Technology is shaking up the real estate market by seeking to systemize and automate processes that — threaten the job security of real estate agents, by allowing buyers to tour homes solo and easing the process of making an offer. With this, an expert’s support is still essential for success in New York City’s notoriously competitive co-op market.
The nature of the New York real estate market is a combination of personal client circumstances, their home aspirations, and the unique qualifications of the co-op board - these variables require the personal, didactic guidance of somebody who knows the ebb and flow of the market.
Co-ops, which some press reports indicate makeup as much as 74 percent of the city’s apartment property stock, differ from condos in those people who buy units become shareholders in the overall building. Individual shareholders can then run to join the co-op boards that handle everything from managing trash and mail deliveries to approving new residents.
It’s those interviews that can often make or break someone’s application to live in a co-op, even if they have perfect credit scores and zero problems obtaining a mortgage. Other cities such as Washington, D.C., have co-ops, but not to the widespread extent of New York City.
That’s something Kelly Robinson, a senior luxury real estate broker and founder of The Kelly Robinson Team with Compass, knows all too well. She has over 17 years of experience selling residential real estate in New York City, focusing on luxury homes. During that time, she’s seen how technology is disrupting the property market -- and also sees the limits of what it's able to do.
AI is replacing some of the services that real estate agents have performed in the past, for example, with Redfin allowing buyers to tour homes without agents. And the startup Knock, founded in 2015, uses technology to simplify the process of trying to buy a property.
Kelly stays on top of the latest developments in the property sector to help inform the around-the-clock service that she gives clients in navigating the city’s tricky co-op applications.
“New York is unlike other markets in the country,” she says. “Potential buyers have to go through a rigorous process to even be considered for an interview. You can’t automate that.”
Kelly adds, “People who try to do it themselves with the co-op applications usually see them rejected even after spending months to get all of the documents that the co-op board might require, such as their tax returns, information about their work history, bank statements and anything else about their finances. That’s not something technology can streamline.”
Kelly offers her clients the insights that she has gained over her many years of experience with helping people successfully apply for their dream co-op apartments. Using her relationships and contacts built over her time in the industry, she personally navigates the process for each of her clients to live in their New York dream home.
She knows the right things to say, the right documents to submit, and the right way to respond to often highly intrusive queries from co-op boards throughout the city. It’s a vital human element that no computer will ever likely be able to replicate, no matter how advanced.
The personal touch Kelly offers also helped her to quickly develop a dedicated client base, with word of mouth spreading fast about her shrewd but caring approach to helping aspiring homeowners achieve their goals. “I have an empathetic approach to negotiation which is perfect for residential sales which are emotional transactions for both sellers and buyers,” she says. “However, that doesn’t mean I am not tough enough to get it done.”
Name: Kelly Robinson
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Organization: The Kelly Robinson Team
Release ID: 89065449