By Karen Monroe
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Finding the right property is an emotional experience. “To like or not to like” is not a question; it's a connection, a feeling we get when we know we've found our next home. Whether it's the chef's kitchen or the substantial closet space, the afternoon light or the working living room fireplace, the place speaks to us. We imagine our personal items filling the rooms, and what coming home to this new address would be like. Then we worry about the numbers.
Oftentimes, it's the building amenities that create the emotional connection to a property. In today's competitive real estate market, these value-added conveniences rule. Residential buildings that want to remain relevant must out-do themselves to attract interest. It's not enough to have a doorman, 24-hour fitness center and second floor laundry room. Buyers, renters and investors now want extended on-site and in-room services. Pet-friendly buildings need an in-house dog walking service. Clients want valets who deliver on every need, from food to housekeeping to dry cleaning to car service. And still, that's ordinary. Clients expect extraordinary to get their attention, and their business.
These outstanding services are marketed as lifestyle amenities by luxury buildings. But what does that really mean? To start, it means these conveniences are designed to provide residents the ultimate living experience and, perhaps most importantly, help save them time. Turns out, time is – for most people (New Yorkers for sure) – one of the greatest luxuries of all. Engaging clients fully by offering everything they could possibly want on-site is the name of the game. Modern in-building services I've noticed lately include a virtual putting green, sound-proof music room, yoga studio, child care center, office and meeting spaces, retail stores and more. Really, if you can imagine it, they will build it.
What impresses me most, and adds to cementing that emotional connection, is the caliber of the doorman, concierge and valet staff at any given building, pre- or post-war. These key people are the gatekeepers of a building and the first point of interaction when you set foot on a property. They are the face of a building, representing its public image and property management firm. This initial contact is how we make our first impression of a building, and decide if we want to go in further.
Good manners, professionalism and a pleasant personality go a long, long way. A lack of this can be a deal breaker for some. If there is no connection on first contact, getting that emotional bond on the 21st floor apartment might not happen, regardless of the other luxury amenities.
On the Run
Referrals make the world go ‘round - particularly in sustaining a successful real estate career. Real estate pros have one fundamental responsibility: to serve our clients and exceed their expectations as often as possible. Our role goes beyond work; real estate is a way of life. We live it and breathe it around the clock, day in and day out, especially on weekends and holidays. When the rest of the world is off, we are working to create happy, satisfied customers. We are in it for the long run, building relationships and growing our business.
As a distance runner, this suits me. Real estate is no sprint; it's a marathon. At the end of the day, the ultimate reward for a job well done is repeat business and getting a referral. It legitimizes us as true professionals. A big shout out to those of you who have referred me to others. Thank you. And to the rest of you looking to buy, sell, rent or invest in Brooklyn real estate, I look forward to the opportunity to exceed your expectations and keep the world spinning.
Karen Monroe practices real estate at Douglas Elliman Real Estate, 156 Montague Street in Brooklyn Heights. She lives in the neighborhood and represents buyers, sellers and renters in Brooklyn and Manhattan. Karen can be found walking her dogs and running the parks, paths, streets and bridges of Brooklyn and beyond. For feedback and all of your real estate needs, contact Karen at [email protected].