Developers look to incentives to sell units

November 18, 2010 12:13PM

Jacqueline Urgo of the Marketing Directors and the Sheffield

Developers at several New York condominiums such as the Sheffield are reviving higher commissions and other incentive plans to sell units, according to the Wall Street Journal. When the Sheffield, at 322 West 57th Street, was reopening earlier this year after a conversion, the owners had nearly 330 units to sell. They held a launch party for agents and offered to increase their commission by a half percentage point for any of the 180 attendees who closed a deal by Nov. 15. More than a dozen of those brokers signed up condo purchasers. “We went from half of our sales coming through brokers to 85 percent of sales,” said Jacqueline Urgo, president of Marketing Directors, which was brought in to re-launch the Sheffield. Brokers today are shifting roles, according to appraiser Jonathan Miller. “When properties are flying off the shelf during the heyday, brokers in many ways were order-takers; today they have a different role,” he said. “In a weaker market, it could increase your odds of selling.” [WSJ]