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Streeteasy Feature

Nikolay Afanasyev and Yuliya Zaynulina are a husband-and-wife pair who each participate in the StreetEasy Experts program. Both agents with Keller Williams NYC and co-founders of the NY Global Group, they joined Experts in July 2020 and work on the same team within the program. Launched in late 2019, Experts matches NYC real estate agents with high-intent buyers and sellers based on the agent’s deal history and areas of expertise.

Combined, the two have closed nearly $25M in Experts deals.

“There is nothing else that compares to the power that StreetEasy has in New York City. It’s the most trustworthy platform, it’s one of the most user-friendly platforms, so it automatically brings pretty much anybody who searches for real estate onto that platform,” Afanasyev says. “We were thinking ‘How can we become partners with StreetEasy, and how can we be in a win-win situation where all sides benefit?’ And it has been a game changer.”

And they aren’t the only ones building multimillion-dollar businesses through StreetEasy Experts. Participating agents have closed numerous $10M+ deals – including recent deals to the tune of $21.5M and $36M – with buyers they connected with through the program.

Zaynulina also praises StreetEasy’s Experts program. “It started small,” she says, “and then it snowballed into a really good portion of transactions at any price point.”

Experts quickly came to represent 50% of their buyer transactions.

They achieved one of their largest Experts deals to date in October 2021: an $8.5M Lenox Hill condo on Park Avenue. The buyer, a Los Angeles resident, was looking for a second home in New York City. Afanasyev showed her several apartments, until the last day before she flew back to LA, she walked out of the Park Avenue building and declared it was the one. While the apartment was far from where she initially started her search, the buyer fell in love with the building’s prewar features and distinctive Art Deco style.

Experts allowed Afanasyev and Zaynulina to connect with the out-of-town buyer, who they say they would not have met if it weren’t for the program. “While we feel like our network is very good, we still would have never met all of those people who ended up purchasing with us,” Afanasyev says.

A leg up on the competition

Another Expert, Elena Smirnova of The Agency x Triplemint, has seen her overall business triple in the last two years since she joined the program. “Having a program like StreetEasy Experts is really instrumental in growing my business,” she says. Through Experts she’s done nearly $15M in deals, and has buyers in her pipeline with budgets up to $45M. She recently closed a $2.285M deal at 172 Madison Ave: a 2-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 1,488 square foot condo in Midtown South.

Like many Experts, Smirnova has benefited from having experience in the buildings and neighborhoods in which her Experts buyers are interested. It’s helped her attract clients, build trust with them, and expand her business. “Being someone who has done several deals in the building makes me have a leg up on my competition,” she says. “People feel they can trust me because they know I’m an experienced broker who has not only done transactions in the building and neighborhood, but can advise them throughout the purchase process – as opposed to other platforms that may connect consumers with an agent who has less or no experience at all.”

Kelly Robinson, an agent with Compass and an Expert, also appreciates that the program leverages her relevant experience to forge new connections. It’s helped her reach a total of over $28M in Experts transactions. She says Experts now makes up about 15% of her total business, which is “15% we didn’t have before.”

“You’ve already got some sort of expertise about those buildings, so you can really talk intelligently about them,” Robinson says. “I think that it’s great for building your business within certain neighborhoods, because you get more leads in the neighborhoods that you want to be in, that you’ve done a lot of business in.”

Robinson recently closed on a $3.625M Experts deal in March: a 3-bedroom, 2.5-bathroom, 1,828 square foot penthouse condo in Little Italy. Also in March, she had a $3.1M deal at a Lenox Hill condo, in which the offer was accepted on the spot without negotiation. Transactions like these, as well as her overall volume of Experts deals, have translated to an eight-figure business within the program.

Experts is the gift that keeps on giving, as Robinson has built out her sphere of influence through the program, too. “I’ve gotten some great referrals from people I’ve done deals with through the Experts program as well,” she says.

“The opportunity from one client is endless.”

Erin Wheelock, another Keller Williams NYC agent and Expert, feels similarly about the level of opportunity the program brings. Her Experts closings have totaled nearly $21M.

“If you work it properly, you’ll grow as an agent, because you have to grow in your skills to work with these people. But you’re also going to grow a bigger business,” she says. “The opportunity from one client is endless.”

And it’s not just buyers who are helping Experts close millions of dollars’ worth of deals – many are able to do so working with both buyers and sellers. Compass agent Sarah Silva connected through Experts with a couple looking to buy, only to learn they needed to sell their Chelsea penthouse first. After providing the sellers with a detailed listing, marketing, and pricing strategy, she launched the nearly $6M Experts exclusive listing at 177 Ninth Avenue #PHB, and received multiple inquiries on the first day.

Silva says she would not have connected with the sellers if it weren’t for Experts. “Usually my business is either a referral from a previous client or another broker – basically people I already know in my circle,” she says. “The Experts program has since allowed me to be introduced to amazing clients I would not have met otherwise.”

Find out more about StreetEasy Experts and join the waitlist today.