Premier Agent is a StreetEasy product that can jump start, reboot or enhance your NYC real estate business. While it’s easy to lay out the benefits on paper, how well do the results work in the real life? We found out by speaking to a real, live NYC agent who’s using Premier Agent to his advantage, and he broke down a pretty cool story for us.
Kobi Lahav is a licensed real estate agent in NYC with more than 10 years of experience. He’s currently the Senior Managing Director at Mdrn. Residential, a mid-sized firm specializing in NYC residential sales and rentals. We recently connected with Lahav to hear about his successes using Premier Agent, both as a direct lead-generation tool and as a way to get his firm’s name and brand out there.
Have your dream apartment, and the renos too
“A couple contacted me about a loft in the 10003 ZIP code. She is an executive at a fashion company, he’s a trader at a big bank,” says Lahav. “They’re educated people with MBAs and they’re more than capable of handling the search themselves, but they don’t monitor real estate for a living.”
What he’s touching on here is a theme we come back to a lot at StreetEasy: Having a buyer’s agent is great for the buyer strictly because that agent will inherently have more bandwidth, more expertise, and more hours logged to understand and navigate the real estate market.
So Lahav took the couple on some showings, and then the clients leveled with him: They had decided on an apartment he hadn’t shown them and wanted to make an offer on it.
“[They] had agreed with the broker on a price, but they wanted my opinion on it,” he says. “So we set up a time, saw the apartment, and I thought it looked great. They were ready to offer $1.99 million, which was down from the original $2.3 million listing price.”
Lahav did a little legwork, brought some comp reports from the building to the couple, and decided that $1.99 million was just too much for the apartment, especially considering the couple wanted to do some renovations.
“I was only going to feel comfortable letting them pay somewhere between $1.8 and 1.9 million,” he says.
> See Lahav’s 6 tips on using Premier Agent to your advantage
The final closing price was $1.86 million. Within the span of a few showings, in tandem with some savvy conversations from the buyer’s agent’s side, Lahav managed to save them $130,000. What’s also great is that the couple was planning to pay about $120,000 in renovations.
As the buyer’s agent, Lahav managed to get a brand new client their dream apartment in their ideal building, complete with the renovations they wanted, all under the original offer they were going to submit.
“If you work with the listing agent directly, he doesn’t really have any incentive to change the price,” says Lahav. “He wants to make his 6 percent. So the higher the price, the more money he makes.”
Keeping the market in check
Let’s unpack this a bit: This agent (Lahav) got a direct lead from Premier Agent and met this highly motivated, well-educated couple to show them some apartments. They got so comfortable with his knowledge and honesty that they decided to involve him in an apartment they saw and wanted to bid on before they got in touch with Lahav. He then saved them six figures on the deal and garnered serious client loyalty from high-powered buyers in NYC.
But Lahav takes this a step further. He doesn’t just see a buyer’s agent as a good move for a buyer (which, it is). He also sees it as an equalizer — a check and balance for the market as a whole.
In his words: “By using me [as a buyer’s agent], first they saved money, but secondly we made the future prices better in the building for everyone else. If the buyer’s agent is doing his job right, they’re making the market more efficient, making sure, in this case, that the comparable apartments in that building stay in the fair price range of under $2 million.”
That makes this not only a success story for this particular couple, but a case study in how to believe in the integrity of a buyer’s agent both for clients and for a market as a whole. It wasn’t all facilitated by Premier Agent. Lahav hustled, owned his role in the transaction, and truly believes in the value of a buyer’s agent for the buyer and the market. But it started with a simple lead from Premier Agent.
Want more tips from Lahav on how to work those Premier Agent connections? Check out a full rundown here.