Monday, January 31, 2011

What I Do and why I'm Doing It

Some of you may have read the piece in the New York Times about real estate brokerage commissions and yes moi was mentioned (it also featured a nice photo and interview with some of my actual clients).

Why: I have no intentions or delusions that The Burkhardt Group will shut down the big players in the biz, nor do I want to. Without them, what would we be? What I want to do is offer the consumer an alternative way to buy and sell real estate, simple as that. I want it to be effective, easy to understand and above all make sense for anyone that is buying or selling real estate.

 I don't offer cut rate service, I do offer a complete service set to assist you in making a good decision about the property you want to buy. This includes a comprehensive evaluation of the property,understanding the price history in the building. An opinion about the neighborhood you plan to purchase in along with my opinion about the building, location of the apartment in the building, layout and condition. Condition is an often overlooked aspect of the price evaluation but needs serious attention and must be figured into the ultimate final price you are willing to pay. I also think it is crucial to balance this empirical evaluation with the emotional component of buying. You would be surprised how many buyers(hardcore reals estate quant types) I work with who throw common sense out the window, when the apartment they want suddenly slips from their hands! That firm ceiling you suddenly set can get shattered when emotions and ego crowd out reason, I have no emotional attachment to your home, I may have "commission attachment", but believe me I keep that in check. lol.......

Currently I am just representing buyers, but I do have what I believe to be an effective way to list your property (more importantly sell it !) which I will begin offering in the coming weeks. I just need to make some structural changes to my business model that will let me accommodate sellers effectively. I have sold a few properties with this model and now understand what needs to be tweaked to make it work like a Swiss watch!  I will be offering a few plans for those looking for a full listing experience as well as those who want to go the FSBO route. I only want to offer services that I know work, not just gimmicks to sign people up, it must be as effective as anything else available in the market. Feel free to call me to discuss your apartment.

You will never hear me using negative attacks on the (traditional) industry to bolster my own business, I prefer to simply tell you what I can offer you. I simply am offering you an alternative way to buy and sell real estate in NYC. Capitalism depends on free markets and the more choices that consumers have, the better it is for the consumer and ultimately the market place. I do believe the real estate industry has become quite static and could benefit by a good kick in the pants. The times are changing, technology is opening up doors to make doing business more transparent and efficient; with this efficiency old business models need to change.

So take a look around our website as there is some pretty clear information about what I can offer you and always feel free to call me to discuss your real estate needs or just to pick my brain on something.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Fun in the Catskills : Enough NYC real estate!

Log out of Streeteasy and head up North where all this snow actually seems like a good thing!
Stay at: Emerson Resort & Spa.
Ski: Bellayre
Eat: Cucina in Woodstock or Peekamoose in Phoenicia (photo)
We've stayed,played and ate at all of these places and they are excellent. Sweet Sues in the town of Phoenicia is an excellent local place for super pancakes.
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Sunday, January 23, 2011

First stop of the day.

Full floor loft at 42 East 12th. First open house today, looks nice online...monthlies seem a bit high?
This is my first live blog!
Approximately 2000F2 $2,495,000 3 bedroom 2 bath Thoughtfully renovated.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The evolution of my business model

 I started this project in early 2007 to address my concerns about the real estate bubble, steering people away from buying and offering lower commission for rentals based on service provided. Over the last year I have been focused on sales again with a model aimed at what I call "real estate quants". These are buyers who love to dig into all the statistical data available to them, are active on the boards of sites like StreetEasy and are looking for more of a consulting experience, rather than a traditional sales experience. My model helps us create a partnership and rewards the buyer with a percentage of the commission being rebated to them at the closing or an adjustment to counter act a transfer fee or "flip tax".

So what can you expect from the Burkhardt Group experience? The bottom line: that is entirely up to you. We initially will speak on the phone to decide what level of service you require, this will determine the structure of the rebate. In a nutshell most of my work begins when you identify a property you may be interested in. The process starts with an online analysis of the listing which includes a thorough search of comparable sales in the building as well as the neighborhood.

After all this I will give you my opinion on price, usually expressed as a range with my comments about how I arrived at such price points. I always do this without asking you what you would like to pay, then we discus and try and understand value, balance the emotional aspect of the purchase with the financial reality.
From here I will draft an offer which will be emailed to you for approval and then it will be sent off to the listing broker(s) with you cc'ed. You will also be part of all correspondence between me and the listing broker(s) from this point on.

If we are successful and enter into contract I will then assist you with assemblage of the co-op board application or condo application. Next stop closing!

My services can be utilized by anyone looking to purchase a home in New York who wants a knowledgeable, transparent buying experience. I would like to stress that we certainly don't feel we are the only way to purchase a home, there are many qualified, honest brokers providing outstanding service. My goal is to offer buyers a choice with a very flexible service model that can meet any of your needs or desires.

We just want you,the buyer to feel 100% satisfied during every step of the often stressful process of purchasing a home in New York.

New blog for a new year...

I have been thinking of various ways to blog about what I do, I like to write but I also realize a lot the mechanics of real estate are quite boring. I also realize that there are other sites that do a better job than I could ever do of presenting statistical data, UrbanDigs being the king of real time data.
So I will use this blog to write about market developments that I find interesting,funny, dangerous or just whimsical. I think I will also be doing some "street blogging", uploading pictures and events via text and email from my droid, I am kind of excited about this live reporting aspect. I'll post instant photos of properties I am viewing with  commentary, fun!
Off we go.....