The Real Deal New York

Elliman extends reach to global market


March 31, 2008
By Lauren Elkies

As the real estate market slows down, some brokerages are adopting a broader perspective and expanding their global reach.

“We now have a lot of foreign developers who have come to us wanting to get their projects out there,” said Neal Sroka, president and COO of the newly established Douglas Elliman Worldwide Consulting, under the Prudential Douglas Elliman umbrella.

Sroka and his seven-person team are handling marketing, public relations and sales for seven projects in Tel Aviv, Moscow, Dubai and the Caribbean, including the first-ever Nobu hotel, called Nobu Hotel and Residences, in Tel Aviv. They have six more deals in contract.

Sroka, a marketing strategist, was until recently an international broker at the Corcoran Group, running the Sroka Group, before joining Elliman Feb. 1.

With a weak U.S. dollar and the surge in condo development, New York City has become a foreign buyer’s haven. At the same time, Sroka said that New York brokers can no longer bank on local buyers.

Elliman had international business before Sroka came on board, but Douglas Elliman Worldwide Consulting offers a team of brokers focused exclusively on overseas business. Sroka and his team have strong ties in South Korea and throughout South America, and they understand cross-border transactions, he said.

His work is taking him to Frankfurt, where Deutsche Bank invited him to address the bank’s high-net-worth clients about purchasing in New York City and the Caribbean.

Other companies are venturing or have ventured into international waters. Louise Sunshine, chairman of Sundezio, is starting a new global online media company, Domineum.com, which will provide a database of luxury condos, condo hotels and fractional interests in the top 50 global and resort markets. The Web site will also feature market research for purchasers as well as original luxury lifestyle content and will be going live in fall 2008.

Other firms, like Fox Residential Group, have gone global, launching divisions to sell New York properties to international buyers.

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