Despite his early beginning as a school teacher, Enzo Morabito doesn’t play by the rules. Thanks to his forward-thinking tactics, this professor-turned-real estate whiz rules the scene. Here, we sit down with the man himself to get the inside scoop on how he got his start, where he’s headed next, and which home-selling trends he’s banking on.
You’ve been a power-broker for Douglas Elliman for many years. What’s your secret?
My ability to be consistent with the level of service for our clients and customers is extremely important. People trust the name. They know what they are getting. The real key to longevity, however, is simply changing with the times. We live in a very digital age. Clients and customers want to know that we are in touch with the latest in technology and advertising venues.
When grand homes come to market, what’s your pitch to the homeowners?
I absolutely believe you cannot sell or make anyone buy anything. Consumers and homeowners are extremely intelligent. I advise them of options. I make them aware of their homes’ big assets and where those assets sit in the current market.
How did you get started in Hamptons real estate?
It seems like an old story, but I bought land, subdivided it, and sold it. I was hooked on the process. As I became more educated, I started to concentrate on developing land with open space so years down the line, the property would be worth even more, because no one would be able to build next to it.
What do you favor about representing Elliman in such a competitive region?
Knight Frank, in conjunction with Douglas Elliman, sees the bigger picture. Not just the Hamptons. They know clients and customers in the Hamptons also have homes in Miami or Aspen, and they tap those markets and create a great referral base. It really is a small world.
We know how dramatically things have changed in how luxury east end real estate gets sold. What are some of these changes for you?
By far, the biggest change for us is social media. While we do still use print advertising, and even good old-fashioned direct mail, if you are not present on social media, you are dead. People relate to you and your image. Everyone has their phone or laptop out, and people spend down time looking at what interests them. Today’s purchases begin online, and you have to be present and different.
How do you leverage digital platforms to succeed?
Very simply put, be one step ahead of the pack. I have always been on the front edge of what’s new, and I use a platform until everyone else joins in. Then, I move on. My team spends a lot of time looking at trends and fresh venues. For example, the Enzo Morabito team is currently taking a break from Zillow. We don’t follow the crowd. Whenever all our competitors are doing the same thing, it’s time for us to change.
How do you choose who is part of the Enzo Morabito brand?
I used to simply meet people and test them out. I have always leaned towards people who are new to the business. Now, I really know what I want from a team member. Enthusiasm for the business and what you can bring to the table that complements the team members who are already here have turned out to be the biggest criteria.
What are some home trends you are noting?
Most people lead extremely busy lives and simply want a turn-key home, either new construction or just renovated. Unless a home has historical significance or a really cool celebrity owned it, people want to put their own stamp on it.
Are there any up-and-coming neighborhoods you’ve noticed taking root in the Hamptons?
Sag Harbor is like a chameleon to me. Construction is beginning in our Sag Harbor office and we will be moving our team there on a full-time basis. There is literally something for everyone —historical, modern, waterfront, village living — and at a wide price range, which is also exciting.
The area north of Southampton village has been undergoing a renaissance, and the new homeowners are making sure their investment is intact, with stately homes that have all the bells and whistles. The Enzo Morabito team is leading the charge west of the canal, and have managed to totally take over that market based on Multiple Listing Service statistics. We out performed our nearest competitors three to one in total sales for 2017.
Do you take part in any mentor-agent relationships? Any advice for rookies?
My team concept is based on mentoring. I take individuals and make them real estate professionals. One of the highest compliments to me is when team members wants to go out on their own.
They have learned enough to make their own mark. My door is always open to answer questions. I enjoy it. Prior to becoming a real estate broker, I was a school teacher. Truthfully, I’m still a teacher. Basically, I’m still teaching, except I’m now it’s real estate.
What do you do for fun when you’re not selling luxury real estate?
After I have spent time with my family, reading is a love of mine. There truly is nothing like escaping with a good book.
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