Brown Harris broker takes client loyalty to new heights in Hamptons plane

August 13, 2013 02:30PM

Brown Harris Stevens broker Christopher Burnside has a new approach to cementing buyer loyalty: taking Hamptons home shoppers for a ride in his private airplane, the New York Times reported.

From the air, prospective buyers have a tremendous view of a property’s scale, the neighbors and the surrounding land. But for Burnside, the power of the trips is the bond they create.

“There is no loyalty out here,” he told the Times. “But if you take somebody up in your plane, they’re not going to anybody else.”

Even so, half the battle can be convincing a client to take a spin in the tiny plane in the first place. Robert Kittine, a former commercial pilot who is now a broker with the Corcoran Group in the Hamptons, told the Times that 90 percent of the clients he invites aboard turn him down.

For those willing to take the plunge — not literally, of course — the flight has the added benefit of affording buyers a view of properties hidden beyond long driveways on the ground. The experience, Burnside told the Times, has helped him seal a few deals once customers got to know him. The price of gas and airport fees is therefore worth it, he said.

“They trust you” once the ride is over, he told the Times. “You’ve got their life in your hands.” [NYT]Julie Strickland