasured possessions?
I am a bit of a sentimentalist, so I place enormous value in all of our old photo albums, the art my kids make, and various special tools or items that have been in the family for a while. One of my favorite such items is an attache that I use most of the time that my father probably started using in the 1970s.

Name a movie, book or work of art that changed your life.
Schindler’s List is one of my favorite movies. Oskar Schindler begins as an opportunist with a seed of compassion that enables him to benefit while “helping” others. As the story unfolds, however, we find a man that realizes the only treasures worth anything were the lives of those around him.

What’s your greatest extravagance?
Coffee. I probably buy it too frequently and own too many forms of coffee equipment, but I love picking it up everywhere I go.

What’s your secret talent?
Troubleshooting and fixing things. As a child I would take things apart to figure out how they worked so that I could put them back together. As I grew up I began applying that same concept to various other endeavors. In the high-tech world I would use software and strategy to solve business problems. During some of my work in international corporate expansion and growth, I was able to troubleshoot strategies across language and cultural barriers. I LOVE getting the chance to chat with fellow agents and brokers about problems that pop up along the way.

Which words or phrases do you most overuse?
“Just so you know, I am not an attorney.” I feel like I am always giving disclaimers about not being an attorney or licensed financial adviser, or any number of other things. I love that I get a chance to partner with people in some of their biggest personal and business transactions. My clients place a lot of trust in me, and I am thankful for the opportunity to help them flourish. Clients have asked me to serve as witness to marriage, to help mediate spousal relationships, to help determine which financial investments to divest themselves of and where to place new investments, how to structure legal entities, and how to protect themselves of liability, how to overcome building violations and restrictions, and how to make alterations that will yield the best returns. I am always willing to do what I can to help a client thrive, and I am quite thankful to have a team of great people that can help when we need the proper professional support.


Trends & Tides: Traditional vs. Tech Brokerage

07 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Trends & Tides takes a look at the ever-changing environment of New York City real estate – past, present and future – by offering observations, analyzing perceptions and challenging myths, while giving a dose of reality along the way.

Yesterday, I was privy to an interesting war of words regarding a LinkedIn post. The two sides ultimately battled over whether a traditional brokerage model or a tech-centric model would fare better in today’s real estate environment. The comments were incredibly revealing with one member of a deeply entrenched, once-traditional brokerage clearly pointing out that adaptation is necessary to provide the best service to the consumer and ultimately cement the survival of any company in today’s real estate industry. I couldn’t agree more that a hybrid of tradition and technology best serves the consumer. The traditional broker who turns a blind eye to technology better rethink the ways in which they do business. Or suffer extinction. Similarly, the tech-centric brokerage that spends all of their dollars generating leads for agents, while showing little concern for the quality of customer service they are providing, is also doomed. Both models will fail independently without the other. Let’s look at the pitfalls of each:

Traditional Brokerage:

  • focuses on its brand more than the consumer
  • highly leveraged with office space and expensive leases
  • makes promises to its agents that it can’t deliver due to corporate bureaucracy
  • decreases dollars spent on the consumer in an effort to maintain profit due to high overhead
  • is “trapped in the box” with no ability to truly see outside of it
  • claims to embrace change all the while avoiding it like the plague
  • talks the talk but resists walking the walk

Tech-centric Brokerage:

  • puts all focus on its agents with no regard for the consumer
  • spends a majority of their dollars on lead generation for agents and not marketing property for their customers
  • hires agents blindly, creating an opaque environment that often negatively impacts the consumer
  • claims that their technology is consumer-centric with only an eye on the company’s bottom line
  • talks the talk but resists walking the walk
If there is one thing that seems to get lost in the battle of brokerages trying to stay relevant and profitable, it is the consumer. There is no substitute for high touch customer service when assisting someone with the purchase or sale of one of, if not the largest asset in their portfolio. Sophisticated consumer friendly technology should be a welcome addition to the customer experience. But high touch and high tech do not have to be mutually exclusive, which is why CORE will be launching a new and exciting listings platform. This platform will allow consumers to collaborate with their agents while simultaneously receiving the outstanding high touch customer service for which CORE and its agents are renowned.


Design Dialogues 36 with Surface Magazine

07 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

Surface Magazine held Design Dialogues No.36 with CORE’s Founder and CEO Shaun Osher and fashion designer Cynthia Rowley at Annabelle Selldorf’s inimitable 42 Crosby. Shaun and Cynthia joined Surface‘s editorial director, Spencer Bailey, to examine the future of retail, technology, design—and of living in New York City.

Click here to read the full article: Design Dialogues No. 36


House Call: 403 Greenwich Street, PH

04 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

403 Greenwich Street, PH

Christian Rogers
Lic. Assoc. Real Estate Broker

Offered at $12,500,000, the Penthouse at 403 Greenwich Street is comprised of 5-bedrooms and 6.5-bathrooms and offers over 4,176 interior square feet with three additional private terraces. Additionally, interior architect Stefano Pasqualetti crafted the Penthouse with a sculptural staircase in blackened steel, marble and oak that rises through the residence. Be sure to stop by this Sunday for a tour of this Tribeca home!

Sunday, August 6th, 11:00am – 12:30pm


Hot Topic: Shaun Osher in the New York Times Talking New Development Trends

02 August, 2017 posted by: CORE

The New York Times interviewed CORE’s Founder & CEO Shaun Osher on trends in new development projects, specifically commissioning show-stopping art for common areas. Artist Paula Hayes’s installation at 42 Crosby was featured in the story. 

Click here to read the full article: In New Condos, Art Is Now a Crucial Part of the Deal

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