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5 Ways to Improve Your Social Media Reach as a Real Estate Agent in 2016

Social media has won, and it’s about time the blissfully ignorant fall in line, follow suit and learn how to get ‘followed’.

While some make the mistake of believing social media is simply a playground for selfies and other forms of self-indulgence, others recognize social media platforms as an arena for industries to communicate with those they service. Social media has become a vital marketing tool for steering business on and offscreen. This particularly true for real estate agents or brokers, who deal in interpersonal relations in addition to acting as an intermediary between buyers and sellers of homes. Learn a few pointers that will help you to improve your social media reach in the new year.

Tweet @ Specific Groups

It isn’t enough to simply tweet, you have to tweet effectively. One of the best ways to do this is to tweet at others. By inserting the ‘@’ and the beginning of your messages, you can your message at the intended audience. If you’re planning to educate an intended client about a beautiful new property, direct that message toward them and anyone else who might be interested.


Another helpful tip is to use hashtags. This is so very important because the use of hashtags encourages information to be accessed by individuals looking to learn about whatever you’re posting about. If you’re planning to tweet about New York Time’s article “The Appraisal: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Abruptly: Delivery Ramp Vexes Condo’s Residents in Lower Manhattan,” it should read “@nytimes The #Appraisal: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Abruptly: Delivery Ramp Vexes #Condo’s Residents in #Lower #Manhattan” when it reaches the world. That way the message is optimized and has the greatest reach.

Consider Your Social Media Choices

Choose the right social media platforms when sharing particular media. While some platform are for socializing and sharing information, others are simply designated for networking. Instagram is ideal for sharing the exteriors of beautiful homes and Facebook is a great place to showcase new properties. Also, Twitter is an incredible place to communicate and share industry news, which speaks to the housing market. However, if you venture sites such as Quora and Crunchbase and crowd it with with your own listings, others will view it as tacky.

Hyperlocal News

Cater to your local market and speak to those you service. Those in your area are more likely to follow and show interest than individuals who live several states away. Be sure to share information that relates to the your city and neighboring areas. Doing this shows your audience that you know about more than selling houses, you know about the area and the establishments within that area. Communicate your thoughts on nearby restaurants, places to purchase affordable antiques or changes in the community. Also, share localized data about low-cost rent, prime real estate and new developments.


Follow the Leads

Social media can be a great place for finding incredible leads. For real estates agent, living in New York City, watch for tweets from New Yorkers requesting recommendations for housing options. Turning your eye to this long list of potential clients is a bad decision. When possible, direct them to your website and communicate a relevant property.

For the real estate industry, social media is an incredible place. Today, real estate agents who are “plugged in” and know how to use these platforms as a vital tool outperform those who fail to.  I named five ways to improve your social media reach as a real estate agent in 2016, but there are other ways. also.


Is the Upper East Side moving to Brooklyn?

kevin brunnockThe luxury real estate market in Brooklyn, NY has been booming. Old properties that are on sale, in addition to newly constructed rental buildings, are all hitting the market priced at millions of dollars. This might sound strange to some. When most people think of million dollar homes in NYC they typically imagine decadent Manhattan Penthouses owned by the few, not modest family homes in Brooklyn. However, the trend of multi-million dollar Brooklyn homes has been on the rise as of late.

Industrial-style homes on Pacific Street, between Fourth Avenue and Henry Street, in Brooklyn are the new cash cows for investors in the city’s hippest borough. Douglas Elliman recently sold a $15.5 million mansion on that street. There has also been a string of mega-million deals on residential homes that have put a spotlight on a stretch of Pacific Street, which runs through Cobble HIll and Boerum Hill, areas near the Barclays Center. Noted celebrities have been buying homes in this area – another factor that has caused the boom. Singer Norah Jones even owns two houses in the area that are around the corner from each other.

Recently, investors have not only been re-selling homes but building new, cool, amenity-laden homes in vacant patches on the strip that are impossible to build in nearby neighborhoods such as Brooklyn Heights or even in the West Village. One of these new houses is about to hit the market for $12.5 million, which equates to over $2,000 a foot. New carriage-style homes are also making an appearance in the area. Located at 323 Pacific Street, the first home is a massive 6,000-square-foot, 25-foot-wide mansion. It features five bedrooms, an elevator, on-site parking, and custom Americana finishes. It is supposed to hit the market in late October 2015 for $12.5 million. While this is of course a sizable price tag, this house would list for around $40 million in Manhattan. Another home on Pacific Street, for example, was built with a 20-seat movie theater, a gym, a children’s playroom, a bar and wine cellar, a roof deck and parking facility.

Not only are houses being priced extremely high, but condos are as well. A new 30-unit condo development at 465 Pacific Street, designed by architect Morris Adjmi, is about to be listed at about 40% more than the neighborhood average, which is more than $1,4000 a foot. The diversity of the houses, from condos to brownstones to carriage houses to three-bedroom homes, is what is really luring wealthy individuals and celebrities to the area. Moreover, Pacific offers these high-profile individuals a low-key vibe, one which doesn’t attract the high tourist traffic of areas such as Brooklyn Heights. There are many factors that play into the boom of the luxury real estate market in Brooklyn, a trend that doesn’t seem to be slowing down any time soon.

To learn more about Brooklyn, see the message from Brooklyn Borough President, Eric Adams below.

To learn more visit



Forget Fashion Week, the luxury apartments hitting the market in NYC this Fall are the real showstoppers. Characterized by their sleek design, amenities, exclusivity, quality, and views, nothing has been left out or done mediocrely. The premium level of real estate has just topped itself.

1. Sleek Design

Architecturally appealing and innovative, apartments and living luxuriously somehow has gotten more stylish in New York City. The floorplans are streamlined and set up for effortless fluidity, providing you the space to utilize your space however you please.  Think: modern with elegance.

2. Amenities

The amenities are an endless sea, and if you think life couldn’t get any more convenient in the city, you were wrong. A skylit swimming pool, private spa suites featuring waterfall showers, saunas, thermal baths, steam rooms, gyms, landscaped gardens, and even an IMAX theater room are only a few of the amenities you can enjoy in these chic buildings. Private garages for your vehicles and bikes are also available.

3. Exclusivity

As you can imagine, exclusivity is a major component to the newest places to be revealed in the city. SHoP Architects tower will be joining “Billionaires Row” with views of Central Park. There will only be 60 units available, while British architect, Lord Norman Foster’s building in the same area will have a total of 94 units. Some contain as little as 14 units, making the apartments rare commodities.

4. Quality

And with design and exclusivity, comes quality. From the finishes on floors to the state-of-the-art kitchens, everything is up to the highest standard. Light fixtures are sleek and modern, supporting open-style floor plans.

5. The View

What is the overlying theme for some of the finest buildings hitting NYC? The view. It’s no secret that in Manhattan, the only way is up, and these buildings are doing it in style with floor-to-ceiling windows, and some are even doing it in 360 degrees. The abundance of windows creates openness and allows air to breath in the space. Architecture Prize winner, Zaha Hadid’s newest project along the high line demonstrates this trend with a glass curtain of windows.

There is a total of 5,300 units available this Fall. This is more than twice what there was last year.  It appears as though the market for luxury apartments and condominiums is ever growing. Leaving us to think, what will be next?


Info courtesy of nydailynews

Concerns over China’s econ Echo in NY Real Estate

yuan kevin brunnockRecent headlines from the financial sector have been directly tied to the real estate market in New York. Early last week, the Chinese government made a shocking move of devaluing their currency by 1.9 percent against the US dollar. This move marks the most significant single-day reduction in value in over twenty years. 1994 was the last time that China underwent a comparable markdown. The intention behind this devaluation of the renminbi appears to be to reduce capital outflows from China and essentially encourage Chinese investors to keep their resources exclusively in the Chinese markets.

Over the past year or so, China’s economy has slowed somewhat and the central Chinese bank responded by cutting interest rates to help lending and in turn ignite some positive movement in a floundering economic atmosphere.  However, this move decreased ROI on domestic bonds so investors focused their energy and allocated more resources in other countries.

The New York real estate market proved to be one of the sectors abroad that benefitted tremendously from the influx of attention from Chinese investors. Although the devaluation of the Chinese currency does nothing to change the ROI for Chinese investors investing within China, it does mean that New York real estate just got more expensive for these Chinese investors.

It is important to keep in mind however, that while this devaluation of the Chinese currency will impact individual investors, major Chinese companies will likely be shielded from the repercussions of this action. For example, Greenland Holdings and Xinyuan Real Estate  (both listed on Hong Kong and New York stock exchanges) earn a sizable portion of their monetary resources through selling stocks and bonds that are dollar denominated outside of China, meaning there is no conversion from Yuan to USD necessary. This is a major boon for larger Chinese corporations and for the New York real estate market dependent on resources from these foreign investors.

However, it remains to be seen how independent investors from China will proceed in the New York market if they don’t have any assets to leverage that don’t require currency conversions. On face-value, the outlook may not be great, but there are some who believe otherwise. According to economist at the Brookings Institution, David Dollar, this devaluation won’t have a huge effect on Chinese investment in the U.S. He instead believes that, “The question is where the currency goes from here.”  While he acknowledges that,  “There could start to be a devaluation trend,” Dollar does, “… not think that is likely.” Only time will tell!

$62M Surge in NYC Real Estate Tech Platforms

Kevin Brunnock New YorkIt’s no surprise really that tech startups and the real estate sector have started to combine forces through a variety of emerging management platforms. The current market-place and expansive set of data regarding buildings is finally becoming available through digital platforms, and software developers and young CEOs are looking to streamline in demand processes using the tools currently at their disposal and those in development.

Over the past few years, the real estate and tech sectors have continued to generate even more synergy, and real estate is becoming increasingly dependent on technology throughout all aspects of operation in the industry. Recent estimates reveal that investors in New York’s real estate industry pledged $62 million to digital platforms concerned with residential or commercial real estate in the first half of 2015 alone.

By the Numbers: First Quarter 2015 Funding

According to a recent report published by tech advisory company RE:Tech, New York City based tech companies commanded $28 million in the first quarter of 2015. This capital went to seven companies, and by the conclusion of the second quarter, these NYC-based real estate tech companies had inked deals worth $34 million.

Howard Milstein, chairman and chief executive officer of Milstein Properties and Emigrant Bank explained the overwhelming investor support in these types of technology services and new platforms in a press release in June that announced his company’s funding of management platform, “Honest Buildings”. Milstein claimed;

 “ With trillions of dollars spent on construction and building improvements annually, we see an untapped opportunity to realize significant savings and efficiencies by harnessing the power of data and information to enable better decision-making…”

Although many of the investments described in this report highlight large sums from individuals or companies, crowdfunding platforms that rely on smaller investments from a larger collective of investors have become a popular form of funding in recent years. Since January of 2015 the crowdfunding marketplace “Sharestates” raised a whopping $30 million in funding. In that same period of time, online investment platform Cadre raised an impressive 18.3 million.

Real Estate Tech: Global Growth

On a global scale, real estate-based tech companies are responsible for approximately $322.5 million in investments this year alone and most of those resources go to supporting commercial real estate enterprises. However, there is still approximately $100.7 million dollars that accounts for investments made towards residential real estate.

In addition to gathering estimates of how much money was invested in these real-estate tech companies, this report polled 500 real estate professionals- from both the residential and commercial areas of the industry and elicited their opinions regarding the role of technology in the industry.

Although the report didn’t necessarily speculate about how this market is poised to grow in coming years using exact numbers, one can imagine that the continued development of programs and platforms that cull and analyze data gathered by different companies is only going to become more and more popular. Finding ways to use and understand such a vast amount of data that can ultimately save these larger companies significant amounts of capital expenditure is more than enough reason to look at this as a true growth industry.

Pro Tips : Real Estate Investing for Beginners

Kevin Brunnock Real Estate

Nowadays people from various industries are looking to expand their portfolios by investing in properties. Real estate investing is a great opportunity to do just that, and I recommend it to those ready and willing to make the commitment. However, before purchasing any properties, consider the following 5 ways to prepare.

Make a Plan

Never forget that this is a business. This means you should treat it accordingly. Make sure that you do your research and come up with a solid business plan that outlines your goals over the next 10 years in 2 to 3 year phases. Your business plan should not only identify the short and long-term goals, but should share how you intend to accomplish these.

Know Your Credit

At the outset of this exciting new venture, make sure that you are armed with as much information as possible. In this case, make sure that you look up your own credit report to determine your eligibility and ability to finance a property. Lenders usually demand a score of 700 or higher FICO scores from those looking to purchase investment property. In addition to procuring your FICO score, calculate your debt vs monthly income ratio . If it is currently too high, you may want to reconsider your budget, and start to pay down any outstanding debts or loans.

Do Your Research

No need to stay too close to home when considering properties to invest in. Of course there are advantages to living near your potential investment, but try not to limit your options with this mindset.

Connect with the experts

Talk to an accredited mortgage broker in your area. Ask a certified realtor for recommendations. Join a real estate club, take your friends that work in real estate out to lunch, join online forums. However you choose to engage with the real estate community, find a way to get involved. It’s critical that you speak with people currently in the industry, so that you can get a better sense of what it is you are committing too.

Diversify your sources of purchase:

Consider mixing up the means through which you purchase properties. Instead of launching your search through just one venue, look into multiple avenues. Real estate auctions, word of mouth and more traditional multi-listing sites are a great place to start. Use your network and some creativity!


Small Changes, Significant Improvements

Kevin Brunnock Real Estate

In my line of work I have witnessed and participated in nearly every aspect of the real estate market. One thing that I see all too often, is owners pouring a lot of capital into remodeling their homes in an effort to boost the potential market value of their property. While renovating a property may eventually bolster the sale price, there is always the chance that the homeowners will not recoup these spending losses.

Recently, the National Association of Realtors as well as the the Appraisal Institute have suggested that homeowners forgo major remodeling projects prior to selling and instead encourage an allocation of their resources to making smaller improvements. Relatively small enhancements like refinishing hardwood floors, repainting the walls or replacing cabinet doors and fronts may up the sales price, for a relatively low upfront cost to the homeowners. According to this statement from the National Association of Realtors, these kinds of small improvements yield greater value than larger projects. Essentially, this method looks to upgrade different elements in the home instead of completely remodeling the space.

When considering what kind of improvements to make on a space with the short-term intention of selling, there is a real reason behind focusing on these subtle superficial upgrades. Prospective buyers that have a short time to be exposed to a space tend to respond more immediately to those tangible upgrades that they can see. If there are obvious visual cues for things that need to be upgraded, potential buyers may spend more time scrutinizing the space in search of anything and everything wrong with the space, instead of seeing all of the advantages that come with the place. Buyers often want a home that is move-in ready, instead of places that clearly need some work.

Furthermore, when considering what kinds of upgrades or small home improvements are worth investing in, one should assess whether or not this is a universally desirable improvement. For example, space comes at a premium in New York. Manhattan is the most densely populated borough in New York City, and therefore, it’s no surprise that well-designed, multi-functional storage space is desirable to virtually all New Yorkers.

And although many of these indicators suggest that homeowners should not pour excessive amounts of money into remodeling, there are of course the exceptions. Depending on the location, value and general desirability of a property, it is worth evaluating the benefit of larger scale remodeling projects. Some apartments or homes require a major overhaul in order to fetch a larger sum. In this case, factoring in the cost of a skilled designer and his or her proposed changes may ultimately be worth it. If a space is in a state of disrepair, but is desirable for location or other reasons, the owner may consider remodeling the space so that the potential home buyer doesn’t need to solicit these services and can readily move in.

All of this is to say that property owners looking to sell should focus modest budgets on smaller superficial projects as opposed to sinking more money into a full on renovation, unless they feel that the risk is worth the reward.


How Are Millennials Affecting the Housing Market?

Screen Shot 2015-03-30 at 11.36.31 PMThat the odds stacked against Millennials isn’t necessarily secret. Those who are between the ages of eighteen and thirty-three have several factors set against them in the search for financial stability. Many struggle under crushing student loan debt; others can’t find a well-paying job to even begin paying off said loan debt. Between these and any number of other contributing factors, Millennials struggle to enter the housing market. As a result, several authorities in the real estate market were recently asked whether they thought Millennials were dragging down the housing market; their responses were collected for an article recently completed by U-T San Diego.

Nearly all those asked noted that several factors that are beyond the control of Millennials play a role in their difficulties to join the housing market and become homeowners. Several factors include difficulty paying off their very expensive college degree—specifically in finding an actual job that is capable of paying off student debt—tight lending standards, high housing prices, a delay in marrying and/or starting a family and hesitancy due to seeing friends and family suffer through debt of their own. As a result of all of these factors, Millennials are forced to live at home with parents for an extended period of time—longer than any other previous generation. Alternatively, even those who are able to find a job to help pay off their various debts, the job does not often pay enough to afford to become a homeowner in the slowly recovering economy; many are forced to settle as renters.

However, despite all of the struggles that exist against Millennials, many of the authorities asked believe that the desire to become homeowners is strong. Leslie Kilpatrick, president of the Greater San Diego Association of Realtors, cited a study recently conducted by the California Association of Realtors found that the majority of Millennials plan to buy a home in the next five years. Although all those asked agree that an economic turn around is needed for this statistic to become a reality, some are seeing the signs of the start of a turn around. Home prices have stabilized and interest rates remain at historic lows. Credit availability and lending guidelines have improved and finally fewer investors are in competition with first-time buyers. All of these factors combined may indicate a positive future for Millennials entering the housing market. All authorities asked on the issue believe that the group holds enough in number and in power to have a strong influence on the housing market, should they decide to pursue owning a home instead of renting.

Non Natives, Do They Affect NYC Rent?

The renters market in NYC fluctuates frequently and in recent years New York City real estate has skyrocketed to new heights. It’s no secret that New York has some of the highest rent in the country. Some may even see New York City as unattainable for living standards. But it wasn’t always the case. The outer boroughs and some parts of Manhattan were once havens for middle and lower class families to live comfortably and still have a familial community feel. Some of the top neighborhoods that thrive as up and coming areas were once tight communities that featured an array of ethnic groups and a myriad of economic enclaves.

Kevin brunnock

For example, Hell’s Kitchen is probably one of the most storied areas affected by a transition of residents and rent hikes. Hell’s Kitchen was once a neighborhood mainly inhabited by poor and working class Irish-American immigrants. Instances of this can be seen in movies such as Gangs of New York and Sleepers. However, with it’s close proximity to the theater district as well as its perfect location in midtown, developers saw this area as a goldmine and the neighborhood started to shift in demographics. But who’s to blame? Just like in now prominent neighborhoods in Brooklyn such as Williamsburg and Park Slope, neighborhoods that were once familial areas for working class families are now seen as luxury neighborhoods with rent that is reserved for the upper class. Gentrification has long been seen as the sole reason to these changes.

According to its definition, gentrification is the process of renewal and rebuilding accompanying the influx of middle-class or affluent people into deteriorating areas that often displaces poorer residents.That can be seen as true. Who makes up the influx of individuals responsible for gentrification? Many believe this is the cause of young professionals that come from areas outside of the “the city” or five boroughs who are simply looking for cheaper rent. Once in these individuals move into the area, it can be seen as a “potentially desirable” area which can then woo investors and developers.

Gentrification isn’t necessarily a negative thing. It can bring a much needed renewal to a deteriorating neighborhood and new revenue and resources into a community. But what shouldn’t happen is the removal of the culture of said neighborhood. The only thing that’s left of Hell Kitchen is the name with very few remnants of the old neighborhood. As a realtor, I can appreciate the rise in rates, but as a New Yorker, I will always appreciate the old New York that was full of culture and dreams.


Top 4 Tips For Becoming an Entrepreneur

kevin brunnock


Becoming an entrepreneur can be a very scary and life changing. But in today’s uncertain economy, many people are looking to go through the route of an entrepreneur in order to create their own paths and futures. But how does one get to that level? We all know it takes hard work and dedication. But what are some things that true entrepreneurs do in order to become successful entrepreneurs? Building a business from the ground up is no easy feat, but it can definitely be done.

Check out some of my tips on becoming a successful entrepreneur:

Take Risks

Everyone knows the saying “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. In order to gain a reward, you have to take a chance on your idea. There will be times where you fail, but you need to learn to take those failures in stride and learn from them in order to turn them into an opportunity. In order to succeed you must be willing to fail. If you’re a young entrepreneur. you have a better opportunity than anyone in order to take this step. If you fail, dust yourself off and try again.

Be Persistent

Nothing happens overnight. Continuing to work for your dream and and putting effort into with pay off with huge dividends. Build relationships with people. Figure out your target audience and who potential partners and sponsors could be. Reach out to these individuals and continue to show them how committed you are. Be careful not to move into the “annoying” space. Be calculating with your persistence and make sure to convey your message clearly. Don’t ramble.

Never Stop Learning

The worst thing that can ever happen to an entrepreneur is one who feels like they know everything and have nothing else to gain. With the ever changing world including its technology, there is always more to learn. Utilize your team and learn from each other. You’ll become unstoppable.

Utilize Social Media

We have an advantage that older entrepreneurs didn’t have. Social Media. Many people don’t see the importance of this tool, but it’s is quite possibly the most useful one can possess. It’s FREE marketing. Most social media properties are free to join and it is a great way to connect directly with your consumer base as well as one of the best ways to get your information out effectively and in a non costly manner.

Use these tools and you’ll be on your way to becoming an entrepreneur in no time! Best of luck!

For more tips on entrepreneurship check out Kevin Brunnock on Twitter!