Log In   ·   Become A Member

Selling & Buying Hamptons Real Estate: Bring Your Computer But Don't Leave Your Personal Skills Behind!

John A. Viteritti

Spectacular sunset water views on Georgica Pond and private dock. Listed with Sotheby's International Real Estate for $45M. (Courtesy Photo)

Over the past fifteen years or so I have had the opportunity to associate with many real estate professionals who ply their trade in the Hamptons real estate market. I recently spoke with several, each of whom has managerial responsibilities and experience with their respective firms. The question I posed was, how have you seen changes in the real estate market impact the skills required of agents and managers, especially since the market recession?

"For me, it's not as much a change related to pre- and post-recession, but more of an evolution in the required skill set, " says John Gicking, Vice President/Brokerage Manager, Sotheby's International Realty. "Competition is fierce, and everyone knows more than one agent on the East End. It requires dedication for full-time work, good sales skills, tech savvy, the ability to be a self-starter, social media proficiency, the ability to interact effectively with four different generations of clients - Millennial/Generation Y; Generation X; Baby Boomers: Traditional/Veterans. Most importantly, customer base/network and strength at maintaining and building relationships."

Gicking explained the four generations, "We train our agents to recognize that different generations react to technology in different ways. For instance, the Traditional are less likely to engage in social media. For them it's more personal contact and loyalty between them and their agents. "

When it comes to the Buyer Agency Gicking says, "I definitely seeing it as the way of doing business going forward more and more customers want it, and more and more brokers are doing it."

"The greatest change in the real estate business over the last ten years has been the impact of the internet, showcasing listings and delivering content and data to both buyers and sellers," explains Geoff Gifkins, Hamptons Regional Manager, Nest Seekers International. "In the past, when hiring agents, we looked for professionalism, presentation, qualifications, and communications and sales skills. All of these are very important today but now we are looking for tech-savvy agents that have the ability to use and embrace all the new and emerging technologies that have become essential to marketing real estate these days."

According to the National Association of Realtors, most buyers start their search for a property on the internet but work through a broker to show them properties. Gifkins says that, "Many buyers and sellers get their information from the internet, unfortunately, on some sites, it is not accurate or updated correctly. Therefore, it is imperative that the agent they are working with has access to and can deliver factual data."

Gicking agrees, "We often have to re-educate buyers and sellers because of the misinformation that appears on certain websites."

"Real estate can't all be done from a computer at home," says veteran real estate pro Paul Brennan, Regional Manager, Douglas Elliman Real Estate. "It takes personal communication out of the process. Getting on the telephone creates and emotional connection. It's like dating by email and texting. It leads to misunderstandings and problems that could have been avoided by talking on the phone or in person."

When it comes to buyers and sellers, the prevailing opinion that they more knowledgeable, but Brennan disagrees, "I think that's a fallacy. They think they know more but they don't appreciate all of the nuances of the market. They too often get misinformation from the Internet and then it becomes our job to re-educate them."

Brennan does not see a reason for the Buyer Agency, "If I represent a seller I find out everything I can about the property and what a buyer should want to know before I show it to them. That way I can anticipate a problem and address it before it becomes a problem. Real estate is a referral business and a repeat business. Buyers become sellers, sellers become buyers, and renters become buyers. I don't see why a buyer's agent can do more for the buyer than I would do as a seller's agent."

"I think they started out with good intentions but have become the gorilla in the room," says Brennan regarding MLS. "It has created its own bureaucracy. It has become more about reading MLS rules and regulations than about selling real estate."

Brennan, who it should be noted played professional basketball for two seasons in Australia with the Bankstown Bruins, does like the idea of teams in brokerages. "No one person can do everything or know everything. Real estate is a labor intensive business. It's like a basketball team. The members of the team working together can achieve a result they never could individually."

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate broker, lecturer, teaches real estate license classes at LIU, NYU, and Cook Maran Real Estate School, and is a well-respected consultant to the real estate industry. www.johnaviteritti.com

Related Articles:

Be the first to comment on this article. (Just fill out the form below)

Submit Your Comment

Please note, you are not currently logged in. Your comment will be submitted as a guest.
To submit your comment as a member, please click here.
Your Name:
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
Meg Salem-Saunders Real Estate
My Bio Broker Profile PDF Meg Salem's quick success in real estate speaks to her winning combination of strategic analysis of the market and insider knowledge of the Hamptons. Her skills honed during 17 years as a business development and marketing executive with such Blue Chip companies as Proctor and Gamble equipped her with an arsenal of keen negotiating skills, innovative marketing plans, and a seasoned sixth sense of what it takes to close the deal.

Gary R. DePersia, Corcoran Real Estate
Consistently ranked among the top producers in the Hamptons for the last 10 years, and a year-on-year member of The Corcoran Group Presidentís Council, in 2008 he was Corcoranís top broker on the East End by sales volume and rental units. Gary was also ranked as the nationís 4th top broker by sales volume with over $202 million worth of transactions in The Wall Street Journal and REAL Trends 2008 list of Top 250 real estate professionals. Qualifying as a national list maker since 2007, in 2013 he was again in the top tier with nearly $200 million of real estate transactions.

Bridgehampton National Bank
For over 100 years Bridgehampton National Bank has been the East End's hometown bank. Many success stories...one bank, BNB!

Jennifer C Wilson- Sotheby's International Realty, East Hampton, New York
As an East Hampton native, Jennifer brings to her business a robust local knowledge and a love for the ocean beaches and the historic villages and homes that surround the area. Since the start of her real estate career in 2007, Jennifer has consistently been a top producer.

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 16,000 of our elite members
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.5 million Page Views YTD for 2014. Contact us to join our elite group of clients that benefit from having a presence on the Hamptons award winning publication www.Hamptons.com

Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home
We pay less,and so do you.With over 1,000 stores in our buying group, we can get the lowest prices from the best flooring manufacturers ó and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Bayview Resort, formerly known as Sunset Bay Motel, is under new ownership and finishing up a complete renovation for the 2015 summer season!
Bayview Resort, formerly known as Sunset Bay Motel, is under new ownership and finishing up a complete renovation for the 2015 summer season! Our new facility features a brand new waterfront clubhouse and swimming pool surrounded by a newly landscaped yard with a walkway to the dock. Each of our 26 rooms has been sleekly remodeled and fitted with modern amenities to make your stay a pleasure.

Rosehip Partners- Hamptons Rentals
Feature your home where savvy renters search for Hamptons Rentals. Benefit from Rosehip Partners superior technical platform and rental market knowledge. Hamptons Rentals are the most searched Hamptons real estate term on the Internet. Generate more inquiries. Rent your home faster.