All Things Real Estate: Big isn’t always better

All Things Real Estate: Big isn’t always better
Philip Raices

Part I

On June 3, 2015 I received a call from a gentleman who was inquiring about assisting him in tracking down a rental for August for his client. His client was coming to New York for a project he was involved with, but he was clandestine and very secretive about the project. I thought maybe this was something illegal or possibly something dealing with the stock market or a financial project.

Maybe it was like one of these Nigerian scams, where they have $20 million that they want you to deposit and I would get paid a percentage.  But then again, this person’s client was going to be living somewhere on Long Island, so I figured this wasn’t one of those scams, but I needed more of an explanation to understand the specifics.

He continued to describe what his client needed.  A home, preferably on the North Shore’s Gold Coast with a pool, waterfront or water view. It had to have a tennis court and a place to potentially land a helicopter to pick him up to go to NYC.

Most critical was his mandatory request for a tub within the owner’s ensuite bathroom (not a shower).  I asked him why and at the time he was mum about explaining why this was crucial for him to consider renting.

He needed a home with at least five to six bedrooms and at least  3 1/2 to four bathrooms, 6,000-7,000 interior square feet on at least one to two acres with the utmost maximum privacy as possible. He had a budget of around $35,000 for the month.  I conveyed to him that I would begin our search and told him to expect to hopefully receive emails that day.  I prefer not to mention his name right now.

I would personally handle the search for this client (and not my assistant at that time), as I thought that it sounded like a very successful and established individual and appeared to be a quite serious inquiry.

I dealt with it with expediency to make sure that I found a place with all his specific requirements to satisfy his needs and wants.  It was the most high-end rental that I had ever dealt with for a single-family home outside of a triplex that I rented on West 72nd St in Manhattan back in 1999 for $42,000 per month.

I searched our MLS and sent the associate several choices that I felt would work.  He picked out only one that closely matched what his client might consider.  I set up the appointment and went with the associate to go take a look.  Unfortunately, almost everything worked, except there was no tub in the owner’s suite.

I now totally understood that his client was adamant about the tub and wouldn’t settle for anything less.

I happened to find someone I knew who was selling his home in Kings Point. I made a call to him to see if he would consider renting it out from Aug. 1-31.  He was open to that idea since he told me that he was going to California for the entire month. He also realized that there was quite a lot of money involved for only one month, which would pay a good portion of his taxes for an entire year.

This assuredly sparked his interest.  He had thought at the time that he wouldn’t sell his home that quickly, so it made a lot of sense to entertain the idea of renting.  We made an appointment and visited the home by the water.

The associate thoroughly enjoyed the property as well as the interior.  Everything met his demands, including the tub.  After discussing it with the associate, I let him know that we were looking for a needle in a haystack and found it and wasn’t sure when the next place would surface as we both had a deadline to find something.

After some discussion, I was authorized to present an offer of $35,000.  The owner, whom I had known for many years, said, “I will think about it and let you know.  He couldn’t accept our offer, understandably, because his wife wasn’t home as he needed to discuss it with her.

I was a little concerned, but we felt the offer at full price was so good, how could they turn it down? The very next day the owner called me and said, tell your client that if he wants it he will have to pay $45,000 for the month.

I called the associate and told him what the counteroffer was and that was very disturbing to him as well as to me.  I thought that the owner became very greedy, knowing that the home was perfect for the associate’s client and figured he would pay the price.  Well, to my dismay, it didn’t work out for either party and we moved on to find the next suitable location.

The good news for me was that the associate and his client decided that they were going to work with me exclusively, due to the way I was determined to find a home and had been making the most concerted effort, with care and concern, compared to all the other agents from larger companies that they were working with.

In addition, I believe they must have checked my credentials and reviews via the Internet, in order to have come to that decision to work only with me.  That was a very satisfying moment in time knowing that I was the one they chose over everyone else.

It was sort of a David vs. Goliath scenario, although I hadn’t won the war just yet. I now knew it was do or die and that I had to absolutely find that elusive rental.

I have a certain amount of space in my weekly columns as per my editor, so come back next week to hear the end of my story and the person to whom I rented the home.

Philip A. Raices is the owner/Broker of Turn Key Real Estate at 3 Grace Ave Suite 180 in Great Neck.  For a 15-minute consultation, value analysis of your home, or to answer any of your questions or concerns he can be reached by cell: (516) 647-4289 or by email: [email protected] or via https://WWW.Li-RealEstate.Com  My New Electronic signature/Bio/Reviews to save to your Cell/PC contacts:

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