Are buyers asking you for anything specific lately?
Indoor-outdoor living. And they want everything centralized inside their home, if they’re able to do that. Having an extra office space has become vital in a purchase for most of my clients; same thing with space for a gym, whether it’s a pool house where they can put a Peloton or something similar. Solar paneling is also a big one that has hit over the last three to four years.
Which trends have you noticed in the rental space?
The rental client is often just someone who’s going to buy in like three years, kind of testing it out, seeing if the Hamptons is for them. I’m seeing a lot of people my age who are looking for a full-year rental, and have to pay way too much money for it.
I know it’s not part of the Hamptons’ identity, but I think there should be more buildings that are more affordable, because there are a lot of people looking for housing who have to commute into the Hamptons to work every day.
We call it the trade parade, because it’s a lot of tradesmen that are coming out to help build the homes out there. The line starts at 6 am, trying to cross the Shinnecock Canal to get into Southampton, Bridgehampton, East Hampton, Montauk. But there are so many people, I don’t even know where you’d put them, so it’s almost like you have to commute in. With gas prices over $5 a gallon, I don’t know how sustainable that is for a lot. of people who rely on their next paycheck to get by.
How would you describe the Hamptons real estate market?
It used to be a secondary market, and it’s becoming a primary market now. Properties that used to sit on the market for six months to a year are now going within a month. If you’re coming in to buy, you need to be prepared and have conviction. If you find the right thing, you’ve got to pull the trigger.
How does “Selling the Hamptons” compare to “Million Dollar Beach House?”
On “Selling the Hamptons,” we’re showing the pandemic style of really high-paced, highly active buyers, investors. It’s more of us being experienced in what we do, more real estate, more homes. The other thing is, we actually show the Hamptons. We show local places, like the barbershop — the kids who run that barbershop grew up in East Hampton — and Hill Street boxing, founded by a local Southampton kid. I love that we’re bringing exposure to places like Golden Pear cafe, the mom-and-pop shops that make the Hamptons so distinct. That’s something I was really proud of with “Selling the Hamptons” compared to the other show.
Is the show good for business?
A lot of your business doesn’t make TV, and you’ll be doing a scene, it takes four hours; you get back to your phone and the people are like, “JB, where are you, what are you doing?” You say, “Oh, I’m shooting the show,” and they’re like, “That’s great, I’m happy for you, but we’ve got to get this deal done.”