Hardy Plumbing
August 13, 2008
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Realty Takes


Has the tide turned? Is the move back to locally-owned real estate firms rather than the big corporates from away?

Well, veteran broker Joe Kazickas and his new firm Rosehip Partners – operating out of East Hampton but covering it all – got back to us as promised. His other Rosehip Partners are James Young (son of brokers Meg and Nigel, for those who remember) and Lisa Levitin, with whom Mr. Kazickas worked at both Dunemere and Brown Harris Stevens.

(By the way, "Realty Takes" tried unsuccessfully to reach Andrew Saunders launching another new operation to get his input, as well.)

In any case, here is more about "local" startups, reasons why, market outlooks from Rosehip's, Joe Kazickas who started in this business in 1989 with E.T. Dayton, then joined Allan Schneider, then co-founded Dunemere Associates in 1992, which grew to five offices and was then sold in 2004 to Brown Harris Stevens.

Mr. Kazickas observes that though market conditions are poor and may be "staying soft into next year, possibly 2010, it is a good time to develop our business in anticipation of better times. The primary reason for going into business now is because we feel we can do a better job of running a real estate brokerage than our competition. I have heard a lot of complaints from brokers about the quality of direct management. As a manager I have always enjoyed engaging my agents, helping them solve problems and in becoming successful independent contractors."

Adding something new to offer clients, customers and agents, Rosehip Partners are "developing a rental portal website designed to let homeowners enter and edit their rental listings and to manage them (change availability dates, prices, upload photos, etc.). Those edits in turn are distributed electronically to other brokerages pre-selected by the owner. This eliminates having to call each broker to update his or her listing. It is a very friendly search engine domain which we expect will be the source of leads for agents who join us during poor markets and good ones."

He adds this insight: "I could never understand the value proposition behind large, expensive Main Street offices. It is a legacy business model that is costly and out of touch with not only how buyers shop for real estate today, but how the real estate agent of the 21st century works. And the worst part is that legacy overhead is carried on the backs of the real estate agent working at those firms, whose job of making a living is already tough enough. At Rosehip Partners we pass our savings through to the agent by way of significantly higher commission splits. In fact, our starting split is 70/30."

Rosehip has leased a great building at 251 Pantigo Road, which Mr. Kazickas says has "a great phone number (324-0009), and good feng shui. It's a place for our agents to come to and sufficient to do the job of processing transactions and marketing our firm."

Forewarned is forearmed! Where did name Rosehip come from, Joe?

A nice note, possibly instructive for other agents, from Richard D. Rawdin Previews Property Specialist Resort & Second Home Specialist from Coldwell Banker Previews Southampton: "Lona, you have always been so kind as to place some of my new exclusive listings as 'featured' in your Real Estate News section of The Independent. My exclusive listing at 50 Hildreth Street in Southampton Village has been sold. It closed in May. The new owners have moved and they are very happy. I felt that I needed to share this info with you so that others know that homes are being sold and closed due to your wonderful page of information that I look forward to reading every issue."

Well, so glad it worked for you, Richard, and thanks for the recognition. Mr. Rawdin praises, as well Beau Hulse, a Principal Broker at Coldwell. "He is an inspiration to work for in this challenging business of real estate. He always has the time to sit down and talk about every single deal or exclusive listing that I am working on, and intuitively comes up with an 'outside the box' solution or idea for me. I totally love working with this man!"

Appreciation is nice.

Continued luck, Richard. Lastly, we hear that Brown Harris Stevens is shutting down its East Hampton office on Newtown Lane. Downsizing or a lateral move? Well, we shall see, because East End real estate is a very strange, but often grateful, business.

Contact us at lonafirst@aol.com and visit gettingbackinthegame.com. Realty Takes can also be seen at indyeastend.com.

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