For the latest spotlight on the amazing Realtors who answer Realtor.com's Q&A section, we head to New York City with Luke Constantino, Realtor at Remax at The Slope
Why Remax at The Slope? Because Brooklyn is “The New Manhattan”,and with the large influx of people who want to live here from everywhere in the world, Remax New York seems to be the perfect match. I, being born and raised here in New York City , am more than happy to show them around my neighborhood… The Greatest city in the world!
Luke is a native New Yorker who loves his city with a passion. With over 15 years in the real estate field, he brings a level of skill and professionalism found only through experience. He has proven to be a tremendous asset to his clients when it comes to analyzing and understanding the market, accessing information quickly, and bringing closure to a transaction. Every deal is a new experience and every client a lasting relationship.
Prior to entering real estate, Luke enjoyed a successful career as a stock broker for a major brokerage firm. He has also held the position of Social Media and marketing Chairman for The Brooklyn Board of Realtors. On his time off, he takes pleasure in going to the theater, fitness and dining at the many exquisite gourmet restaurants New York City has to offer.
1) You transitioned from life as a stockbroker to a career as a Realtor. What was that like and who has it tougher in a down market, realtors or brokers?
Being a stock broker is very much like being a Realtor. The more educated the buyer/seller, the smoother the transaction. I have to admit, as a stock broker, my clients were more stressed in a down market than in real estate. Even though the clientele and product was different, it was always about closing the deal. I always put myself in the buyers/seller’s shoes to make sure the deal was a perfect fit.
I literally negotiate deals with millions of dollars every day with the most affluent people buying and selling the finest properties New York City has to offer. Though carefully analyzing Remax International and a majority of their associates throughout the country, I found it to be a very smart move. The majority of my referrals are from Remax, the most widely known real estate company in the world.
2) New York City can be a very complicated market, how do you walk first time buyers through the differences between condos and co-ops and how do you prepare people for dealing with co-op boards?As we all know, condos are fee simple, meaning you own the unit outright, as for coops, you own shares of the co-op corporation that owns your building. Each serves a purpose for the diverse variety of people who live here. We also have something called a “Condop” in NYC which is a condo owned by the cooperative-ownership structure (It can be somewhat confusing). Manhattan was built on coops… We deal with quite a lot of them here.
How-to prepare for a co-op board… that can be a seminar in itself! I usually tell people to be prepared to show almost all financial records, which no one wants to do. A buyer once told me: “It’s like being stripped down naked and thrown to the lions”. Make sure all letters of reference start with “Dear Members of the Board” not “To whom it May concern”.Always dress appropriately and look presentable. You never know what might be a reason for rejection. So put your best foot forward and keep things simple and light! I also have a guide I give potential coop buyers to help them complete a board package, it makes things less painful.
3) What’s your favorite neighborhood in Brooklyn and why?
Brooklyn is my home, that’s impossible to that… It is so diverse here. There’s literally something for everyone: Historic architecture, parks, museums, fine dining, entertainment and all kinds of shopping and stores: Even Coney Island!!!
Again, I think New York Magazine said it best:“Brooklyn is the new Manhattan”.
4) If you could sell a unit in any building in NYC, what listing would it be? Is there any building that you have always wanted to represent?A Tribeca Duplex Penthouse Masterpiece: sheathed in museum quality, high-performance, insulated glass set atop an historic Art Deco loft building at 145 Hudson Street. The glass envelope of its 7500 interior square feet was designed to provide the utmost quiet indoor environment, with the maximum exposure to the 4500 square feet of private, wrap around terrace and the 360-degree panoramic views of Manhattan and the Hudson River are spectacular!
145 Hudson Street #PH: Asking 48,000,000
145 Hudson Street #PH: Asking 48,000,000
5) New York City is the city that never sleeps and always eats, what’s your favorite restaurant in your neighborhood (or beyond)?Let’s face it: I’m a guy, and I love steak… What guy doesn’t?
Peter Luger Steakhouse has been rated the number one steakhouse in the country for over 24 years. Old wooden tables and chairs are complimented by these old world type chandeliers and saw dust on the floor. Trust me… Once you bite into one of their steaks, you will know why this is a world renowned steak house. On any given night, it’s not uncommon to have a celebrity or some Yankees or Mets sitting across from you. Sometimes it takes 3 months to get a dinner reservation. Here’s a secret tip from a Native New Yorker:
Go at 11AM…Most of the time you don’t need a reservation for lunch.
261 4th Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11215
Direct: (212) 300-3919