Friday, March 31, 2017

We Were Compared to Priceline??

I think we have all been there, the sort of uneasy feeling you get when you whip out that yelp coupon at a restaurant for the 'free entree'. Or in this example you purchased your hotel room at a deep discount via Priceline.

I always enjoy waxing poetic on our business model, to me and many others it makes a great deal of sense. It is about creating an alternative vehicle for transacting in real estate for a particular sub-set of buyers. I compare it to the effect that technology had on the travel business, financial services and even buying diamonds. Competition fueled by a desire to evolve.

To get back to the subject of this blog, I politely disagreed with this perspective client. When you use a service like Priceline the end user is feeling the pinch to their bottom-line for that particular transaction (though they should not be complaining. They signed up to participate and it filled an otherwise empty room).

With our business model I absorb the discount while the seller and listing agent all benefit without it reducing the sale price or commission. In fact the seller and agent benefit in two big ways; a happy buyer that is feeling very good about the transaction and the seller is potentially earning more from the sale as the additional grease to get the deal done is coming from me. And we cannot discount the important fact that our clients are very happy campers transacting with a business model they feel was designed for them. This is very key, this is a great byproduct of our model, very satisfied clients that work in partnership with us under 100% transparent conditions.

I created our proprietary business model based on all the negative comments I have heard over the years or read on the Streeteasy forum regarding the process of buying and selling real estate. We essentially did the opposite and gave buyers (and now sellers) exactly what they want. And after I speak with a new client for the first time, that is exactly what I hear.

The proof is in our success, over 50 transactions in 2016! And take a look at our testimonials.

Keith Burkhardt

Monday, March 20, 2017

Incentives Given To Lead Brokers to Water???

Even in this rather strong seller market there are properties that need a little push to get them sold. Developers feel that incentifising agents with higher commissions or other bonuses will make agents lead you to these properties. Personally I'm not so sure this works. I've always taken the position it is better to simply lower the asking price or provide the incentives directly to the buyer.

What do we do you ask? We give any incentives offered by developers back to our clients. Simple.

Thursday, March 16, 2017

You Asked For It: New Listing Model for 2017.

The brokerage business has evolved, both buyers and sellers want more options. When I started The Burkhardt Group over 9 years ago with a focus on buyers, many said it would never work. Last year we closed $80,000,000+ in sales.  This service will be geared towards those sellers that have homes that more or less sell themselves. Where there is not a need for a large firm and its vast marketing reach and finances. 

Listing Service Proposal

Primarily, we are looking for those homes that seem to ‘sell themselves’. If a listing hits the market with multiple bids after the first open house, this is a function of the market, not the listing agents. We want to offer owners of such homes an appropriate brokerage model that accounts for this dynamic and offers an appropriate commission structure.

We will be selectively curating the homes we decide to list and providing you with an accurate valuation along with a strategy that will guarantee a successful and efficient transaction. If you believe you have such a home, please call me to discuss and I will gladly explain why ‘who you list with is’ is just a matter of subjective preference. While receiving multiple offers after an open house can be satisfying, the sobering reality of the considerable transaction cost can most definitely suffocate the elation!

To help remedy that, our basic listing formula has been developed as follows:
3.75% commission, 2.5% to buyer agent (includes us representing a buyer). Direct deals 2% (no buyers agent). Professional photos are provided and the seller pays for floor plans if needed. Exclusive agreements can be cancelled at any time and past clients aren’t protected in the event of a cancellation. This is for full service representation.

Additionally, the following services and amenities are provided:

1)  In-depth valuation report.
2) Detailed feedback on showings.
3) Assistance with staging.
4) Email blast to all REBNY brokers with setup sheet and link to listing pages.
5) A pragmatic selling strategy that ranges from starting listings at market price to slightly soft in order to immediately attract buyers and fuel more frenetic bidding.
6) Three open houses for the first week: Sunday, Monday, Wednesday.
7) Listed in RLS, Streeteasy, Zillow and Trulia.

But most importantly, we will never give you any bull. Instead, we always offer straight talk on what's happening.

In Summary

Remember that 95% of the selling comes from the buyer’s agent; what does the listing agent do? Call me for a detailed explanation of how the brokerage business functions and why correct pricing and current market conditions are 90% responsible for an efficient transaction.  

We revolutionized the buy-side experience, adding value in dollars and sense. We are now ready to do the same with the listing experience.

Keith Burkhardt


Real estate commissions cannot be fixed and are always negotiable.

Saturday, March 11, 2017

Great Read from Urbandigs:2017 off to a Great Start!

This certainly mirrors what we are currently experiencing. The market is very active, buyers will bid aggressively for quality homes that are priced correctly. The cream is rising to the top however not everyone is coming along for the ride.
New condo inventory is not moving as quickly as similar resales, however pricing remains firm and developers are excercising patience. There is some room to negotiate, however surprisingly limited to a few buildings. Some new developments have begun raising prices (50 Greenpoint Ave). We are seeing some wiggle room on buildings that have been on the market for 6 to 12 months and are struggling to move that last bit of inventory. However you are getting the scraps and they're not cheap. If one of these unsold units works for you, you're in luck.