Steve Harney at Brooklyn Board of Realtors Agents Day 2013
The Brooklyn area was one of the most devastated by Hurricane Sandy over six months ago. The real estate business took a back seat as agents were getting their homes and lives back together. Homes were lost, businesses destroyed and many real estate agents discontinued their mailings and marketing efforts as they put those funds into repairs.This week, Steve Harney came to town and helped us all to get back on track and back to making this year a strong one. Those of you who know Steve, surely know that he has the power to deliver a strong message in a way where it sticks. To those of you who have not yet had the privilege of participating in one of Mr. Harney’s presentations, may not be able to appreciate the impact that one person can make on an entire room.
The standing room only crowd at the El Caribe Caterers in Mill Basin, Brooklyn came to be inspired…and INSPIRED they were. I heard stories of agents that haven’t been back to business since the storm, who came to this meeting with the hopes of getting their hope back. Sure, some agents have been back in the offices, but they just haven’t had the fire that they once had. One agent, Josie Liascas was flooded out in the storm and struggled to get out of her home as the flood waters came in. She has since broken her ankle and then her wrist as the string of unfortunate incidents continued. Josie arrived in her wheelchair as she was the person who I believe needed and wanted inspiration more than anyone. Steve’s message hit her right in the heart and she is now back in the office and has two new listing appointments since Agents Day; which was only 3 days ago.
Nothing would keep Josie Liascas away from seeing Steve Harney at Agents Day
Over 300 attendees left Agents Day all fired up. Steve Harney enlightened the group with statistics and facts that proved without a doubt that the real estate market is back, and it’s back strong. Steve brilliantly used examples of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, Earthquakes in California and Hurricanes in Florida to poignantly point out that those areas came back and are still strong. The common factor that makes these areas so strong and vibrant is that these places are SPECIAL. “Brooklyn is special,” pointed out Harney. You could see the look on the crowd as they nodded in agreement and felt that there is hope in the market.
Now, Brooklyn is the tale of two cities sometimes, where the downtown areas and areas like Bedford Stuyvesant are booming, but some of the areas affected by the storm on the south shore are still suffering from sluggish sales and lack of confidence in the buyer pool. While home prices in downtown are increasing over 20%, prices have decreased the same amount in flooded areas. Some people are afraid of these areas. They are worried about the next storm. Steve also helped to point out that it is our job as real estate agents to explain the market and the opportunities that exist in it today. There are so many of our neighbors moving back into their homes now, and for those who are not, there are a lot of buyers that always wanted to be here that are bidding on these homes. Brooklyn is hot, and people want to be here. Real estate agents have to go out there and spread the word. Prices are increasing rapidly all around town and as interest rates are still low, it’s a great opportunity for people to buy. Agents that already get this message are having strong sales. I even know quite a few agents that are having the best year of their careers this year. It’s all how you look at it, and Steve Harney gave us all a fresh set of eyes to see the amazing opportunity we have to help our communities to see the light and get on with their plans of selling and buying homes.
So many people have helped us out when the Hurricane first hit back in October of 2012. They helped with donations, food, clothing and shelter for those in need. We are grateful for the love that was shown to us at that most trying time. This week, Steve Harney gave us a gift that will impact our agents, our brokerages, and our community for a long time to come. As Steve pointed out, “This was not just an event in Brooklyn, it was more…so much more!” Brooklyn agents are not only empowered with a great message of hope and opportunity, but we also have the tools to go out there and spread the word. Many of our agents are also excited to be subscribing members to Keeping Current Matters; which is Steve’s brilliant tool that keeps agents up to date with the latest market trends and data. The great thing about this program is that it helps agents to tell the story that we all believe in to our buyers and sellers. The graphs, charts and visuals really help us to sent the message home.
I would like to commend the Brooklyn Board of Realtors for putting together this successful event, and thank those who attended and sponsored the day who made it all worthwhile.
Most of all, I would like to show my extreme gratitude to Steve Harney for fitting us into his schedule and giving back to Brooklyn in a way that has touched our hearts forever.
Steve, you own the key to the hearts of Brooklyn Real Estate Agents. Your message and generosity at such a crucial time has helped our agents to change our lives for our families and our communities. The impact of this day will reach deep into the communities of Brooklyn. THANK YOU!