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Hamptons Real Estate: Getting Into The Business

John A. Viteritti

Located on one of the most prestigious lanes south-of-the-highway, this picturesque property is nestled just a few hundred feet from Sagg Pond and across from a 20-plus acre reserve. Listed for $7.65M by Meg Salem of Saunders. Meg has been in the business of Hamptons real estate since 2004.

"Why have you decided to get a real estate license?" This was the question I posed to the twenty-five students who just completed the Salesperson Licensing class which I taught at the East Hampton location of the Cook Maran Real Estate School.

The course requires 75 hours of classroom learning in subject matter required by the New York State Department of State, a passing grade on the school exam, a passing grade on the State exam, and a sponsoring broker before applying for a salesperson's license.

When Cook Maran first offered the licensing course in March 2014, sixteen students completed the class. This time we had twenty-five. Our next offering is scheduled for April 2015. We have also witnessed an increase in enrollment at New York University, where I also teach this course. In both cases, one of the contributing factors to the increase is the state of the market. Real estate is back!

What is also true is that the two markets, New York City and the Hamptons, share much in common. In fact, these markets often have the same buyers and sellers. Similar prices, all-cash buyers, Wall Street related. A primary residence in Manhattan, and a vacation home in the Hamptons. As the Stock Market goes, so goes the real estate market. What better place to park all that money?

I asked members of the class why they decided to get a real estate license?

Mark Drucker: "The broker community out here has changed because of the New Yorkers coming out here and getting licenses. In a conversation I had with Andrew Saunders a year ago he noted that many of those getting licenses were former lawyers and bankers, changing how business is being done more professionally with a different level of service. These folks bring their experience and styles from high pressure, service driven careers. They were trained well. For the past twenty-five years I spent my career as a magazine publisher. I got a big education about homes from the point of view of architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and design, building, and construction. I know a lot of those people both locally and in New York. I have been successful in sales and marketing. I see real estate as the best place for me to reinvent myself. My plan is to become associated with Sotheby's International in Bridgehampton"

Alexander Eberle: "As an hotelier, I deal with a lot of guests, employees, vendors, owners who come from diverse cultural and socio-economic backgrounds. I think all of these skills will be transferrable to real estate."

Howard Chesin: "I am a CPA and recently sold my practice. I still do work in accounting and taxes part-time. Over more than forty years in practice, I developed a specialty in real estate accounting, representing co-ops, syndicators, and investors, as well as my own investment properties. I am planning to join Corcoran in East Hampton."

Tina-Marie Georgopoulos: "I am a mother of four children. I teach Belly Dancing and act now and then. I wanted to get into real estate because business is picking up, and it seems like an interesting and rewarding profession. I think my love for the East End of Long Island will emanate from me and that can only be positive in dealing with clients and customers."

Anthony Rosina: "My background has been in publishing for the last fifteen years. The advances in digital media have pushed to curb the need and desire to advertise in print. Countless positions have been lost in the industry - mine included - and that has forced me to rethink my future. I have always had a strong interest in real estate, and when I lost my job and heard that Cook Maran was offering a class in real estate, I thought the stars were aligning and that the time was right to move forward. I am planning on joining Douglas Elliman."

Alison Fantini: "My husband is in real estate and would like my help. In my past life, I taught kindergarten and first grade for twenty years. I have taken the last ten years off to raise my children. Now that they are away at school I am ready to embrace a new challenge. That and the fact that if done well real estate has the potential to provide a livable wage which is hard to come by in this town."

As you can see from the diverse backgrounds of these "soon to be" real estate professionals, there is more than one way to get to Carnegie Hall.

John is a St. John's University graduate, licensed Real Estate Broker, DOS Certified Instructor, and real estate consultant. He previously taught at NYU, LIU, and The Cook Maran Real Estate School, which he helped found. www.johnaviteritti.com

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