The Real DealJanuary 23, 2012Clients of Vickey Barron, managing director of New York-based residential brokerage Core, may be getting more than they bargained for when choosing her to find them a home.
With Valentine’s Day coming up, Barron is hosting a matchmaking event called “Love and Real Estate,” in which she is partnering with professional matchmaker Samantha Daniels to introduce her clients to prospective love interests.
The free event for straight and gay folks, which will take place during the first week of February. It’s by invitation only and will include a select group of Barron’s single clients, and a selection of Daniels’, in the hopes of pairing some of the invitees together at a wine tasting event at one of Barron’s current listings at 256 West 10th Street.
The idea for the event, which Barron hosted one before, five years ago, came from the clients themselves, according to a spokesperson for Core.
“One of [Vickey's] clients actually said ‘Vicky’s found me a few homes and now I’m just waiting for her to find me a wife,’” the spokesperson said.
It’s a serious enterprise; Barron interviewed five separate matchmakers before finding Daniels and she has tried to find a potential match for each attendee. After the last party she hosted, a few of the attendees continued dating. No one got married, she said.
A broker and his or her client can get very close, Barron added, saying it put her in a great position to figure out what her client’s were looking for in a significant other.
“I get to know buyers and sellers from working with them for three to six months,” she said. “So many of them are busy young professionals and [divorcees.] They’re all great and I just thought it would be great to put them all in a room together. I bring people and places together for a living, so what’s the difference between people and places and people and people?”
The event may also provide a more risk-free venue for those searching for a date compared with online dating sites or public speed-dating events, Barron added.
“I got them through the New York real estate process, so they all have a good credit score, they’re employed and they’re not wanted by the law,” she joked.
News of the event brought mixed-responses from the real estate community, who said it was a fun idea but not the most professional.
“I’d certainly not be doing that,” said Tamir Shemesh senior vice president at the Corcoran Group. “I’m busy enough selling the real estate. Maybe she believes in it but I believe in devoting all my time to the business of real estate.”
Tiana von Johnson, CEO of Goldstar Properties, who as recently voted the city’s hottest broker by Curbed.com, added: “I’m not really into the whole matchmaking thing. I think it’s a little ridiculous but I’m all for the publicity.”
Corey Wecler, an associate broker at City Connections, said that while it wasn’t his style, he’d “probably do something a little more subtle,” — “why not? Anything to drum up more business and get in front of more people.”
Barron certainly relies on word of mouth; the broker said 98 percent of her business comes from referrals.
“I meet so many great New Yorkers through the process of finding them a home,” said Barron. “Hopefully all of the event’s attendees will have something in common, and it’s also a nice way to say ‘thank you’ for their loyal business.”