Inman Luxury Connect returns live, Oct. 25-26, 2021, at the Aria Hotel and Resort in Las Vegas. In the lead-up to the big event, we’re talking with scheduled speakers and other top luxury agents about a big recent deal. Consider this a taste of the knowledge that will be shared at Luxury Connect. Make plans to join us.

When the pandemic first broke out, many saw FaceTime sales as an ad-hoc solution to clients who were stuck in quarantine or otherwise unable to enter the country.

But now that we’re almost two years in, sales done entirely online show no sign of winding down. Case in point: Compass agent McKenzie Ryan recently sold a $2.5 million condo unit in New York’s Meatpacking District to clients who were looking for an investment and never planning to come into the city.

The luxury sphere, which frequently works with clients looking to buy second, third or investment properties, is particularly prone to these types of automated transactions.

Here, Ryan tells us all about why she expects to be doing a lot more of these types of sales in the future.

Inman: What is a recent transaction that you’re particularly proud of?

McKenzie Ryan

McKenzie Ryan: I sold a two-bed, two-bath with outdoor space in the Meatpacking District in February over FaceTime to investors. The final sale was $2.465 million and it was listed at $2.495 million. Only $30,000 of a gap.

How did the sale come to happen on FaceTime:?

The investors live in Singapore by way of the U.K. and they were looking to purchase an investment property in New York City that they could rent out.

They wanted outdoor space, given the current climate, and they sent a representative to look at the space while we did a FaceTime as well as a couple of subsequent video walk-throughs on my phone. I sent a lot of photos as well.

They went into contract before we ever fully listed the property. It appeared only on the Compass “Coming Soon” listings and it sold shortly after.

How did the FaceTime tour work?

I answered all of their questions via FaceTime and then would send any follow-up videos or subsequent questions that they had about the space. We did a total of two virtual meetings so that they could see the apartment at different times of the day.

Was there anything about this sale that would have benefited from being done in-person?

A lot of the purchase came down to the numbers and what type of return they thought they could get on the investment, which we assisted them with, and the proximity of the building to the High Line. [It was important for them to be] in a very attractive and rapidly-growing neighborhood and so that was perfect for their type of purchase.

FaceTime sales became common as a response to the challenges posed by the pandemic. Do you believe that they will remain a regular occurrence, particularly for investment purchases?

They are certainly useful not only for expanding our reach but also for showcasing the different properties for sale. As recently as July, I have been using FaceTime as well as Instagram stories to highlight the properties that I sell. I secured a contract for a property that I posted in an Instagram story and then did a follow-up with the client.

In a fast-paced market like New York City, having the ability to preview and apartment and get an early look at it even though it may not be in-person is a route that a lot of buyers are honing in on and partaking in because they can potentially beat out other buyers by putting in a strong offer early and going to contract within a week or so.

Email Veronika Bondarenko

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