When a potential buyer from China was preparing to come to Manhattan to view pied-a-terres in the $15 to $25 million range, Sandy Edry and his team did what any good agents would do: arrange for a chauffeured luxury van to pick up the buyer and her entourage and take them from property to property. They also recruited a Mandarin-speaking translator and provided a customized packet of information that included pricing spreadsheets about all the residences and neighborhoods on their whirlwind three-day tour.
But they didn't stop there. Weeks before the buyer arrived, the team's concierge reached out to arrange dining reservations at II Gato Pardo, Butter and Morimoto, and to recommend Manhattan activities and shows for the 13-year-old daughter who was accompanying her mom.
It's what The Edry Team calls "Winning by Surpassing."
This commitment to quality and extraordinary service flows through all aspects of The Edry Team at Keller Williams NYC, whose business runs the gamut from a burgeoning roster of luxury clientele to an unsurpassed record of converting apartment buildings into condominiums, as well as helping their fellow agents polish their service skills and even their dedication to personal growth through ongoing coaching and training within the team.
"We want to exceed expectations," said Sandy, a lifelong New Yorker who took his love for the city and created a boutique team built on pushing the boundaries of customer service in real estate. "Our goal is to create a WOW! experience for our clients—whether they are billionaires from Beijing or first-time homeowners in Hamilton Heights. And best of all, we do it by having fun and loving what we do."
The team's roots are modest. After more than 15 years as a journalist for such publications as Newsweek and The New York Times, Sandy saw "the proverbial writing on the wall" for print media and, at the age of 38, decided to try something radically different: real estate rentals. "I figured that even if I hated the industry, I could last six months and hopefully turn the experience into a magazine article or book about the seamy underside of being a broker," Sandy recalled thinking. But a strange thing happened on the way: "I discovered I was absolutely smitten with my new career and the people I got to help find new homes."
Sandy was soon named Rookie of the Year at his Citi Habitats office and began transitioning into sales the following year. His big break came during a routine meeting with one of the city's biggest landlords, when he asked for a chance to head sales and marketing on one of their condominium conversion projects-and ended up getting the exclusive on six buildings.
“That one meeting changed my life,” he confided. "And I can never thank them enough for that opportunity."
Flash forward seven years and that one opportunity has grown into more than a dozen additional condo projects in Manhattan, Queens and Brooklyn, including Bennett Sixty-Nine and Bennett 105 in Hudson Heights, the John James Condominiums in Washington Heights, and the Infinity 8 Condominiums in Flushing, Queens. Currently, they are also finishing sales of one- and two-bedroom apartments at 382e, at 382 Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, a conversion that is bringing new opportunities for buyers looking to purchase in one of Brooklyn's increasingly popular neighborhoods. An additional four conversions are already in the pipeline for next year.
Year in and year out The Edry Team has ranked as the top listing team at both their old firm and, now, at KWNYC. Still, they want more—for themselves and for the industry. That sentiment is nowhere better seen than in the team motto: “Always be happy, yet never be satisfied."
|Our goal is to create a WOW! experience for our clients—whether they are billionaires from Beijing or first-time homeowners in Hamilton Heights. And best of all, we do it by having fun and loving what we do.|
In their latest push for excellence, this month The Edry Team is launching an exciting new offering: concierge services for all of its current and past clients—not just the billionaires. Gunter Kleemann, former chef concierge at the New York Palace Hotel, is the director of the new division called Concierge a la Maison. He will assist clients with everything from arranging the details of a birthday bash at one of the city's finest restaurants to scoring tickets to Broadway's hottest shows, His services also extend from offering recommendations for interior designers and dog walkers to experts in family trusts and estate issue-s, and much more.
This amenity, usually only available to residents in New York's most luxurious buildings, is free to all Edry Team clients and is meant as both a thank-you for their past business as well as a way to stay foremost in mind when they or someone they know is ready to do another real estate transaction.
“In today's overly stimulated society, it is not enough to just say ‘I want to be your broker for life' and expect your clients to remember you seven years later when they're ready to move again,” said Sandy. "You need to make sure you are staying in regular contact with your clients and sphere of influence--and you need to always add value to the relationship. That's why we tell our customers that we’re not here just for the home buying or selling experience, we are here for your entire home living experience."
To provide their high level of service, Sandy and Gunter are joined by five more world-class agents. Team manager Casey Silverman signed up after working with three of the top teams at Douglas Elliman; GianCarlos De la Cruz, who has been with the team almost since the beginning, now oversees all the uptown development projects. More recently, the team brought on Eli Karpovski as the lead Inside Sales Agent (ISA). Eli spends his days prospecting for new clients by reaching out to thousands of New Yorkers each month. And rounding out the tightknit group are agents Alon Sole and Ewa Zaniewska, who assist with the marketing of the conversions while building out their own buyer and rental business.
In the spirit of service to themselves as well as their clients. Sandy encourages his colleagues to take classes and workshops to improve their skills, and he highly endorses one-on-one coaching--even for himself. "We have a fantastic team, but everyone can benefit from hearing a different perspective and learning something new," he said. “As far as coaching goes, it's a great motivator that can help an individual focus on what's important and be accountable for getting things done."
The team also holds semiannual retreats outside the office, where each agent derails and revises his or her personal and business goals for the year. They have even brought in an improv coach to help loosen up their sales chops. This year's retreat is going to be extra special. At a recent fundraiser for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, Sandy put in the winning bid for a weeklong vacation house in Puerto Rico and has invited the whole team to come along this winter.
“I figure we can't surpass our customers' expectations if we can't occasionally treat ourselves to something special, too.”