Lisa Levitin is the co-owner and a licensed real estate salesperson at RoseHip Partners Real Estate in East Hampton. The Independent spoke with Levitin about her business.
Which Hamptons home or buildings do you admire most?
The ones that come to mind immediately are Lasata, Kilkare, The Sanctuary at the Jewish Center of the Hamptons, and the Villa Maria in Water Mill. I have a personal connection to all of them.
The Indian name given to Lasata, “Place of Peace,” is a great way to answer this question. This name knits all the properties I admire together. I frequent the drive past Lasata, from my office to Amagansett.
I also spent a lot of time in this surreal vintage property because I was fortunate enough to help sell Lasata to Reed Krakoff in 2007. I worked with Brown Harris Stevens at the time and we got the property listing in 2006.
When I find myself in an historical home, I can feel the lifetimes before. It is very poetic. Someone was in this same space looking at the same moon, smelling the same ocean. One of my favorite rooms at Lasata before it was magnificently transformed, was the telephone room.
Which home from your portfolio are you most proud of selling?
I think this question begs the answer “whatever my last sale was.” All the homes and properties I helped my clients and customers with are truly special. For me, it is not just finding a slice of heaven that resonates for them. It is also the first chapter of their story about to unfold.
What sets you apart from other brokers?
“You have to be in it to win it.” I am on it 24/7. I stay up at night surfing the web and looking at real estate trends. I moved here full time in 1994 from Manhattan. I have summered here since the early 1970s, so I am very familiar with the different East End hamlets and the landscape.
I often find myself “ahead of the curve.” I have a keen sense of when to move in and when to move out. My integrity, determination, commitment, and love for many aspects of this business keeps me driven. There is so much more to learn, so many more people to meet, and so many more properties to know.
What advice can you give buyers when listing their place, or sellers before finalizing their home’s sale?
Stay unattached, de-clutter[ed], and non-personalized. Keep the property thriving so the customer can feel the summer time, the barbecues, and visualize family and friends come alive in your home.
For the buyer, I always recommend local lawyers, because if there are issues, they will know the most expedient way to resolve them. Make sure the walk through is thorough and broom swept. It would not be unusual for a tree to fall on a house or pipe [to] burst the day before the closing. I have experience with this. I recently heard a horror story from a friend. She could not make it to the walk through and found the house filled with old furniture and stuff. Too late. She had to remove everything herself after closing.
Are there any east end trends you are watching?
I am always watching East End trends. The focus seems to be on Millennials. Smaller homes and less stuff. A simple lifestyle. Even though this has been talked about, I have not really experienced it. Also, $1 million and under is on fire.
When you’re not working, where can we find you out East?
Any yoga studio between Sag Harbor and Amagansett. We are blessed with the world’s finest teachers here. You will always find me with Cassidy. She is a 14 1/2 years old, wise soul chow mix.
Beach time with my partner, Michael, at my sister’s house with my awesome family.
How did you get started in real estate and become a brokerage partner?
Real estate is in my blood. My mother was a top broker for Sotheby’s most of her life until her recent retirement. My father is a real estate developer, and so was my grandpa. The lifestyle comes naturally to me. It is a mercurial business and everything changes from day to day.
I worked with a growing wine company and sold to most East End restaurants and wine shops. We represented wines from all over the world. In 1999, I moved back to Manhattan and sold wine for the same company there. During that time, I was working hard and able to crystallize one of my dreams. I purchased my first dream house in Springs, East Hampton, in 2000.
Sometime after that I took a real estate class, worked for Dunemere in Sag Harbor (they later sold to Brown Harris Stevens), and eventually wound up in the East Hampton office.
Rosehip Partners Real Estate was formed by me and two others in 2008. I brought over three people to help get our small office started. We worked really hard in the beginning to fill our shelves with inventory and engage the market. We started with the website hamptonsrentals.com. My partner Joe Kazickas calls it “the goose that lays the golden egg.” It just keeps laying eggs! This year is our 10-year anniversary.
We also own hamptonsrealty.com, among many other websites. We have a small, strong company. We love it here. We are tucked in between the famous Villa Italian Specialties and Mary’s Marvelous. We are across from the railroad station and I love hearing the whistle blow.
How has the industry changed since you’ve had your license in the Hamptons?
More competition, naturally, because of the internet.
Are there any cool neighborhoods we should be watching?
Amagansett North, some parts of Springs, East Hampton Fringe, North Sea Mecox. If you want zoned in details, give me a call.
For more information on RoseHip Partners Real Estate, visit 3 Railroad Avenue in East Hampton, call 631-324-0009, or go online to the site www.hamptonsrealty.com.