Culture

 

Best Apartment I Ever Sold: Tony Sargent

27 June, 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 Tony Sargent‘s sale at 444 West 19th Street, PH2 is his best one yet.

I was referred by a Beverly Hills broker to the LA-based seller of this West Chelsea penthouse. They’d bought it only eight months prior at $2,995,000, and wanted to sell at a 21% mark-up without any additional work having been done to the property.

The average price per square foot in the building was in the low $1,300’s yet we were going to market this property for close to $2,400 per square foot before all the new construction in the neighborhood was announced. After showing the property for 60 days to many buyers, I took the feedback from buyers (except that it was overpriced) and proposed to the seller that we remove all of his furniture except for the master bedroom set and re-stage the whole property with new furniture.

Working with staging consultant Susan Goldstein and her assistant, I spent six hours in their Brooklyn warehouse hand-picking furniture to soften the glass and mirrored surfaces of this unit. I also connected with CLIC! Bookstore on Centre Street and they kindly offered to lend me large-scale photography of nature which I innately felt would bring this in-the-sky property a more earthy grounded feel. Choosing more classic-contemporary furniture than the modernist white leather look that was already in the unit, I transformed the property over the course of two days.

In addition to re-photographing the apartment professionally, I did in-depth research into the nearby new development projects that were yet to be announced, and created marketing which touted the growing upscale properties that were coming to the area on 10th Avenue, before most brokers and buyers were aware of them.

Up until the transformation of the marketing, my seller had not received an offer above $3,200,000. Within a week of re-presenting the property, we had four offers on the table and went with an all-cash offer of $3,600,000.  We had a full price offer but the seller chose the lower offer given its all-cash nature.

The best part? Delivering an over market price by creating a look and marketing plan for the property that drew in a new set of buyers and created new demand and showed the apartment and area in a way that appealed more to buyers. This strengthened my commitment to bespoke marketing and its potential to deliver more for sellers than the standard price-chop approach that traditional brokers have applied for years to get a property sold. Why go down when you can be creative and effective and deliver more money into a seller’s pocket?

Finally, a buyer who visited the property and fell in love with the custom staging hired me to help them buy an area property for over $8,000,000. To succeed and then also be recognized for the customized approach that I use in real estate is something I am grateful for. It’s why I do what I do the way I do it – for my clients and for their long term benefit.



 

Trends & Tides: Agent Referral Fees and Entitlement

05 June, 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.

There have been many times over the course of my 25-year-long real estate career in which I have sent a friend, family member or customer to an agent in another city with the expectation of receiving monetary compensation for my referral. On many of those occasions, I took on the role of a liaison between my customer and the agent to whom I referred. In the spirit of adding value to a transaction and actually earning my referral fee, I would provide advice, guidance, opinions when asked and even assist with negotiations on some occasions. That said, there were also times where I simply made a phone call to another brokerage in the area in which my customer was searching and was pleasantly surprised months later when I received a check in the mail that could be as high as six figures for merely making a connection. With referral fees typically ranging between 10% and 40% of the broker’s side of the commission and 25% being an unwritten industry standard, the opportunity to make serious income abounds.

So many in the real estate industry believe that simply providing another agent with a qualified, ready, willing and able buyer or seller entitles them to a piece of that commission. Others feel strongly that they should add additional value to the experience in order to “earn” their referral fee. I feel quite strongly that unless you are at minimum vetting the agent with whom you’re suggesting your customer work or staying connected as a liaison and adding value to the transaction, then you are not entitled to a referral fee.

Most recently, it dawned on me when a long time loyal customer of mine called me to tell me that they had gone to contract on a large parcel of land in another part of the country. My initial reaction was “ouch, that stings” as the referral fee would have been upwards of $500,000. I immediately considered contacting their agent to “introduce myself” as their referring agent. Seriously! I was actually going to call and suggest that I get paid nearly $500K for a transaction in which I played absolutely ZERO part. ZERO! I know for certain that many agents do make an effort to insert themselves into deals in which they have played no part. After I calmed down and really considered all aspects of the situation, it dawned on me that I was not in fact entitled to take nearly a half a million dollars out of another agent’s pocket. I added no value and I didn’t even make the connection between the agent and a ready, willing and able buyer.

In short, it is my opinion that adding value to a transaction in which you have referred a buyer or seller is the only thing that entitles you to a referral fee. 


 

Loyalty…..Without Allegiance

15 November, 2010 posted by: Shaun Osher

(An oxymoron? I don’t think so.)

As agents, we demand loyalty from our clients.
If we’re lucky (and good), we just might get it.

Question: What do we give THEM in return?
Answer: OUR loyalty!

It seems to me that in the new era of Generation X (and younger)
Our culture, has evolved to expect instant gratification
At the expense of loyalty.
This seems to be the new acceptable behavior. Text me today, and delete me later (when something “better” comes along).

I once worked with a buyer for 18 months!
83 apartments later – they bought something without me.
A new listing…at an open house…directly from the seller.
Ouch!
I didn’t make a commission, but I did get 5 referrals, and a nice bottle of Champagne.
Thank you very much.

Everybody seems to have an agenda
that precludes any sense of allegiance.
And this is considered acceptable behavior?

If you are trying to separate yourself…
Define your brand and differentiate yourself…
By being loyal.
To a fault, if you must.

Your clients and peers will respect it (and you).



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