Brokers head abroad in the summer

TRD New York /
Jun.June 29, 2010 04:15 PM

Elliman’s Ilan Bracha offers World Cup tickets as an agent incentive while other brokers head to China, Ecuador

Some of the summer’s traveling real estaters, from left: Lance Nguyen, Fred Peters and Max Dobens

Some brokers are taking advantage of the sticky-hot days of July by leaving town. And in one case, this year’s World Cup proved an undeniable incentive to take the plunge. 

Prudential Douglas Elliman’s Ilan Bracha is offering two tickets to the July 11 World Cup championship game as an incentive at the Centurion.  

The broker promises the two tickets, valued at $2,500 each, plus airfare and accommodations to the “next broker who gets a fully executed contract on an apartment at the Centurion, 33 West 56th Street, before July 9,” according to an advertisement on his blog. 

But the lucky Bracha contest winner isn’t the only one ditching the city for cleats and vuvuzelas. Cape Town also lured Elliman senior vice president Max Dobens, who announced his big trip in an automated e-mail response while he was abroad. 

South Africa seems to be a favorite, in fact. Tresa Hall, an executive vice president at the Corcoran Group, is going on a safari in South Africa later this summer. 

And while brokers are motivated by the bottom line, Frederick Peters, president of Warburg Realty, said that the impulse to travel is also an innate drive for people in the industry. 

“Brokers are travelers,” Peters said. 

Peters spent his recent vacation on a two-week tour of China, working his way through Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong. He said that while the trip was for pleasure — his son is working abroad in the country — it was difficult not to think about business, at least some of the time. 

Peters said that traveling to disparate real estate markets, like Shanghai, where luxury sales are booming, gave him a unique perspective on his career in New York City. 

But Peters isn’t the only one in the industry to travel far and wide this summer.  

Citi Habitats rental agent Lance Nguyen is heading south, going first to Ecuador for two weeks and then taking a seaplane to the Galapagos Islands, where he’ll stay on a boat for two more weeks. 

“When I’m [in New York City] I like to be comfortable,” said Nguyen, who lives in the Caledonia building at 450 West 17th Street, and whose listings include a $12,000 per month Chelsea two-bedroom. But when abroad, Nguyen said he prefers “something a little more laidback… not luxurious.” 

While he admits that taking a month off every year in the summer makes him miss some business, Nguyen said it keeps him from “burning out,” something that will pay off in the long run.

His past trips have included a jaunt to Brazil and a month-long backpacking trip from Cape Town to Egypt, during which time he traveled through 13 different countries.


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