Corcoran hosts Hamptons real estate shindig in Manhattan

By Candace Taylor and Jovana Rizzo | March 20, 2009 02:50PM

 Corcoran’s Hamptons event

Hamptons real estate came to Manhattan last night as the Corcoran Group sponsored the company’s first-ever East End Rental Expo.

Held at Corcoran’s 660 Madison Avenue headquarters, the event gathered some 40 East End brokers hawking listings for roughly 10,000 summer rentals.

The expo put them within easy reach of Manhattanites who haven’t yet nailed down their vacation plans.

“We came in and met them on their own turf,” said Gary DePersia, a senior vice president at Corcoran and associate broker in the company’s East Hampton office, who said he met 10 to 15 potential renters throughout the evening, as well as three people interested in buying houses.

Some 300 potential customers attended the three-hour evening expo, the first of its kind for the company and perhaps the industry, during the course of the evening, a Corcoran spokesperson said.

That’s a boon at a time where summer rentals are down from last year by as much as 50 percent, said Rick Hoffman, Corcoran’s regional senior vice president for the East End, who attributed the drop in part to many would-be renters taking their time and shopping around for the best deals.

“Customers have been waiting to come out and commit to anything,” said Drew Green, an associate broker in Corcoran’s Bridgehampton office.

But Hoffman said he hoped the event would help get New Yorkers thinking about the summer, and lay the initial groundwork for signing a lease.

“The idea was — let’s get appointments with people and get them out to look at the properties,” Hoffman said. “This is a great way to start the initial relationship [with a customer.]”

The strategy worked for 30-year-old renter Jeanne Johnson, who said she came to the expo after noticing the event while browsing Hamptons listings on the Corcoran Web site.

Johnson wasn’t totally sold on any of the homes she saw at the event, but said it gave her a sense of what’s out there.

Johnson, who works in finance, said she hopes to rent a house by the beach in Southampton and plans to economize by sharing with one, two or three people, depending on the cost.

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