Halstead takes five of six REBNY prizes

TRD New York /
Oct.October 30, 2008 05:22 PM

Halstead Property swept the Real Estate Board of New York’s
annual Residential Deal of the Year Awards yesterday, taking home
five of the six prizes.

Industry veteran Dan Danielli, a senior vice president at
Halstead, was awarded Residential Deal of the Year for the
two-and-a-half-year-long negotiation of an East Side
townhouse sale. Halstead’s Norman Horowitz and Gary Friedland took second place,
followed by Judy Oston, Don Correia and Ruth Yeskel in third, also of Halstead.

Halstead’s director of sales for the East
, John Wollberg, won the Henry Forster Award for outstanding
achievement in residential real estate, a prize Halstead president Diane
Ramirez took home last year.

Meanwhile, 26-year old Halstead associate broker Ari Harkov
was named Most Promising Rookie Salesperson of the Year, and Citi Habitats
senior associate broker Caroline Bass won Residential Deal of the Year in the
residential rental category, with co-broker Lynda Wiggins of Brown Harris
Stevens. At 25, Bass is one of the younger agents ever to win a Deal of the
Year award.

Halstead, which has frequently taken top honors in the
contest in previous years, strongly encourages agents to apply for the awards
and helps select the best candidates, Ramirez said.

“We talk about it at every sales meeting,” she
said. “It’s become part of our culture.”

With 14 years of real estate experience under his belt,
townhouse specialist Danielli has closed nearly a half-billion dollars worth of
residential sales. Still, the deal that would eventually earn him REBNY’s top
honor was trying even for him.

“Could I have imagined a deal more convoluted or
difficult than mine?” he said. “Not really.”

The townhouse in question had “three owners who didn’t
like each other very much,” Danielli said. “I was dealing — for
every showing and every price reduction — with three owners, four tenants,
four lawyers and a super who had the only set of keys.”

To make matters worse, several of the owners had moved out
of state after 33 years of owning the building, making negotiations between
them even more difficult, Danielli said.

A similar effort earned Bass of Citi Habitats her award. She
was on the brink of renting a 4,500-square-foot, $30,000-a-month four-bedroom
on Central Park West — in one of the city’s strictest co-ops, where only one
other apartment had ever been rented — when she learned that the seller had
backed out at the last minute. At 8 p.m. on the Friday before Christmas, she
had to deliver the bad news to her clients, returning their checks and
extensive board packet. “They were devastated,” she said.

Bass said she worked so late on putting together a
counteroffer to save the deal that she nearly missed Christmas with her family,
prompting her mother to drive into the city from Connecticut to get her. “She said, ‘If
I don’t come pick you up you’re never going to come home,'” Bass recalled.
But it paid off a month later, when the seller reconsidered.

Wollberg founded Atco Residential Group in 1996 and was
hired as Halstead’s Director of Sales for the flagship Eastside office in June of
this year.

Harkov received his real estate license in the fall of 2006.
He quickly turned heads at Halstead by getting an exclusive from a
for-sale-by-owner client in his first week at the company, selling the
apartment for $650,000 — $25,000 more than the seller had been asking — with
several backup offers the day after his first open house.

Representatives from the Prudential Douglas Elliman and the
Corcoran Group, the city’s largest brokerages, could not be reached for
comment, and REBNY did not comment on the number of applications received for
each category.

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