How I secured a Soho penthouse for clients after a 4-day search

In this luxury case study, learn how The Agency’s Daniel Blatman overcame multiple offers and a short timeline to help his clients meet their goals.

July is Luxury Month at Inman. Tune in as we survey the evolving luxury market, explore emerging trends, and talk to top producers and influencers in the ultra-luxury space about how they got where they are today and the insights they’ve gained along the way. The month culminates with the announcement of the expanded Golden I Awards live onstage at Luxury Connect (July 29-30) in Las Vegas.

In the tumultuous realm of real estate, where every bid and counter-bid feels like a high-stakes gamble, one truth remains constant: There’s power in nurturing client relationships. As a seasoned real estate agent in New York City, I’ve learned that success in this industry isn’t just about securing deals; it’s about understanding the hopes and dreams of the clients we represent.

Recently, I had the privilege of navigating a particularly challenging transaction that underscored the critical importance of client relationships. From the outset, it was clear that this wasn’t just about finding a house; these clients needed a home that could serve as a pied a terre and potentially become their primary residence.

4 days

Over four intense days, we scoured the city, exploring no fewer than 25 different properties, each offering its own unique blend of charm and potential. We navigated the maze of listings, weighing the tradeoffs between size, condition and price, all while keeping the client’s vision at the forefront.

The property my clients decided on, a stunning penthouse loft nestled in the heart of vibrant Soho, captured their hearts, and as negotiations ensued, I leaned heavily on the foundation of trust we had built.

Since there was already an offer in place on the unit, I crafted a unique offer that spoke not only to the seller’s bottom line but also to the investment my clients had made in their search for the perfect home.

The alternative listings my clients were looking at were priced 10 percent to 20 percent higher than this property’s list price, so coming in 1 percent higher than where we thought we could secure the home turned out to be the right move.

Then, plot twist, a competing offer came in above our price, though fortunately, the sellers kept their word to the terms of our deal, giving us a swift five days to executive the contract, which was a typical contract timeline back in 2016-2017 versus the 10-14 days we have grown accustomed to since 2020.

From there, my clients secured the penthouse at its original list price and closed on June 5 of this year.

Build a strategy that works

Here are a few tips I’d like to share that I learned over the years that helped me secure this deal for my clients: 

  1. Understand opportunity cost: When negotiating for a property, thoroughly assess its asking price and its actual worth. Consider what unique aspects of the property would appeal to your clients and how they would live there. Understanding the opportunity cost involves evaluating not just the price but also the value proposition of the property within the larger residential landscape.
  2. Avoid over-negotiation: In a changing market, it’s crucial not to over-negotiate. Recognize when a deal is favorable, and be mindful that prices may soon increase. This requires a balance between securing a good deal and recognizing the potential for escalating prices in the near future.
  3. Act decisively in competitive situations: In scenarios where there are competing offers, it’s essential to come in strong to secure the desired property. Offering slightly above what you think you can get can be advantageous, especially if alternative options are priced significantly higher. Quick decision-making and assertive bidding can help in these situations.
  4. Maintain client relationships: As a real estate professional, nurturing relationships with clients is crucial. Regularly staying in touch with clients, whether through quarterly calls or other means, helps in understanding their evolving needs and preferences. Offering valuable insights and resources beyond just real estate, such as recommendations for restaurants, entertainment and design styles, strengthens the client-agent relationship and fosters trust.
  5. Act as a lifestyle guide: Position yourself not just as a real estate agent but also as a “lifestyle guide” for all things related to the city or area you specialize in. Provide information and recommendations on various aspects of life, including leisure activities, current design trends, etc., to keep clients engaged and connected. This approach helps in building long-term relationships and establishes you as a trusted advisor beyond real estate transactions.

In the end, this deal wasn’t solely about closing a transaction; it was about delivering on a promise to my clients. By placing an emphasis on nurturing client relationships and taking a 360-degree approach to real estate, we not only secure deals but create lifelong advocates who trust us to guide them on their journey home.

Daniel Blatman is a powerful communicator and Realtor who brings insight, knowledge, levity, creativity, and enthusiasm to each stage of the real estate transaction. Connect with him on Instagram and LinkedIn.

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