CORE’s Chelsea office is hard to overlook. Straddling the corner of Seventh Avenue and 18th Street, it sits behind floor-to-ceiling glass windows that showcase the brokerage’s latest listings on classic print-outs. Through the windows, passers-by can see couches in the waiting area and photos of brownstone walk-ups on the walls.
Everything about the office is designed to draw people’s attention – with some success. CORE broker Steve Snider said pedestrians often stop to look at the listings and end up walking in, leading to an average of 25 to 30 additional clients each week. This year alone, Snider has won $5 million in listings from walk-ins.
“We pay a ridiculously high amount of rent, but we also get a tremendous amount of people,” he said.
His colleague Paul Johansen added that he gets as much as 90 percent of his business from walk-in clients.
There is no doubt that CORE’s Chelsea office is successful. But does it have a future?
A number of observers argue that brokerage storefronts are a dying breed in the internet age.