What does it take to land your dream Hamptons home? A great real estate agent and mortgage company, to start. Here, we Spotlight an East End real estate agent and the top mortgage company to help make this process seamless. Because, it can be!
Licensed Real Estate Salesperson, Compass
Susan, you closed more than $45 million of transactions in 2021 alone. What do you credit your success to?
I have a deep network of relationships that I have nurtured for decades, and I’m incredibly grateful for the referrals my clients give me. Nothing makes me happier than helping a client find that special home, and I think something that sets me and my team apart is that we put our clients’ needs first and provide total transparency along the way, which in turn builds trust. To me, the most important ingredient in any relationship, business or otherwise, is trust.
How did your background in finance propel you to transition into real estate?
My background is helpful to what I’m doing now. After graduating from Harvard Business School, I started working on Wall Street at Goldman Sachs, and then ultimately ended up doing real estate private equity for a European firm. Being trained in my financial career to be analytical, while also creatively looking at multiple sides of a deal, has served me and my clients well.
What is most special about selling in the Hamptons?
The breathtaking natural beauty that envelops the East End, juxtaposed with the proximity to New York City is incredibly special. The Hamptons is the total package. Being so close to NYC ensures a constant flow of interesting and dynamic people, culture, dining, arts, and entertainment. You have this little stretch of an island, and so much going on! I find the homes out here just as fascinating as the people, especially the grand old estates that have individual personalities and stories of their own.
What’s trending in the Hamptons real estate market right now?
A lot of our buyers want a property that is turnkey. With the long waits for permitting and materials, many people want to purchase a home they can move into immediately without doing major renovation.
What’s your top tip for millennials looking to buy their dream Hamptons home?
Get involved! Now is the perfect time to make a move and buy your dream home or even your starter Hamptons home. Establish equity now, so you don’t become a lifelong renter!
PLUS! SECURING YOUR HOME NOW
With Alex Elezaj, Managing Partner, Black Mountain Capital
Alex, Black Moutain Capital has been the leader in private mortgage banking for more than 25 years. How do you work with your clients?
We’ve built a reputation to deliver for our clients; fortunately for us, good news travels fast and the amount of word-of-mouth referrals has kept us busy over the years. We’re an elite team of mortgage bankers and our range of products provide us an ability to move quickly on a variety of opportunities. It’s important to also highlight that the services we provide allow us to be flexible, particularly during cycles of volatility. We’re financial surgeons at the end of the day and understanding our clients’ needs sets precedent.
Why should Hamptonites use BMC?
That’s an easy question…we’re locals now! We’ve done a great deal of lending on the East End of Long Island, so it was only a natural fit for us to have a physical location. And not just any location, but a location that’s reflective of who we are, front and center on Montauk Highway in Wainscott. Aside from that, we’re a valuable resource for anyone seeking financing for their projects. Whether a business owner, homeowner, builder, developer, foreign national, first-time or experienced investors, we’re here to service our community and we’re proud of our new flagship Hamptons office. In addition, we’re all genuinely great people to do business with, and our motto is simple: Maximum performance creates maximum results!
Everyone has a different situation when going through the financial process of buying a home. How do you cater to their individual needs?
This is a great question because not every deal looks the same. There are so many moving parts to any given transaction; it’s important to understand the needs of the client and their investment strategy. Our loan sizes range from $500,000 to $50 million-plus and because of this, lending guidelines also don’t look alike either. The desired outcome is based on more than just interest rates—it’s customization. What we find most important is thinking outside the traditional banking box, quality control, settings expectations, delivering on those expectations, transparency, leverage options, and speed of execution. Time is always a deal killer and if the primary focus is interest rates, most miss the bigger picture given interest rates fluctuate on a daily basis.
For millennials who are looking to purchase for the first time and might be intimidated by the process, what’s your advice?
What else than to call Black Mountain Capital first! Getting preapproved is critical to the success of shopping for any property or property type. Understanding the numbers and most importantly the tax benefits of owning real estate can change one’s perspective when looking at properties. Having a solid team of professionals is omnipotent.
Where else do you service besides the Hamptons?
We have a huge footprint in the greater New York Metro area—NYC; Greenwich, Connecticut; New Jersey; and other major Metropolitan areas. However, we do a ton of business in the Southeast. Florida has been an amazing market for us; the growth has been incredible. So incredible that we have a new location pending for later this year!
Before you go, tell us a little bit about you!
I’ve always been a people person and its reflective of my personality. In the ’90s, I was successfully throwing parties in Manhattan, the Hamptons, and Miami. It was exhausting to say the least; my mother would always say, “Nothing good happens after midnight.” After college and in my early twenties I was introduced to my mentor at the time, Steven Schnall, who owned and operated the New York Mortgage Company, a multibillion origination machine he took public. We partied together, and he was impressed with my business acumen and networking capabilities. He asked if I was good with numbers and would I be interested in being a mortgage banker; I said absolutely! I was instantly hooked and never looked back. That was more than 20 years ago. Steve tragically lost his life last year in a motorcycle accident. I still admire the man and all of his great accomplishments.