A Brooklyn residential boom demands a new kind of broker

Developers are turning to marketing teams with specialized know-how

Last year, the pandemic refocused all of our priorities. Now we’re witnessing a boom in boutique development as well as townhomes, as developers shift away from lots of shared amenities to projects that emphasize smaller common spaces with private meeting rooms/offices, as well as adding nooks for home offices.

But marketing those boutique properties isn’t for just anyone. It requires specialized knowledge, boutique property expert Josh Golan told The Real Deal.

“Earlier in the year we took over the listing of a gut-renovated, five-bedroom townhouse in Downtown Brooklyn, a neighborhood full of apartments and where no one expects to find a townhouse,” said Golan, who after a successful 23-year career in real estate — with more than 1,000 closed transactions totaling over $1 billion — assembled a new boutique development marketing team at Compass. “We were the fourth team in three years on the project, so we knew that we needed to change the way buyers looked at the property.”

To close the deal, Golan restaged the property with contemporary furnishings and emphasized the property’s selling points in the listing photos, including a rendering of an optional façade facelift. Three months later, the airy, 22-foot-wide home was in contract.

“You have to have an eye for it,” said Golan. “It wasn’t that the house was getting 50 tours a month and no offers. It was getting one person a month. When you know you’re priced right, you have to change how it is marketed without asking the developers to spend tens of thousands of dollars.”

Golan and his team, perhaps more than any other brokers, have capitalized on the boutique development boom in Brooklyn and Queens. Currently, the team is marketing roughly a dozen projects in neighborhoods like Bushwick, Bed-Stuy, Prospect Heights and Downtown Brooklyn.

Recently, Golan and his team secured buyers for every unit at the new Golden Gates Condos, a boutique collection of studio, one- and two-bedroom condominiums at 573 Gates Avenue in Bed-Stuy, where prices started at $540,000.

Earlier this year, before market activity picked up, the Golan Team sold a townhouse at 721 Monroe Street, also in Bed-Stuy,  in just 44 days for more than its $1.99 million asking price. At 415 St Johns Place in Prospect Heights — a renovated, 16-unit co-op building — Unit 1B was in contract after just five days on the market for 10 percent above ask.

At the same time, they sold a wood-frame townhouse at 227 Putnam Avenue in Bed-Stuy off-market as a custom home. Asking $2.25 million, it went into contract for an incredible $220,000 over ask!

Their latest project, 228 Quincy Street, is a six-unit, new construction boutique condo building in the heart of Bed-Stuy that recently launched. Prices at the building — which boasts six studio, one- and two-bedroom layouts and stylish contemporary finishes — start at $550,000 and rise to $999,000.

Not only is the Golan Team leading the boutique market in sales, recently ranked #11 Large Team in NY by WSJ Real Trends, but their wealth of experience designing, gut-renovating and marketing townhomes and boutique condo developments allows them to advise developers and investors on every aspect of the building process.

They are even able to hunt down future investment opportunities for developers through their extensive real estate network.

“We source the properties. We help with layouts and adjust floor plans. We pick out finishes that are relevant and affordable. We provide strategic marketing support that begins with branding a building to give it an identity that resonates with potential buyers,” Golan said. “We do it all!”

“We have a bunch of upcoming boutique condos and townhomes in development set to launch throughout the year, so we’re excited to work closely with these developers to create properties that meet the needs and wants of buyers.”

“I don’t know any other team that has the experience combined with the resources to do what we do,” he added. “That’s why we are the go-to team for developers.”