What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
YES! As a real estate agent I am required to take 22.5 hours of continuing education every two years, but I don't limit myself to that number if there is a course that looks interesting and informative. I take classes ranging from new compliance issues (both in real estate brokerage and building management), various investment issues, ethics, and also dabble in related fields such as mortgage and/or appraising, so that I understand how it relates to what I do better. I try to balance between residential (ie, 1-4 family residences) and commercial (everything else, including mixed retail/residential and 5-8 units buildings, which feel residential but fall under commercial guidelines).
Do you have a standard pricing system for your service? If so, please share the details here.
For handling rentals, there is no charge if the owner gives our agency the exclusive - the tenant pays our fee, and the screening and lease coordination are complementary to the owner.
For sales of property, we advance all the marketing fees, and then we are paid a percentage at closing.
For management, we quote a monthly fee based on the services needed and the units to be serviced. Other issues may affect the monthly fee - for instance if the building will need extensive construction.
How did you get started doing this type of work?
My background is in sports and then intellectual property licensing. I changed careers after I began to feel stifled in the office environments and stuck with the business models that everyone else wanted me to have. Today, working directly for the client is the most satisfying thing about this life - the ability to find out exactly what someone needs and give it to them, instead of having to filter it through a corporate agenda first.
What types of customers have you worked with?
We are a full service brokerage agency as well as a management company. In brokerage, we act as the exclusive rental agent for many landlords in Manhattan and Brooklyn. We handle the advertising for the property, advise on rent, whether the property needs upgrading to attract the best tenant, and we also handle showings (we co-broke with all other agencies, regardless of whether they reciprocate) and run credit and help the landlord do the screening of the prospective tenants, as well as coordinate the lease signing.
We also provide sales services for clients. We are very experienced in the sales of townhouses and of course we handle coops and condos as well. I am particularly good at assessing the best market price for a property based on overall condition and location of the property as well as comparable sales.
Finally, we are a full service management firm and we handle various aspects of management for about 15 properties give or take. The buildings tend to be 2-4 unit townhouse-type properties but we also handle single units as well as larger buildings in the 20-40 unit range. For these properties we handle physical maintenance and compliance, billing and collecting rents, bookkeeping, and any other needs specific to the property.
What advice would you give a customer looking to hire a provider in your area of work?
Hire someone who seems knowledgeable about your particular area, who wants to answer all your questions, and who you like working with. If you don't like the person you're working with, your stress level will be 1000% higher, and buying, selling or renting a property is already quite stressful.