New York’s Competitive Luxury Market: Hot or Not with Tom Ferry

October 18, 2022

Partnered listings… Why would you anyone want to take half commission on a transaction when they could go for the whole things? Well, what if it meant way more transactions and your ticket into the world of super high-end luxury real estate? Randy Baruh chats with Tom Ferry about how he used partnered listings and creative video to catapult into New York’s uber competitive luxury market.

While a Masters's degree in Fine Arts and a Real Estate broker license might not be the first pairing that comes to mind, they’re not so contrary after all. Enter Randy Baruh, a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University and Licensed Associate Real Estate Broker with the Corcoran Group. 

Randy graduated from Carnegie Mellon in 1996 with a degree in acting and spent the next few years as a professional acting coach and director.  In 2000, he turned to real estate as a day job, but it still took him a couple of years to turn real estate into his full-time job. 

It was his background in the theater that actually helped him transition to real estate. The things that drew him to the theater, telling stories and entertaining people, were easily translatable to real estate. Armed with just his phone camera, he started telling stories, this time about houses and neighborhoods. 

He was pitching a townhouse in The Village and created what he called “a love letter to the West Village”.  A short # video on the West Village, it highlighted all the things and places he loved about the area.

And the owners of the house loved it.  After all, when buying a house, you’re not just buying a handful of rooms under a roof. You’re choosing a place to live and a neighborhood to spend your time in and the video highlighted both his love and knowledge for the area. Since then, he’s filmed “love letters” to Brooklyn Heights, Dumbo, and Chelsea with more on the way. Just as with theater, he was connecting with his clients, and getting to do a bit of directing as well! 

But neighborhood tours aren't the only videos he makes. He’s expanded into TikTok, Instagram reels, and a Real Estate tip series on YouTube. But one of his favorite videos is a cheeky one that starred his 5-year-old son, Max, and some of his classmates. Not only did the kids have a blast being movie stars, but their parents and family shared the video with all of their friends and family, leading to free marketing. After all, the best way to get someone to share something is to include them or people they know. 

But fancy TikToks and YouYouTubes are only part of the job. After all, what are you going to post about if you don’t have any listings?  

Despite having over 20 years of experience in real estate, Randy wasn't always selling Instagram-worthy seven and eight-figure homes. His first eight to ten years were primarily focused on $800-$1,000 a month rentals in Uptown Manhattan between 110th Street and 214th  Street. His biggest tip for anyone looking to break into the luxury market (or even break into real estate at all) is to be bold, but leave your ego at the door.

When he first got into sales full-time in 2011, he didn’t have an established client base, as most of his previous clients were looking to rent, not buy. His solution? Cold calling. He started by cold calling every expired listing in the area and offering to represent them. And his hard work paid off. The first expired listing he got was for a $20M apartment.  

And that’s where the second half of the tip (leave your ego at the door) comes in. While he could have looked at the listing price and thought “I’ll do this by myself and pocket the entire commission on a $20M sale,” he didn't. Knowing that he was still new to the sales game, especially when it came to luxury sales, he reached out to a well-known agent in the area who had a track record of successfully selling luxury homes and partnered with him, giving the sellers a two-for-one package deal keeping the listing. 

While partnering with the other agent meant giving up a hefty portion of the commission, he also wouldn't have earned anything if he had lost the listing to another realtor. After all, some commission is better than no commission.

Leaving your ego at the door also means knowing that you always have things to learn and can always continue to grow in your career (and personal life). Partnering with agents who have been in the industry longer than he has allowed him to create and cement relationships with agents who are in a place in their careers that he aspires to. He’s also able to gain firsthand experience and learn from their tips and techniques. 

 

If you want to see more videos like the one above, please subscribe and follow Randy on Instagram (@randybaruh), TikTok (@randy_baruh), and YouTube

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