Monday, October 16, 2017

Who Needs to Advertise??

We are coming up on our 10 year anniversary, truly hard to believe. In 2007 I started the company to offer discounted rental commissions, I was of the opinion it was a good time to put buying on the back burner for the moment. 

In 2009 I was approached by a former rental client that wanted to purchase and asked what I could offer him. Hence began the journey and the evolution of what is today one of the leading full service companies that offers commission rebates and discounted listing fees. 

What is most beautiful about our approach is it benefits both the listing agent and the seller. Neither has to accept less money, we absorb that through our efficient business model. They benefit with a seamless transaction and a happy buyer that is easy to transact with. The rebate gives the client confidence to bid more aggressively or at least gets them to 'their' number even if the seller can't get their organically. 

So in ten years I have not spent a dollar on advertising (Though I may have experimented with GOOGLE adsense when I started to the tune of $100).  

This is why:

"Dear Keith, Norman and Christian,

I just wanted to send a quick note of thank you to you guys. I really appreciate all of your hard work over the last (many) months, and getting us over line with the closing last week.
It is very exciting for us and there is no way we could have made this happen without you guys. 
If we ever do this again (which we really hope to) we will absolutely be calling you guys first!!!

Thanks again,
Adam & Ginger"

Saturday, October 14, 2017

As a Buyer, Read This Article Carefully...

This is a nice piece on the current market in NYC with support and stats from some pretty reliable sources.

I always read theses pieces and think what goes through a buyers mind when they read these quotes from listing agents?? The gleeful commentary on how they have tried to manipulate reality to get a home with some obvious defects sold. Don't get me wrong, that is their job; but as a buyer do you really believe a listing agent when they say you will be better off dealing with them directly? Lol. Not.

The Most Common Obstacles to a Sale — and What to Do About Them

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

I Never Tire of Hearing From Our Wonderful Clients!

"Dear Keith, Christian, and Norman, Thank you so much for the good wishes and for all your help getting us to our long-awaited goal. It has been a genuine pleasure to work with each of you; the Burkhardt Group is exceptional for its staff members' responsiveness, sound advice, attention to detail, and even keels. It was immensely reassuring to know we had you on our side during a process that is always fraught, no matter how smoothly it goes. I only wish you were representing sellers when we first spoke years ago. I know you would have saved us a lot of grief! Wishing you the very best,Nancy"

Our First Listing is in Contract!

As some of you know we have recently begun a model for listing properties. To date we have not advertised this offering outside of a news letter that goes out to our client base. Although our buy-side approach has been a huge success, I have held off on representing sellers for a few reasons, first and foremost I wanted a model that I knew would work and be an effective means for sellers to bring about the sale of their home.

My thought is I want to offer this model to sellers who have 'low hanging fruit'; homes that essentially sell themselves. If you have have a home that will sell in 30 days or less, why not expect a reduced commission? That said the unit we have in contract is a ground floor, rear facing home in need of some updates!

From a purely mechanical point of view it doesn't matter who you list with (as long as they are members of REBNY). We all play by the same rules and our listings all go into the same feed. When a buy-side broker has a client they all essentially do the same thing; enter the data points of the search into their listing database and hit enter! This will generate a list of available properties that will be edited down and sent off to their client for consideration.

Remember one very important fact, the buyer agent does 90% of the selling. Now that is not to minimize the work of the listing agent, they have the herculean task of managing, dealing with the sellers! Not easy, especially when a property has sat, with no offer for 30 days! Of course the listing agent also needs to be a competent negotiator as should your buyer representation.

I could go on and on about all this, but in a nutshell I have simply done with listings what I did with buy-side representation: Marrying outstanding full service with a highly effective and efficient brokerage model. We list at 3.75% with 2.5% going to a buyer agent that brings a deal to the table.

Please feel free to call me to find out how we can assist you with the sale of
your home.



I was ranked 188th broker by sales volume in the country in the Wall Street Journal/Real Trends real estate rankings. Our model works.

Saturday, August 26, 2017

It's Been a Long, Busy Summer!

Due to a number of things I have not written a post in some time, First we were on a family vacation the last two weeks of July in Costa Rica. Then upon our return some old health issue I thought were in my past reoccurred. The good news is I am on the mend and my excellent team kept things running smoothly!

We have a great model and process in place. I wouldn't say it runs itself, however with the right people running the operation, I don't think you could have a more efficient way to buy and sell real estate coupled with excellent, knowledgeable customer service. No one is better than Christian Bari and Norman Brannon, the Dream team!

The summer has been very, very active. We did not get a break from all the buying until last week when someone finally put the brakes on! We set records for closings, signed contracts for July and August, it was just nonstop. We are happy that buyers are finally taking some time off to enjoy the dog days of summer with Labor Day just around the corner.


Keith Burkhardt

Another very happy buyer:

"Keith, Christian and Norman,
Thank you all so much for a wonderful experience buying our first home! We learned so much from you all in the process, and we really appreciate how you patiently and masterfully answered all of our newbie questions! 
We felt comfortable to take our time and make every decision with your sound advice and recommendations in mind. We appreciate never feeling rushed, or pressured in any way. Your recommendations to work with Guard Hill and Luk and Luk were excellent as well, as everyone played their part in helping this run smoothly. Norman was so professional, friendly and knowledgeable and he really taught us so much over the course of this process. 
We really felt like we were in great hands, and we will recommend the Burkhardt Group to anyone who asks!
Liz and Prathap (8/24/2017)"

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Something No One Wants to Talk About...Reduced Commissions

A very interesting article in July's The Real Deal. We don't criticize our competition, we're just cognizant of the fact and have listened to clients who want an alternative approach to the brokerage process. As an agent at a large firm I had fair level of success and I could have easily continued building my career. I decided to take a risk and change the landscape and build a model based on what I thought many buyers wanted. It's about more than rebates. If you could just hand out checks at closing and do $90M a year in sales, believe me more agents would be doing it! Our clients know the difference.

I am coming up on a 10 year anniversary with The Burkhardt Group; to date I have spent ZERO dollars on advertising! Please have a look at our testimonials page to see the raving fans that we have created. It did not happen over night.

The buy-side brokerage model was ripe for disruption, that is easy enough to understand. Just like the travel business, financial services, book selling, transportation, hospitality etc. It is not simply about trying to undercut other agents or being desperate; it is about innovating.

Selling real estate is not that complicated, 90% of apartments don't need large marketing budgets to sell. They need to be priced correctly, be desirable and listed so the entire brokerage community can participate. Oh yeah, and be on Streeteasy where more buyers than you can imagine will be able to view, schedule an appointment and discover the history of the unit.

On the buy-side  you need an agent that can do a fairly rudimentary analysis of the property, has the experience to add or subtract value based on both mathematical calculations as well as the non-tangible aspects of  the purchase. The agent also has to be trusted to put the clients best interests before their own and not be afraid to tell it like it is. Meaning if the home is a lemon, best to pass and move on. Or if the valuation is silly advise a bid based on reality not the aspirational sales price of a seller.

Offering a reduced commission scale when coupled with outstanding service is not bottom feeding or being desperate. Quite frankly it cuts two ways; unscrupulous listing agents that 'buy a listing', giving the seller an unrealistic sales price in an attempt to secure the listing.

The world is changing, the brokerage model will also continue to change and evolve. It's only natural. No business can survive when they don't keep up with the times. Increased competition thins out the heard and makes us all stronger. And the strong and nimble will thrive.


Keith Burkhardt
Call me, I love to talk about real estate.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Many Thanks to Our Wonderful Clients! #188 Agent Wall Street Journal/Realtrends!

It has been quite a journey. When I first conceived of the Burkhardt Group I was met with many naysayers and skeptics who thought it would never work in NYC.  That you could not operate a 'buy-side' brokerage and last, only listing agents succeeded over the long term.

The problem with that hypothesis is there was never a buy-side focused company that was tailor made for buyers and their specific needs. I also focused on all the complaints I received from buyers or read on those early Streeteasy forums. I tackled each one and made changes until I hit on a model that worked seamlessly and addressed these shortcomings. 

We have seen quantum leaps in financial services, transportation services, shopping (Amazon) and travel services that have made it easier and more cost effective to transact. I brought that concept to real estate.