Shaun Osher on "The Market That Never Sleeps"

New American LuxuryJanuary 25, 2012
Shaun Osher started CORE, a boutique real-estate brokerage and advisory firm, six years ago with partner Jack Cayre after becoming disenchanted with the generic client services offered by New York’s larger firms. CORE quickly rose to the top thanks to its focus on providing the highest level of personalized service and expertise in the field. Osher recently spoke with New American Luxury about the trends, limitations, and wish lists of one of the world’s most exciting, expensive, and evolved real-estate markets—Manhattan.

Part of CORE’s success is due to your unique philosophy and your desire to keep real estate fresh and relevant. What separates CORE from other firms?

CORE represents the evolution of real estate. We are a company interested in how real estate should be conducted in 2012, [whereas] a lot of companies are operating on the same fundamentals that they were in 1980. The world has changed, and we as a company strive to be at the forefront of all of those changes.

What properties are hot in New York real estate right now?

Clients are looking for quality—something they’ve become so used to seeing a lack of in this market. New Yorkers want turnkey, well-conceived, perfectly finished apartments and homes.

Are there design styles that are more popular than others?

Our clients are looking for everything from traditional to modern styles; it runs the gamut.

Different personalities want different things, and we pride ourselves on being able to help find the perfect fit.

Is there anything that high-end New York clients look for across the board, no matter their preferences in style?

The fundamentals of real estate—the things that are key to making your lifestyle and home a special place—we call those “the intangibles.” This includes the view, the layout, the ceiling heights, the amenities, whether there is a doorman or not. Ultimately it always comes down to the same thing: location.

What are the geographic trends right now?

Our focus is mostly Manhattan, and within the island we’ve seen a lot of downtown neighborhoods emerge as desirable luxury neighborhoods, like the West Chelsea area. The West Village area has always been popular, but it’s more desirable now. And really what we’ve seen recently is NoHo [North of Houston Street] evolving into one of the most sought-after neighborhoods in Manhattan.

Outside of location, what’s at the top of every New Yorker’s wish list?

Location and then price points, followed by bedroom and bathroom counts, and then the luxury items—the intangibles I mentioned before. Things like finishes come last.

What are your clients willing to sacrifice to have the ideal location?

Certainly, there is always a trade-off. People will sacrifice space, which is the ultimate luxury in New York. And then they start sacrificing things on their wish list—views, bedrooms, [and] details like flooring, appliances, or other finishes.

Are you seeing an influx in “green” properties? Are New Yorkers ready to have a more eco-friendly lifestyle?

We have more clients now looking for that lifestyle than we did 10 years ago, but unfortunately not as much as I’d like to see. Because of the economy and what we’ve just lived through, and what we seem to be faced with now, money is still the driving force behind the majority of decisions people make. They don’t see how these sustainable choices will save them money in the future; they see the up-front costs.

One of the most exciting things for your firm has to be your involvement with HGTV’s Selling New York. How has the show impacted business?

It’s been the most powerful branding experience and something we couldn’t replicate if we tried. To be shown in 60 countries to millions of people a week is an exposure we couldn’t have dreamed of.