Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Testimonials: What our Clients are Saying 2012


Doug and Tracie
""We worked with The Burkhardt Group to buy our first apartment. Keith and Christian made the process smooth and even fun -- we couldn't imagine working with better, more professional agents. We could not recommend them more highly."

Doug and Tracie"
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Joe and Maria
""Christian, thanks for your immense help. Joe touted your resourcefulness during yesterday's walk through. You have been a pleasure to deal with.
Keith, your model deserves praise. We get a check and didn't experience a degradation in service level. The dedication and guidance was all well placed and helpful. Much further success to your firm.""
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E.L. and J.L
""Just wanted to add my heartfelt thanks as well. It's funny because before you guys, we were dealing with a very nice and well-known broker, but they were completely unresponsive. At times, they didn't call us back for over a week at which point we decided to find someone else. Then I remembered reading about your company in the NY Times and thought, "why don't we just call and see what the deal is?" I have to say we are extremely happy with how everything worked out. Keith, your honest insight, guidance and thoughts throughout made the entire process pretty painless - in fact, it was easy and almost fun. :)

One thing I wanted to share was we were a little surprised at how happy the seller seemed to be. Even though he's selling at a loss, he seemed eager to move forward and was very pleasant. XXXXXX and I felt a little bad about the price and were worried he would be upset, especially considering where others are listing their units etc. But I think it turned out to be a win-win situation for everyone, which is great.

I think the business model you guys have set up is quite unique and we really enjoyed working with you both. We wish you guys all the best and hope we can do business again in the future. I'm totally telling all my friends if they want to buy a place, you should be their first call. Take care

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Philippe and Vilay
"Hello all,

Just an email to thank all of you for making our purchase smooth and quick - so much so that I still don't really realize that we done it.
I was expecting lots of troubles and stress (the kind of stress I hate) and finally... not the case, quite the contrary! The negotiation was quick and efficient and none of our (many) questions after were left unanswered.

Anyway thanks again, we really appreciated it.

Vilay and Philippe
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Maureen B.
"" Keith Burkhardt does rebate from 50% to 67%, depending on price of property. I closed yesterday and received my check. He was super knowledgeable, efficient and really easy to work with. His team priced out property, negotiated, put together board package, did walk-through inspection before closing and sat at closing table with me. In fact the seller's broker complemented his firm for their work, and made specific note of the board package.""
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Melissa and Sean
"Thanks Keith. We truly appreciate everything. You've been a gem of a broker -- supportive and honest without being suggestive or pushy. A rarity in NYC! Please let us know when you are in town, we'd love to meet.
All the best,
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"Just recently closed a transaction with the Burkhardt group's assistance and want to mention it was absolutely stellar. The service was extremely helpful from arranging to view apartments, presenting/negotiating offers, walk-thrus, closing, and in general for advice and other followups.

Highly recommend A+"
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Matt and Kathy

It was great working with you throughout the process and having Christian at the closing. Thank you very much for the service. We're slowly getting settled in at the new place...the view of Manhattan is amazing.

Thanks again and we'll be sure to recommend the service to others.

Matt and Kathy

On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 8:20 AM, Keith Burkhardt
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Marc & Michael
"Hi Keith.
And thanks for all of your help and insight in this process. When you and I first spoke on the phone in the spring, you described a process that sounded perfect for us -- and it turned out to be just that! It really was a pleasure getting to work with you. I indeed look forward to more opportunities, whether at our other closing, or sometime very soon.
Thanks for everything!
Warm regards,


Saturday, August 11, 2012

Open House:Waste of Time or Time Well Spent?

This Sundays New York Times had an entertaining (with a hint of serious inquiry) piece on open houses in NYC.  The article questions whether an open house has become a futile exercise to satisfy the demands of the home seller or is it a useful tool to procure the sale of a home? Certainly open houses will bring in their fair share of "looky-Loos", but I personally feel they are still a very effective tool for selling the majority of homes. The only exception I would make to this would be in the sale of homes above $5,000,000 dollars. This rarefied home buyer is probably not out on Sunday schlepping around the open house circuit.

I am only one small broker in the sea of NYC real estate, but I can attest to the fact that every sale we have done this year started at an open house. For the serious home buyer, open houses on a Sunday afternoon are the perfect time to see properties. They don't have to work, have had time to decompress from the work week and had Friday and Saturday evening to partake in extracurricular urban activities. Depending on what you are looking for, you can cover a lot of ground on a Sunday and "kick the tires" on a few potential new homes. Then later that day over coffee you can compare notes and decide which homes you would like to view again via a private showing.

Certainly after say 6-8 open houses without a sale/offer the seller then needs to adjust the price, perhaps re-stage and the broker can shorten the open house duration to say 1 hour. But open houses remain an important ritual for this buy-side broker and his clients. And this is coming from a broker that definitely utilizes technology to make the entire process from analysis to board package preparation more effective and efficient.

happy hunting! 

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Why do Buyers Come to us after Going it Alone?

Our business model was set up to facilitate the needs of the lone wolf buyers out in the market who are distrustful of the process, yet ultimately have to deal with a broker...the listing agent. Going out and viewing apartments at open houses is the easy part but when you find a home you would like to purchase, things can get tricky. You now have to deal directly with the listing agent-who priced the property, can provide you with no critical information and is representing the best interests of the seller. Of course our model also provides for commission rebates which is often the tipping point that makes deals happen, both financially and emotionally. But rebates are not enough. Quality, objective, honest guidance is what ultimately keeps our clients happy, just read our testimonials. A buyer recently came to me after a property he liked attracted multiple bidders. When he suggested to the listing agent that he would like to bring in his own broker the listing agent replied, "Why? I can guide you."
Really? Guide you where...higher?

In theory or on a discussion board, not having your own broker seems very plausible. But when you find the home you want and a few other buyers want it as well, relying on the seller's exclusive broker to guide you can be ineffective. How can they offer you objective advice when their mission statement is to get the seller the highest possible price for their property? My advice is stop listening to the folks who distrust brokers and do some serious research to find a buyer's broker you can trust, who is competent and can assist you in a meaningful way. Yes, they are out there!

I created a business model that gives you an edge. Some of my contemporaries give a portion of their commission to the firm they work for while I give a portion of the commission I earn back to my buyer clients. I AM the firm so I can do this efficiently and quite effectively. I was also a successful broker for 20 years and worked in a traditional setting until I listened to the growing number of clients that were not happy with the status quo. And so I created The Burkhardt Group. On what planet could someone find fault with this? It benefits the buyer, who I am working for and I am a buyer's-broker. It is not everyone's cup of tea, just like Turbo Tax, E-Trade or booking your own holiday is not for everyone. But don't you think the marketplace is better for having these alternatives? Do listing agents care how I do business? Some may fear change, but successful listing agents know they have nothing to fear from my business model. They are the direct recipient of an effective, efficient transaction and often comment on how smooth the transaction went and how happy the buyers were. Bottom line: we sell apartments and listing agents want to sell apartments.

As I have said many times you absolutely don't need a broker to buy or sell real estate in NYC. But in my opinion, when you can find the right broker to work with, you are far better off.