- If you are an independent brokerage proud of your local market connections, a website that encapsulates the quirkiness of your area can press that competitive advantage home.
Erik Serras, the co-founder and principal broker of Brooklyn-based independent brokerage Ideal Properties Group, was born in Brooklyn, as were generations of his family before him, back to the time when parts of the New York borough were still farmland.
Brooklyn is quite a different environment in 2017, a place where all the urban hipsters want to be, sending the average price of a home in Brownstone and North Brooklyn to nearly $1.54 million, according to Ideal’s latest market report for the first quarter of 2017.
And to put a stamp of authority on its independent knowledge of the market, the 10-year-old business has just launched a redesign of its website giving colorful snapshots of micro-markets in Brooklyn and a beautifully shot video of Brooklyn and the quality of lifestyle people can lead there.
The revamp of Ideal’s website was driven by the firm’s desire to make reliable real estate and neighborhood data more accessible to its new development, sales and rental teams as well as to clients, customers, colleagues, friends and media, said co-founder Aleksandra Scepanovic.
The project has been a yearlong collaboration working with videographers, artists, designers, marketers, external vendors, SEO experts, developers and programmers.
Not surprisingly, every Manhattan brokerage these days wants to have an office or a base in Brooklyn.
Ideal’s co-founders, Serras and Scepanovic, are regularly approached by New York City’s big real estate firms wanting to make Ideal their Brooklyn base.
The brokerage, which started as an internet-based broker from a spare bedroom in Prospect Heights, has offices in Cobble Hill, Gowanus, Park Slope and Williamsburg and a staff of over 200 real estate brokers and salespeople.
The response to interested parties by Ideal, which was sixth largest brokerage in agent count in 2016, according to the The Real Deal, has always been a firm “no, thanks.”
“Brooklyn is Manhattan with attitude,” as one Ideal agent says in the mini-film.
“The last few years saw many changes both in real estate and technology, and we were excited for a fresh reboot of the website for both our agents and the market needs,” said Serras, who said the website is in its third incarnation.
In Brooklyn, which attracts creatives, media types and Manhattanites looking for second homes, Scepanovic and Serras are most definitely not looking for Manhattan-style, hard-selling real estate agents when recruiting.
They are looking for the kind of people who mirror the Brooklyn hipsters themselves and people with a good “bedside manner,” said Scepanovic.
The website, which has customizable searches, includes a video explanation from some of the brokerage’s agents about their experience at the company.