The High Road: Where have all the brokers gone?

Where have all the flowers gone? At this time of year especially, you won't find any dogwoods blooming or many brokers previewing. (Flickr photo: Martin LaBar)

There was a tour of open houses for brokers on Tuesday, and I decided to have a look at properties in the 90s and low 100s. We are invited on such tours at least once a week.

I doubt that more than a handful of other brokers took advantage of the opportunity on a cold, windy day in late fall.  Certainly, I didn’t see more than two or three other names on any of the sign-up sheets in the apartments I visited.

I also checked out half a dozen properties on Sunday; they were primarily in the Lincoln Square area.

Again, I was unaware of more than one or two brokers being out and about, at least from the tiny portion I inspected of the more than 400 apartments open on the Upper West Side that day.

No doubt, many brokers were accompanying their customers and clients to potential new homes.

But where was everyone else?  Maybe working at home or in their offices, researching databases, copying co-op board applications, waiting for walk-ins or telephone calls, whatever.

I have to wonder, though, where everyone else was.  I don’t know how anyone can keep up with the local housing market sitting at a desk or lounging on a couch.

As anyone who ever has looked at a listing knows, only an actual visit can reveal the truth about a property–the views, condition, room proportions and so on.

Constantly viewing a range of properties is the only way I can imagine that gives a broker the information he or she needs to asses other properties either for buyers or sellers.  It is an essential part of the work, and I don’t think that a broker can serve his or her client well by shirking the responsibility to find out what is available at what price.

And when a buyer asks about a particular property, it’s always nice–and reassuring to that individual–to be the broker who says he or she has actually been there.

If brokers don’t see going to open houses as part of the job, maybe they should look for work elsewhere.  Good luck with that!

With thanks to Peter, Paul and, of course, Mary, I know where all the flowers have gone.  But it’s a mystery to me what has happened to all the brokers.

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Malcolm Carter
Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker
Senior Vice President
Charles Rutenberg Realty
127 E. 56th Street
New York, NY 10022

M: 347-886-0248
F: 347-438-3201
Web site

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