Real estate plays a major role in our lives and is one of the most important and significant investments most of us will make, whether it's an investment property or owning our own home.
When it comes to the purchase of a property there are lots of elements to consider. For many of us, these essential pieces of the puzzle are unknown so it's challenging for us to see the bigger picture. We want to be confident that our needs and desires are properly maintained throughout the process while our best interest is protected enabling us to make the right decision when we fall in love with a property at first sight.
"When I make the connection between a client and property, I treat it with all seriousness," say real estate professional Katya Bruen, a licensed broker at Halstead Property in Manhattan. "I check every detail and make every consideration/I don't give up on any step. I make sure that all the requirements and customer expectations are met, and I take the time time for due dilligence, ensuring that every aspect is being closely examined so that my client is protected. I don't just try hard, I get it done."
It's been six years since Bruen first began working in New York rela estate, and she's worked diligently to establish her career using more admirable standards than many of the sharks swimming around the waters of the real estate industry. Bruen decalres, "The basis for my work with customers lies in the fact that I know why my job entails, which is to act with integrity and figure out what my client wants and then translate it into reality. These factors often include location, condition of the home, and of course the price."
A native of Israel and world-traveler, Bruen has diverse international experience that is especially beneficial to foreign buyers. She says, "I arrived in New York City many years ago with a background in technology as well as hospitality sales. After getting my real estate license, I wanted to work in an advanced firm with innovative marketing and lots of client resources. I joined Nest Seekers, which was Israeli-owned and an up and coming company at the time. It proved to be an excellent choice for me and gave me a foundation to build upon as a new real estate salesperson."
Katya quickly becamea key figure in the company, working with a diverse roster of customers that lead to a wide variety of deals throughout the city. Extensive field work and close relationships with colleagues and clients are treasured memories that she still fosters today. "I love working with people," Bruen exclaims. "I'm confident in my approach to business but I'm also friendly and do my best to make people feel comfortable around me.I have a reputation for being fair but a tough negotiator. Ironically, many of the people who have been on the opposite side of a deal from my client have asked me to represent them on their next transaction, and that's a fact I'm proud of."
When she returned to Israel several years ago to care for her grandparents, she had the opportunity to build her business globally working with a host of international clients, including from China, England and Germany, among others. Eventually she returned to New York and continued to ascend in her career while making a move to a new brokerage.
Bruen remembers, "I decided to take a step up. I was looking for a company that was more in line with my goals and objectives and one that could provide the support I needed to build and expand my brand. As in everything, I was very diligent in my process to align with the best firm. I did my research, interviewed colleagues, weighed the pros and cons, and inevitably found the best place for me was at Halstead Property.I just knew I had a home there. It was a gut instict, similiar to the ones my buyers experience when they find their new home."
Currently, Bruen works in Halstead's Upper East Side office and focuses on Manhattan properties, but she is well networked and prides herself on being a valuable resource for buyers and sellers worldwide. She says that approximately a third of her current clients are Chinese. "I can find people a piece of property just about anywhere from Brooklyn, Wall Street, and that Hamptons to the South of France. I'm connected and I know how to get it done," decalres Bruen.
Just recently she attended an annual international real estate conference in Cannes, France, where she co-hosted events and attended VIP seminars with the Who's Who from Tel Aviv to London and Berlin. "I love connecting people and connecting with people," declares Bruen.
In general, Bruen believes in New York today more than ever and when you're in conversation with her, it is impossible not to notice the passion she has for discovering pearls that match her customer's requests. "Today is the perfect time to buy something in New York.Call it the 'perfect storm'-- low gas prices, low interest rates, a better economy, people are employed again, and consumer confidence is up," she exclaims. According to her, demand in the city is higher than ever and there are good deals to be found. People are recognizing that they can buy more for less if they act now and maybe even see a profit in the short-term.
Bruen shares, "One of my clients sold an apartment in the same year in which he acquired it. The original purchase price was $518,650 but eight months later he sold it for $650,000. More recently, I had customers who bought a place for $925,000 and asked me to sell it. Today it's in contract for $1.4MM."
She says a key factor in finding the right property is keeping an open mind with respect to location and trying not to restrict yourself. Bruen claims, "These days, there are many emerging neighborhoods with good opportunities for first-time home buyers in almost every urban environment."
When Bruen shares about her process of working with clients, it seems to be rooted in approachability. She says, "I'm very open with people; I want them to feel comfortable. As we get to know each other,I begin to lead them through the process, setting realistic goals and objectives, while sharing my knowledge as it relates to their search." Furthermore she says, "It's important for people to understand that they need to commit some time to letting me educate them in the market, and I do that by taking them out to see apartments so that they begin to recognize value as it relates to their budget, wants, and needs with respect to purchasing a home. And it's the same process for my sellers. They have to know and see their competition."
Obviously, Bruen gets to know her clients very well during this process so she says it's about establishing long-term relationships. Most of her clients keep in touch and ask her to assist them with their next real estate transaction as well as continually refer her to their friends and family. Bruen says, "Build your team wisely. Choosing the right real estate broker to represent you is essential to a successful deal. You want to find someone you connect with personally and professionally. But it's also important to meet with your financial advisor and a qualified real estate attorney. If you don't have one, a good broker will be able to recommend someone."
New York is the ultimate fusion of cultures, and Bruen is well aware that being Israeli has been a huge asset. She says, "I'm a fighter. I'm personal, but I'm straight forward, even if it's not in line with my own financial interests. My client's interests are most important. I'm used to working with large investors who speak multiple languages and have big goals, but I also work with families to find their dream home, and that's a privilege I dont' take lightly. I know how to work with customers overseas or just around the corner. I set high standards and I'm uncompromising in achieving them with integrity. I came here to work and to win."
Thursday, May 21, 2015