Tag Archive | "corcoran"

Sagaponack Leads Pack of Nation’s Most Expensive Small Towns

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By Georgia Suter

Despite declining home sale values throughout most of the country, the East End’s small village of Sagaponack has weathered the recession remarkably well. Last week’s Business Week magazine identified the historic, ocean-side area as being the most expensive in the country, with median home sale prices in 2009 hitting $4,421,458, compared to $174,000 throughout the rest of the nation.

Evan Kulman, Senior Vice President of Corcoran Real Estate Group, commented on the area’s enduring real estate and land value, noting that his company is recently seeing a lot of activity in the sleepy village — numerous homes are expected to hit the market in the next few months. Currently, Corcoran Real Estate Group has a pre-construction property on Gibson Lane in Sagaponack that speaks to the area’s pricey nature. At 7,500 square feet with ocean views, the property hasn’t yet broken ground, but it’s currently listed at $8,450,000. Kulman anticipates that as soon as construction begins on the project, demand for the parcel may increase and the value may likely rise.

Business Week is quick to narrow in on profiling the type of residents that are drawn to the small village– chairman of the Renco Group Ira Rennert being one wealthy buyer that built a mansion in Sagaponack, on 63 acres, in 2004. That year, the New York Times estimated the worth of his 29-bedroom home, called “Fair Field,” to be more than $170 million. Many of the area’s home buyers hail from Manhattan, and the recent Wall Street bonus season has been seen to have trickled favorably down to the East End, bringing new clients and instigating a bit of a buying surge. Kulman notes that the majority of their market comes from the New York City buyers, and that most of their clients are Manhattan residents.

When asked about the steady attraction that Sagaponack holds, compared to other surrounding areas of the East End , Kulman comments on the small size of the village, which, in turn, means fewer homes that are more exclusive. “Many homes don’t trade often,” he states of the property in the area, and the property is continually sought after “because of the beauty of Sagaponack and because of it being understated.” The small village, up until the 1970s, abounded with potato fields and has been described as having had a laid-back community of farmers and writers such as Kurt Vonnegut.

Beate Moore, the Senior Vice President of Sotheby’s Realty, shares similar observations on Sagaponack’s strong real estate market, stating that she’s recently seen closings that reflect the village’s pricey rank. Moore noted that Sotheby’s recently closed a property on Gibson Lane for $19 million. Another listing closed on Hedges Lane in Sagaponack for $14 million in the past couple months.

“There’s been a huge pick up in activity,” she stated. Of the area’s rebound, Moore added “There were eight sales in December, and December is usually one of our slowest months, so it was a nice surprise.”  Additionally, Sotheby’s recently sold a piece of land shy of one acre, with nothing built on it, for $3 million. “Sagaponack is highly thought upon,” Moore said.

Business Week’s real estate summary points out that the small village of Sagaponack isn’t the only thriving housing market on the East End. Long Island’s Nassau and Suffolk County accounted for more than half of the fifty most expensive small towns in America, with Water Mill coming in at number six– its median home sale price being $2,238,676, and Bridgehampton coming in at number eight with its median at $2,081,717. Also representing the East End in Business Week’s survey of the 50 Most Expensive Towns of the United States were Wainscott, which ranked at 13th place, Quogue at 30th place, East Hampton North at 42nd place and North Haven at 48th place.


Advertising in Real Estate

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With spring now in full swing, and summer fast approaching, the real estate market seems to be picking up according to local brokers. But the way real estate agents are spending their advertising dollars may have changed along with the recent shift in the economy.
Although the sale of homes are not nearly reaching the numbers they were just a year ago, that isn’t necessarily a sign for the future. With creative advertising and a combination of mediums, brokers believe summer may prove a profitable season, once again, for real estate.
Whether it’s reading the paper over a cup of Joe at a local café or relaxing at home with a laptop, real estate industry professionals are looking for the best way to spend their money — and using an array of advertising techniques seems to be the way to go.
Mala Sander, Senior Vice President and Associate Broker of Corcoran Real Estate in Sag Harbor, said she finds a lot of leads are coming from the Internet.
“Search optimization has increased and buyers are able to look at all the photography online,” said Sander who added that Internet is instant, and buyers are able to call agents after looking online at different properties.
“But I also advertise in print,” she said, “Some people just want to be able to look at the paper over a cup of coffee.”
Sander said with weekly newspapers and especially agency printed catalogues, which have longer lead times, it can be hard keep information about properties up to date. Sander said the success of a medium also depends on the circumstance and the buyer. She added that some people, for example, prefer seeing ads in print.
“You can only Blackberry so much.”
According to Sander, “the ante is up,” and real estate agents need to get more competitive in the way they are advertising.
When putting a home on the market, Sander said the number one thing to consider is that the home is priced correctly and the listing agent is using all the elements of a good marketing plan.
At Strough Real Estate Associates in Sag Harbor, managing broker Kathleen Zappola agrees that the Internet is a more popular selling tool for her these days.
“We are still doing print advertising, although not as much as we used to,” Zappola said.
When asked what she sees for the future of real estate advertising, Zappola said she believes all types of advertising “will certainly always be around. I don’t think people are going to stop doing it.”
“But everyone is computer friendly right now,” she said, adding that, for the time being anyway, it seems to be the most popular way to advertise.
Jane Holden is a licensed associate real estate broker for Town and Country Real Estate in Bridgehampton and she has found that putting signs in front of the home is still a good tool for her.
“I find signs are useful, and we only have to pay for the cost of the sign company,” she said. “But you do the print because it gets your name out there. I’ve cut back on print ads because of the cost, but it depends where you are spending it and how much.”
“But print is still important.”
Overall, Holden said sales are quiet, “Anyone who tells you it is not, is lying to you,” said Holden who added, however, that there seems to be a lift in showings and people are starting to look at houses again.
Robert Evjen, of Prudential Douglas Elliman in Sag Harbor, said “the most successful tool for advertising is a combination one-two punch of Internet advertising combined with print advertising.”
“Prudential has implemented an online program called ‘Super Open House Weekend’ which targets online search results for customers looking for properties in New York, Long Island and the Hampton,” explained Evjen who also said that banner ads — those appearing at the top of a webpage —play an important part in gaining clicks to drive traffic to a site.
“Also, print advertising compliments and re-enforces the message seen online,” he said.
“What is gaining results for some of the agents is ‘thinking outside the box,’” continued Evjen. “For example, we just ran the first ever online ‘auction’ for Hamptons properties which had successful results. That in turn started a buzz that the market is alive out here and now people are calling about buying homes.”
“My advice to other agents would be to work the hardest you can, think outside the box to make deals happen and of course, go the extra mile and service your clientele like never before! This is a great opportunity to stand out.”