New York, NY—Stacey Froelich has been a real estate agent in Manhattan for 20 years, and she attributes her longevity in the industry to the relationships she’s cultivated with clients.
“I think that's what has made me successful and what has given me longevity in this career is to not focus on the actual sale or the big sale or the complicated sale, I focus on the client and the relationship,” said Froelich.
“It doesn’t matter to me if it’s a $4 million sale or a studio sale, what really matters to me is the relationship.”
That’s why Froelich likes working for Compass, where she's been an agent for six years, because the company doesn’t emphasize the transaction.
She’s currently training some agents on her team so that they, too, understand the importance of building relationships because in the long run that is the basis for referral business opportunities.
“If a client wants to buy something that you really, truly don’t think is a great property or a solid investment, you need to tell them. You don’t have to think ‘Oh, if I tell them they’re not going to get the deal,’ because you’ll get the relationship forever, you'll gain their trust and ultimately, they will refer their friends and family as they know they will be in good hands. That is how I built this amazing business,” said Froelich.
The coronavirus pandemic has forced the real estate industry, just like so many other businesses, to change the way they interact with clients. Froelich would meet with clients, pre-pandemic, to begin the process of helping them find their new home. But now she starts that process by setting up an intake call or Zoom where she learns as much about the buyer as she can.
Ultimately, she has to talk about finances, which she admits isn’t always the most comfortable discussion.
“It is necessary, however, because especially if a client is going to buy a co-op, which many of our clients do, we really need to make sure that we are not showing them properties in a building that won’t work for them, we don’t want them falling in love with a property if they can't pass the board because they don't have enough liquidity or the proper debt-to-income ratio,” Froelich said.
After that discussion, the client then gets an invitation to Compass’s visual workspace tool that includes all the properties that Froelich has curated based on the discussions she’s had with clients about the features they’re looking for in a new home.
“I do a search and go through each and every property and only share something that I think really meets their expectations…what they told me they need or what I think….even if it is a little of an outlier, just based on our conversation I think it is worthwhile to send, and if it is an outlier, I’ll make a comment on the property, ‘I know you said you didn’t want to be further east than 1st Avenue, but I’m recommending this property. I want them to know that I was listening," noted Froelich.
The client then peruses the properties curated in the Collections tool and informs Froelich which properties they’d like to see.
Froelich takes pride in giving her honest opinion when visiting a property with a client. For example, just last week she convinced a client not to buy an apartment because it stares out at a brick wall.
“She loved the apartment, and she’s coming from a place that is really noisy, so the apartment seemed very appealing to her. But I said in the long run it’s not easy to sell a property that looks into brick walls,” began Froelich.
“She was so appreciative, she said ‘I could have made an offer, and you could have had a deal,’ but that is not how I work,” Froelich said.
Despite the pandemic, Froelich and her team have been very busy, which she is very grateful for.
“We are absolutely, positively selling—we have over 20 properties in contract, and accepted offers on several, exclusive properties.”
One of those properties currently on sale is a magnificent 3-bedroom, 3-bath, 2,100 square foot apartment at 400 East 56th Street that features magical views of uptown and the East River.
Froelich said it’s a fantastic opportunity for a buyer who is looking to purchase the equivalent of a house in Manhattan because they need the space. In addition to the three bedrooms, there’ a living room, dining room, a den, a balcony and breathtaking views.
Plus, the property is in a co-op building that happens to have amazing amenities, which includes a gym, a pool, children’s play room and a bike room. Also, the utilities are included in the maintenance, which equals significant savings for such a big property.
The property has been on the market for several weeks, but Froelich believes there’ll be a buyer soon because the value of the property is just too good to pass up. And during the pandemic, buyers are demanding better prices.
“There’s a lot more work in showing a property, but we are definitely seeing serious buyers out there who want better prices, which they’re getting, and they want lower mortgage rates, which is a huge reason to buy right now,” said Froelich.
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