January 20, 2011
Sarah Ellen Berman, writer for Inside Chappaqua, a New York based magazine, created this piece on William Raveis Real Estates expansion into Westchester County. It really reflects on the power of the independently-owned business model that has helped the company become so successful!
The proposition of parting with or acquiring a new home can be one of the most important or exciting times. For residents and prospective buyers in the town of Chappaqua, this task is greatly facilitated thanks to the arrival of the venerable firm, William Raveis Real Estate, Mortgage and Insurance. The building located at 75 North Greeley Avenue is currently under construction and will be the location for Raveis new Chappaqua office.
While Raveis (pronounced Ravis) is a relative newcomer to Chappaqua, the company is firmly entrenched in the surrounding area and northeast. Yet, this powerhouse rose from humble beginnings. In 1974, CEO and Chairman, Bill Raveis, founded the company in a room atop a grocery store in Fairfield, CT. Since then, he has built a strong reputation for the firm, particularly in the high-end marketplace, including the renowned Fairfield County.
As the company grew, Bills sons joined the business. In 2003, Chris Raveis, now Managing Partner of William Raveis NY and MA, led the companys rapid expansion outside of Connecticut, opening over 30 offices throughout the northeast in just seven years. Within the past 18 months, Chris and his team opened five new Raveis locations in Westchester CountyRye, Harrison, Katonah, Chappaqua and most recently, a new affiliate in Sleepy Hollow. Due to the hard work of management, agents and staff, the firm has achieved the honor of being the largest family-owned real estate company in the northeast and was named the eleventh largest real estate company in the country in 2010.
True to its reputation of catering to all home buyer and seller needs, William Raveis also touts award-winning Mortgage and Insurance Divisions. Ryan Raveis, Senior Vice President of Sales and Marketing for William Raveis Mortgage has helped the division achieve a top 1% ranking amongst all FHA lenders in the country. The insurance division offers separate coverage for homes, possessions, automobiles, life, and health as well as umbrella policies.
A cornerstone of the companys success in all its divisions has been to hire the best people. The Chappaqua office Sales Manager, Susan Myers, fits this description well. A veteran broker who has most recently worked for Prudential Holmes and Kennedy, Myers is ebullient about Raveis prospects in Chappaqua. We now have many of the top producers in our Chappaqua office, she said. Raveis recruits only the best and the brightest, ensuring them success wherever they go. Sena Baron, Barbara Karlen Blitstein, Cindy Glynn, Bonnie Golub, Ellen Grollman, Suzette B. Kraus, Lucille Liang, Helene Miller, Danae Richards, Susan Shopkorn, Harmony Stern, and Alli Tugendhaft are just a few of the area top producers that have become a part of the Raveis team. The new office will cover the following territory: Chappaqua, Armonk, Briarcliff Manor, Bedford, Mount Kisco, and Pleasantville.
When asked how she will encourage her agents in a housing market that is stabilizing, Myers stressed a collaborative approach. It will be important to look at what clients value as far as finances, comfort, and home amenities. In her experience, the top five areas of a home that clients value are: the kitchen, bathrooms, a family room adjacent to the kitchen, a finished basement and landscaping. We will also stress effective communication upon the part of the agent, so he or she is presenting properties that best suit the clients needs.
According to Myers, Chappaqua is brimming with premier listings at great values. She highlighted two properties. The first is located at 9 Crystal Spring Road. Priced at $1,050,000 Myers sees this vintage charmer as an immediate attraction for buyers in this price range because of its excellent condition and level property with views. The second listing is a colonial, priced at $759,000, located at 84 Oak Hill. To get a colonial in the mid $700,000s is a great value, Myers observed.
Myers is quick to tout the strengths of the firm when asked how she will approach marketing of these and other homes. The technology William Raveis provides is unbelievable. The website [raveis.com] receives over ten million worldwide visits annually and is a wonderful tool for any agent marketing a home. In addition to providing simple access to information on over 200,000 listings throughout the Northeast, raveis.com is a destination for buyers, sellers and real estate aficionados alike looking to keep a pulse on regional and local markets. In addition, the company embraces social media, engaging Facebook, Twitter and You Tube followers with weekly contests such as Name that Celebrity Home, providing useful tips for buyers and sellers and posting video created by agents and management. The firms blog.raveis.com, is a hub for the latest in real estate, from trends in home building to the impact of state and federal regulation in local markets
Through use of technology as well as more traditional means of communication, Myers looks to maintain a close relationship not only with clients, but with local communities the Chappaqua office will serve. The Chappaqua team looks forward to being actively involved in community events and causes, said Myers. This is a philosophy she shares with Bill Raveis, William Raveis agents and staff, as they have felt strongly about giving back to communities that have helped them prosper over the years.
A cause close to the companys heart has been to aid those fighting breast cancer. Over the past 6 years, William Raveis agents, management and staff have raised $1.5 million in support of the American Cancer Society Patient Navigator Program, an initiative that helps newly diagnosed breast cancer patients navigate through the physical, emotional and financial stresses of the disease. Myers looks forward to actively participating in this cause, as well as in agents continued involvement in local groups and associations, such as the PTA, the United Jewish Appeal, the Junior League, Neighbors Link, churches, and synagogues.
When contemplating the outlook for real estate, Myers is optimistic. Itll be stronger than 2010 as long as homes are priced realistically, she said. One thing she need not contemplate is the prowess of her team, which has a lifetime sales volume of $2.9 billion. Their talent further fuels my optimism. Im excited for the year ahead.
Article source: http://blog.raveis.com/2011/01/20/home-sweet-home/