Log In   ·   Become A Member

A Change In Management At Brown Harris Stevens: A Conversation With Robert Nelson

John A. Viteritti

Nelson was a typical city dweller who came out to the Hamptons on the weekends before making the transition to full-time resident. (Photo: www.facebook.com)

I recently had the opportunity to interview Robert Nelson, the newly appointed manager of Brown Harris Stevens at his office in Southampton.

How long have you been a real estate agent, Robert?

RN: I've been an agent for 31 years. Like many who were new to the business, I started out as a rental agent in Manhattan, because you could get a commission faster than waiting for a sale. It was also a good way to learn. One of the things I learned from my mentor was, don't ever get your calculator out to calculate the commission. It makes no difference if it's $1,000 or $50,000, and when you get those clients, hold on to them and don't let them go. She was in the business until she was 80 years old, and I never forgot that advice.

How long have you been with Brown Harris Stevens?

RN: Two and a half years. I was a typical city dweller who came out here on the weekends and made the transition to full-time resident.

Did you buy through a real estate broker?

RN: Oh yes! I would never represent myself. You need that buffer between you and the buyer or seller. The worst thing for a broker is to have the seller at home when they are trying to show the property to a buyer. They say all the wrong things and distract the buyer's attention from looking at the house in all its glory.

How many agents do you have under your supervision and how do you keep your agents apprised of what changes are taking place with respect to laws and regulation and other changes in the market?

RN: I have about 100 agents. I hold weekly staff meetings where we go over the topics and I encourage all agents to participate, to use the time to their benefit. Some agents are more comfortable than others in doing that, but eventually, they do participate.

What do you find particularly challenging about doing business in the Hamptons?

RN: Well, lots of things, but primarily, the diversity of the types of clientele we deal with. These are people who are very successful, but not always for the same reasons. They are used to knowing things about their businesses better than anyone else and that can pose quite a challenge to a broker who is trying to counsel them. It's a fine line between showing them respect and presenting them with the facts of your expertise.

You have been in sales for over 30 years. Now you are entering into a different facet of the business.

RN: Not really. I have developed properties, managed a business. The reason I took this job was because I get to apply all that knowledge and share it. It allows me to suggest to my agents that perhaps if they considered the issue from another point of view that might achieve a better result. I stress that to have a successful transaction, all of the parties have to be happy. So that's would attracted me, solving problems. I thrive on attacking problems and solving them.

How are you able to respond to problems that come up and still follow your own agenda?

RN: I have office meetings three days a week in Westhampton, Sag Harbor, and Southampton. In those meetings, I have my agenda, which is to do a little bit of education, of reviewing problems I have witnessed which I think could be of benefit to a number of agents.

Could you give an example?

RN: Yes. There were sellers who thought that the open listing gave them more options than an exclusive because they didn't understand that exclusive didn't mean only one firm could show the property. Properly explained to them would counter that. Every week I try to raise issues that have become a trend.

What is some of the advice you give to your agents in order to prevent problems that could adversely affect the transaction?

RN: I tell them to go to the Town Hall before taking a listing and find out as much about the property that is a matter of public record, for instance, does the property have all of the necessary certificates of occupancy, what the full taxes are on the property, are there any moratoriums on construction, these are important issues to a smooth transaction.

What is your attitude regarding teams?

RN: I leave that to the agents. I have been part of a team, but I think we will have to see how the team approach to doing business develops. I do believe that new agents do have to have a mentor otherwise you are not going to succeed.

Is there a particular time frame for a new agent to succeed?

RN: No, I don't think so. It depends on your individual work ethic. The better organized you are, the greater the investment of time you make, the greater the chances of success. You also have to enjoy real estate and have fun with it. You have to remember that the sellers and buyers we deal with are optimistic. The sellers want to sell and the buyers want to buy. You just have to find the proper matches.


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:
Location:*
Comments:*
* Comments will be reviewed and posted in a timely fashion
* All fields are required
Question:*
What color is the sky?
(For spam prevention, thanks)
 
 
 
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/2003.gif
http://www.hamptons.com/gallery/ads/1824.gif
East End Tick Control
The East End's only New York State licensed dedicated tick and mosquito control specialists!

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

Advertise on Hamptons.com - Have your business be seen by over 2 million viewers including NEW searches
Hamptons.com- Our exclusive online magazine has 2.6 million Page Views YTD for 2015. 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 — and pass the savings on to you.Visit our other locations: Hamptons Carpet One Floor & Home, 675 North Sea Road,Southampton, NY 11968

Southampton Masonry-Visiting the Southampton or the Wainscott locations is an exciting experience.
Southampton Masonry has been serving Long Island's masonry and tile needs since 1975. Delivering quality products from Manhattan to Montauk for over three decades. The company's continued success is due primarily to their number one priority: customer satisfaction, with a promise of prompt and courteous service from the professional, knowledgeable staff. Southampton Masonry has the largest inventory on the east end. As direct importers they can offer a large variety of the finest quality products at the most competitive pricing for both your interior and exterior projects.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

CP Complete- Landscape Design & Construction
Paul Guillo And Chris Hall Two Of The Most Respected Names In The Community Together, they are partners in CP Complete. They bring their years of experience and integrity to creating and renovating luxury backyards.

D+J Concepts is known for a high-end cutting edge approach to design.
D+J Concepts is known for a high-end cutting edge approach to design with a balance between functionality and imagination. We skillfully and tastefully transform ordinary spaces into classic modern styles, which are understated, and luxe. We’re known for our modern transitional style incorporating antiques and modern elements for an unexpected edge.

Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field.
Hamptons luxury real estate specialist for 33 years, Andrea Ackerman offers outstanding expertise in the field. Trusted, experienced and successful, Andrea has solidified herself as the go-to broker of the Hamptons and a wholehearted advocate for her clients. A pioneer in the real estate industry on the East End of Long Island, she is driven by her passion for the business. Andrea is based in the Bridgehampton office of Brown Harris Stevens as a licensed real estate associate broker and consultant. Formerly, a principal partner and Senior Director at Brown Harris Stevens, Andrea now assists in developing their corporate strategy for the Hamptons region, advising other brokers and sales associates, as well as being one of the top producers and listors.