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  • Writer's pictureRebecca B.

Change is Good

Updated: Sep 11, 2020

I got my skinny jeans out this morning. No, I did not put them on, are you crazy?! But I acknowledged them. I saw my goal and felt good about the idea of putting them on in the future. I did opt for another pair of jeans, first actual paints besides leggings or loungewear for months (I rotate between two very loose dresses for apartment showings). And I look good. This pandemic has not swallowed me whole, yet. It's feeling like time to create that new normal that everyone is talking about.

To that end, you may have noticed our announcement that Shawn and I changed real estate companies. We are now at (drumroll...) Triplemint: a tech-centric firm focused on making the whole buying and selling experience better (cue fireworks and confetti!). Now most people I know are not currently inviting change where it hasn't been thrust upon them. But when the world changes this drastically, you need to adapt along with it. Real estate in New York is changing in such interesting ways. First, most people are back to recognizing the need for an agent. For awhile there people were thinking technology would take the place of the broker, and that hasn't worked out. Believe it or not, real estate is an amazingly creative industry. No deal ever follows the same trajectory. The process is always different and there are an infinite number of hiccups that happen along the way. In seven years I've never had a deal be completely smooth from start to finish. I got close recently but financing issues revealed themselves when we were almost to the finish line. Technology can't adjust on the fly and do it in a way to please everyone and keep the ball rolling, making sure all parties are cooperating. You need an agent, period. So glad most people are not trying to test that anymore.

But tech also plays a large role in real estate now, more than ever. A real estate agent MUST be tech savvy in this day and age. Oddly, much of the industry in New York has not fully gotten onboard with this idea. You would think New York should be cutting edge on everything. But real estate seems to pride itself on tradition and keeping things the same. It took a pandemic to force most co-ops into a more friendly board package process, one that doesn't require original signatures and 8 copies of a 500 page document. And there are still some firms who simply list properties and wait for the right buyer to come. They set up searches for buyers and wait for the right property to come. It's a very passive, civilized process, one that might have been lovely for my grandmother, a woman who never had her own email address.

Triplemint is different. They are upending the age-old buying and selling process to make it more active, easier, and shorter from beginning to end. I know, it sounds too good to be true. I went into my initial meetings with Molly Townsend, our new sales director, with that very thought, pretty ready to call their bluff. Yet I left the meeting ready to sign on. "But how does it work?" a seller asked in an email, as soon as I shared the news. "How do they increase foot traffic? If people are just looking around for apartments, how does Triplemint bring them in?" These are the questions I imagine everyone will have, so figured I should post about it.

Triplemint's biggest tools are artificial intelligence and predictive analytics. Through the use of data analysis and computer programming, Triplemint’s Development Team is able to determine likely matches between people and homes before the properties even hit the market. For example, a seller may be interested in selling her two bedroom UWS condo but she is not sure how she wants to price it and whether it’s the right time to sell. This is where Triplemint’s Pre-Market Platform comes in to help answer both questions and often, to find a buyer before the home is listed. Triplemint analyzes consumer and search behavior to find a likely match for the seller’s home. One example of a likely match could be an Upper West Side couple who currently live in a one bedroom and need more space because they are expecting a second baby. The Triplemint Research team will get in touch with the couple, invite them to view the property, and gather their feedback which will be used when it’s time to list. Gathering this feedback and getting potential buyers through the door prior to listing saves days on market which in turn saves sellers money. It is a targeted approach, and it sells homes 40% more quickly than traditional sales methods.

This pre-market system is really exciting to me. It's a way to try out the market before you actually go to market. Buyers have a chance to snag apartments before they list, without the competition of the entire city. Sellers can test their price, see the response, perhaps decide they need to stage, get the listing just right before going to market, and possibly sell without even going to market. Who sees the pre-market listings? Remember, there is a team of people using data analytics to drive buyers to search our site. We have a huge database of qualified, active buyers checking the site daily. This is going to be huge for our business strategy going forward, I really cannot wait to use it.

This platform works for buyers too. Say you got your heart set on a particular two bedroom on the UWS with just the right view of the reservoir, but weren't quite ready and it got away. You've been waiting for months for something like it to hit the market again and you've almost given up. Enter Triplemint. Our data team looks at that apartment, finds others like it not currently on the market, looks at the data for the owners of those apartments, then calls the ones most-likely to be open to selling. We try to make a sale simply by calling the owner. Again the data is used to create a more personal, active, focused experience.

It can't be just about tech, of course. In that first meeting, when I was trying not to get excited too fast, this is where I thought I would catch them. "Yeah, that all sounds great, but if it's just about tech that doesn't interest me." I said something to that effect, I'm sure sounding way too smug. Molly laughed at me, and shared stats that showed off-the-charts customer satisfaction. She set up my next meeting with Triplemint's co-founder and CEO, David Walker, who is kind, philanthropic, and has the kind of work-ethic I want to see in everyone. One of the first invitations in my Triplemint inbox was a chat on "How to be an Antiracist", lead by a staff member. The virtual meetings are filled with people glad to be there, cheering each other on. If I have any criticism so far it's that the people are a little too happy. I'm a New Yorker: I'm leery of anyone perky. Yet here I am, making changes, and with an eye towards my skinny jeans. So yes, I've found a little more pep to my step. Change is good.

Sold yet? Want to know more? Happy to talk your ear off, we have lots to share, and much more coming down the pike. Please reach out. For now, Happy weekend NYC! Wishing you health, strength, and positive change to come!

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