This month, East Hampton real estate broker Barbara Feldman will launch HamptonsBrokerMatchup.com, an online referral service designed to match buyers and sellers with brokers. For the past six years, Feldman has sold real estate in the Hamptons, independently and at several firms, including Prudential Douglas Elliman. In that time, she said, she noticed that buyers in the area have an especially hard time finding the right broker, given the wide variety of different price ranges and property types in the Hamptons.
“In the Hamptons, there are so many different kinds of properties,” Feldman said. As a result, “a broker really has to know their stuff in order to estimate a sale value.”
However, she said, many people in the Hamptons pick brokers at random, often hiring the “top agents who just sold a top property” rather than someone who specializes in the area or type of house they’re looking for. The resulting mismatches are what she hopes HamptonsBrokerMatchup.com will help to avoid. “We’re trying to make a good fit,” she said, to “save everybody time, money and energy.”
Brokers can join HamptonsBrokerMatchup.com for free, but they must provide references and complete a questionnaire detailing their listings, recent sales and geographic areas of expertise. Buyers and sellers also join for free and they, too, complete a questionnaire about the type of house and location they want.
Based on that information, Feldman sets up meetings between clients and the brokers she feels will be a good fit. If they end up working together and a deal gets done, Feldman receives a referral fee. She has hired only one sales and marketing person so far, but said she will bring more people on board as the business expands.