I am trying to find a professional listing agent/broker familiar with the international market.

Asked by Elmcroftmanor, Hammondsport, NY Thu Aug 9, 2007

From: Jo Cornell,JD
Elm Croft Manor http://(www.elmcroftmanor.com)
RE: Confidential Inquiry/ Country Estate & Business to List for Sale

I am the owner of Elm Croft Manor. II live in Los Angeles and purchased the property last summer (2006) - it is located at the tip of Keuka lake in the heart of the Finger Lakes Wine country; it is an absolutely beautiful piece of property; walking distance to the Hammondsport town square and minutes from several award-winning wineries. We completed a beautiful renovation this past Spring complete with central A/C, new furnishings; landscaping, etc. Elm Croft Manor (circa 1832) is a beautiful Greek Revival Mansion with 5 acres of woods; a huge two story barn fully plumbed with electrical; sculptured gardens; all new landscaping, etc.I am interviewing brokers to ist the property, now that the renovation is completed, how do I find a quality listing agent/broker? it may be marketed as either a private home (5 bd/5.5bth).

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Jim Walker, Agent, Carmichael, CA
Thu Aug 9, 2007
Or it may be marketed as a business opportunity...as an ongoing bed and breakfast.

I have an idea. Why not send out a mailing to your past B and B guests. Let them know you are thinking of putting it on the market. Here are a pool of existing Elmcroft fans. Maybe one of them is, or knows an agent in this specialty. Maybe one of htem has been dreaming of buying the B and B since they stayed there!
2 votes
Bruce Lynn, Agent, Coppell, TX
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Sounds like a great place. I went to school in Ithaca at Cornell so your posting has brought back some great memories. I'd think an Ithaca based agent/broker would be a good start for interviewing. They're not too far away, typically have pretty good connections between Ag School, Business School, Law School and Hotel School. If you need a referral to a good agent please let me know.
Web Reference:  http://www.teamlynn.com
1 vote
Pam Winterba…, Agent, Danville, VA
Thu Aug 9, 2007
There is a branch or certification for International specialists. This may help and here is the description.
The Certified International Property Specialist (CIPS) course curriculum is the educational foundation of the CIPS Network. It distinguishes CIPS designees as individuals who have both hands-on experience in international real estate transactions, as well as successfully completed an intensive seven-day program of study focusing on critical aspects of transnational transactions, including currency and exchange rate issues and cross-cultural relationships, regional market conditions, investment performance, tax issues and more. I would be glad to get you a referral to an International Specialist if you want. Email me at winterpam@windermere.com.
Web Reference:  http://pamwinterbauer.com
1 vote
Kristal Kraft, Agent, Greenwood Village, CO
Mon Aug 13, 2007
There are brokers who specialize in selling only B&B's. Why not look for one who does just that? The ones I know are in Pennsylvania and they are licensed to sell in multiple states, much like farm and ranch brokers who cover entire portions of the United States.

They would have the most resources for the type of property you are trying to sell.

I used Google for the terms "real estate specilalist for bed and breakfast" and it produced many choices.

Good luck!
0 votes
Deborah Madey, Agent, Brick, NJ
Fri Aug 10, 2007

I am a member of CIPS and my background prior to real estate was international sales and marketing for Fortune 100 companies. Your headline question immediately caught my attention. The detail you provided focused less on international.

You have a few approaches here, and which one might be best depends upon the further evaluation. An aggressive marketing campaign may reach to different audiences, but you may want the focus of your outreach to have a dominant theme.

There are brokers who specialize in lodging, those who are business brokers, those who have experience and education in commercial and investment, those who have an international background, and, of course, your local market specialists near your property. It is not uncommon to hire a broker with a comprehensive background in a particular area of expertise who may not be geographically proximate to the property. The best broker for you may or may not be proximate to the property, depending upon who your most likely buyer is. For example, most lodging brokers are not proximate to the properties they broker. Their value comes from the ability to market well, understand the buyer and seller profiles, read the financials and negotiate on behalf of their principal.

Here are the various markets for your property:

1) An international audience. Are you suggesting an international buyer that would be interested in the property as a single family home or as an investment of a lodging facility?

2) B&B or Lodging Facility. You explained that you purchased the property in 2006 and recently completed renovations. Was the property an active inn/B&B at the time of purchase? Did it remain so through the renovation? I looked at the website and gather that you are currently active now. (Nice website, BTW.) I did not find you as an active member of Central New York Lodging or similar associations, but my search was not exhaustive. What is your occupancy rate? What is your average daily rate? The answers to the above only begin to address the factors that would influence how to best position your property for sale and choosing the best broker.

3) Private residence. Was the property purchased as an inn or private residence? If it is viable first and foremost as an inn, and can compete with other inns, the main marketing focus may be in that direction. Since you built a website for the property as an inn, I am taking a lesser focus on the private residence angle of marketing, though not ruling it out.

4) Business opportunity.

5) Historical property.

I would be careful of choosing a lodging specialist who has an inventory of several other properties with higher values, or larger sized than yours. It may be better to be a big fish in a little pond, than a little fish in a big pond. The same may hold true for commercial brokers. If a commercial broker has many large projects, you might not stay at the top of mind where you want to be. You can look into a brokerage that has experience with lodging or commercial, being aware of how your property will fit their mix.

Many residential specialists do not have a familiarity or comfort level with numbers analysis, or commercial sales. (I remain utterly baffled by the number of agents who have told me they struggled through the math section on real estate exams). But there are a some agents who are primarily residential but do have a strong orientation toward commercial sales, can read a P&L, and hold their own in investment or business discussions. This would probably be the type of broker who could do a really good job and cross market for you. This would allow you to outreach to the private residential community, advertise in vehicles that attract buyers for historical properties, market an inn and be able to hold their own in a financial discussion. This ideal broker would also be experienced and well connected in international, per your headline.

If I knew more about your property, I may very specific recommendations. Feel free to reach out to me.

Deborah Madey - Broker
Peninsula Realty Group, Inc.
(800) 973-5855
0 votes
Maureen Fran…, Agent, Birmingham, MI
Fri Aug 10, 2007
Looks beautiful in the pictures. My company, Sotheby's International Realty, has a wonderful international presence. We have brokerages all around the world and we are known for the special homes that we market. I would be happy to have someone from Sotheby's in New York contact you if you like. You can email me at mfrancis@skbk.com
0 votes
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