1st Quarter 2017 Market Report

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We have a lot to celebrate this spring.  In Westchester, close to 7 percent more homes were sold in the first quarter of this year compared to a year ago. When new homes come on the market, they attract multiple bidders, and they go fast. 30 percent of all homes went at or above the asking price. The future looks strong.

Read more in our 1st Quarter 2017 Market Report: http://bit.ly/q117wpd

 

Come fly with us—on BLADE

By E.J. Kelley – From: HERD the Houlihan Lawrence blog 

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We’re thrilled to be the exclusive real estate partner of BLADE, the sleek private aviation startup hailed by some as “the Uber of Helicopters.”

The partnership, which begins this month, will bring prominent exposure for all Houlihan Lawrence listings, appearing to BLADE flyers throughout their journeys. Houlihan Lawrence clients can also receive a special discount on BLADE services, which include helicopter, jet and seaplane service from New York City to destinations including the Hamptons, Nantucket, Miami and the Bahamas.

Houlihan Lawrence property videos will play from the firm’s Instagram feed in BLADE lounges, where the firm’s quarterly print magazines will be available for in-flight reading. The firm has also produced a bespoke digital lifestyle publication to display on iPads at lounge bars and on BLADE One jets.

Founded in 2015 by Warner Music veteran Rob Wiesenthal, BLADE has seen a rapid ascent into the pantheon of luxury brands. The fashion-forward, digital-first brand company lets clients book services on demand using their proprietary mobile app. Options include booking by seat, crowdsourcing an already-scheduled flight or chartering your own private flight. Membership is not required.

Industry Leader Jim Gricar Joins HL Executive Team

By E.J. Kelley – From: HERD the Houlihan Lawrence blog 

We’re thrilled to announce the appointment of one of real estate’s most respected industry leaders, Jim Gricar, as our General Sales Manager. In this newly created executive position, Jim will oversee sales and agent development for the residential, commercial and project marketing divisions of Houlihan Lawrence. He will work hand in hand with Chris and Stephen Meyers—our CEO—on business development initiatives.

“Houlihan Lawrence is a storied brand with tremendous momentum, and I’m thrilled to join the Meyers family in writing this next chapter of the firm’s history,” Jim remarked. “This role presents opportunities that are a natural career progression for me, and being a homeowner in both Connecticut and the Hudson Valley gives me the added bonus of being passionate about the communities Houlihan Lawrence serves.”

A native of Cleveland, Jim moved to New York City in 1989, working in financial services. He found his passion in real estate at The Corcoran Group, where as an agent he was fast recognized for his sales expertise, sharp judgment and ability to close deals quickly. He later served as Executive Vice President ad Managing Director of Sales for Brown Harris Stevens West Side division, which grew exponentially under his leadership, dominating the luxury market share. Gricar became President of New York-based Halstead Property in 2011, rising from his prior title of General Sales Manager and presiding over the firm’s growth from 900 to 1,200 agents. He’s also a frequent lecturer and media commentator on current market conditions.

“New York City fuels our entire region and Jim’s firsthand city knowledge, combined with his sales prowess, uniquely positions him for success in our company,” said Chris Meyers, our Managing Principal. “He has key relationships that will strengthen our ability to serve clients relocating to our communities, which is happening at an increased rate. Since 2012, the number of home buyers moving to Westchester from New York City rose from 36 percent to 42 percent.”

HL Welcomes New Canaan’s Brotherhood & Higley

By E.J. Kelley – From: HERD the Houlihan Lawrence blog 

Brotherhood & Higley, the storied brokerage proudly serving the New Canaan community since 1926, has joined Houlihan Lawrence as our latest independently-owned affiliate. The firm’s picturesque Elm Street headquarters will now operate as Houlihan Lawrence, providing its team of over 30 agents and their clients complete access to our marketing platform.

“I have known and admired Houlihan Lawrence and its ownership team for years, and I am thrilled to now become part of their team,” said Hugh Halsell, Managing Broker of Brotherhood & Higley. “Both Brotherhood & Higley and Houlihan Lawrence are family-owned, with a similar culture and commitment to the clients we serve. I simply can’t imagine a better fit. Additionally, the affiliate program is a perfect opportunity for my company to tap into the power of the Houlihan Lawrence brand. Their marketing platform is second to none–including sophisticated digital and print media strategies designed specifically for our market area.”

The successful affiliate program launched in January through our partnership with Kelly Associates, the longstanding #1 brokerage in Darien. The New Canaan office is our fifth brick-and-mortar location in Fairfield County, a market we entered in August 2013 with the opening of our Greenwich office—now the #1 ranked brokerage in town.

Houlihan Lawrence Listings Now On Brownstoner

By E.J. Kelley

Brooklyn, Brooklyn, take us in.

Beginning this week, all Houlihan Lawrence listings are now available in property search on Brownstoner, the borough’s most-read website. The hyper-local site, launched in 2004, covers real estate, renovation, architecture and neighborhood news throughout King’s County, from musings on the latest luxury condos to what’s new at the Park Slope Food Co-Op. It received accolades in 2008 from the Historic Districts Council for its role in preservation and enjoys countless mentions in national publications publications including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, The New Yorker and New York Magazine.

To find our listings, simply select Property Search > Upstate and browse accordingly. Because G train service isn’t improving anytime soon.

HL Ranked Among Top 15 Brokerages Nationwide

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By: E.J. Kelley

We’re thrilled to announce we’ve ranked No. 13 in the 2015 REAL Trends 500, bumping us five places from the No. 18 slot last year. The report, based on dollar volume of sales, ranks the country’s largest and most successful residential real estate firms and is the most trusted standard of performance measuring these leading brokerages.

Thanks to our hardworking and immensely talented agents, we saw double-digit growth, outpacing other top grossing companies with lower year-over-year gains: our company‐wide sales volume of $5.3 billion in 2014 represented a 14% jump from 4.7 billion in 2013. Our Connecticut expansion, which began with the opening of our Greenwich office, brought an additional $500 million in sales alone in 2014. That office is currently ranked No. 1 in Greenwich based on total dollar volume.

Additionally, Houlihan Lawrence agents were responsible for one out of every three homes sold in Westchester County in 2014 and one out of every four homes sold in Putnam County.

“We are extremely proud of the collective achievements of the over 1,200 agents in the Houlihan Lawrence family,” said Stephen Meyers, President and CEO of Houlihan Lawrence. “The firm’s 125 year heritage of success is grounded on providing superior client service with experienced analysis, local knowledge and continued innovation. Our hardworking and immensely talented agents have placed Houlihan Lawrence as a nationally ranked top tier brokerage.”

Houlihan Lawrence Named Official Honoree for 2015 Webby Awards

 

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The secrets of the lone broker website to nab 2015 ‘Webby’ honoree status. Houlihan Lawrence’s clean, image-forward design and innovative search experience contributed to recognition.

By: Paul Hagey 

Houlihan Lawrence, the large real estate brokerage based in New York, overhauled its website last May with a focus on bringing images front and center and offering consumers a streamlined search experience.

The tweaks helped it become the sole brokerage site of the 13 websites recognized by the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences for its 19th annual Webby Awards — a leading award for “excellence on the Internet” — in the real estate website category.

Webby Award spokeswoman Denise Roman declined to share how many firms submitted their websites for consideration in the real estate website category, but she said the group received a total of 13,000 submissions across all categories.

Although it’s not clear just how many real estate sites the 1,200-agent firm competed against for the honor, it shares a nomination with tech heavyweight Zillow and startup Revaluate, so it’s in good company, and a look at its site may offer some brokerages ideas for how to spruce up their own.

Houlihan Lawrence’s head of digital, Anne Marie Gianutsos, attributes the Webby honor to the screen-filling design of the firm’s new site, especially the heavy investment it makes in custom HD videos for its most photogenic listings.

Each Houlihan Lawrence listing video varies, but they all have a storyline tailored to the home itself and sometimes feature hired actors or interviews with the home sellers, who share what they love about their house, Gianutsos told Inman. The brokerage uses video production company PlatinumHD to produce all of its listing videos, she said.

Whether they have video or not, all listings feature large photos that dominate the property detail pages, made more prominent by the site’s design, especially its clean, white background.

As with many websites nowadays, the site features a mobile-responsive design that highlights one of its standout features: search.

When homebuyers select a property from the site’s list-based search results page to get more info, the listing simply expands on the page, streamlining the home search process by eliminating the need to open up a new page for each property a user wants to explore.

For its map-based search, Houlihan Lawrence built custom icons to delineate between land, homes and units in buildings for sale, and made visualizing the listings easy by grouping listings into bunches when the zoom level doesn’t accommodate easy viewing of all properties, a feature that several real estate search leaders (like Redfin and Zillow) incorporate.

One thing that may not have affected its Webby Award nod but has been nonetheless significant for the firm was the addition of social media-sharing buttons for Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Google Plus on the property detail pages of all the listings on the site, Gianutsos said.

Adding those buttons to the site, along with a new social media ambassador program, helped Facebook supplant Trulia as the top source of lead generation traffic after organic search and direct site visits for the firm, Gianutsos said. The program put one person in each of the brokerage’s 30 offices in charge of hyping the brand on its official social media channels in its local market, she said.

Houlihan Lawrence’s site is one of eight real estate-related “honorees,” a new Webby Award designation this year that honors the top 20 percent of the sites submitted for consideration in each category. Consumers will vote a winner from this group.

A different set of five real estate sites make up the Webby Award real estate website category’s crème, known as “nominees,” which include Zillow, home remodeling site Porch, and rentals sites Lovely, Rent.com and Nooklyn. Webby Award judges will choose a winner from this set.