Bringing Community Into Hamptons Real Estate

Michael Daly Of Douglas Elliman

Team Michael Daly of Elliman consists of Matthew Spratford, Eleanor Kobel and Michael Daly. Independent/Madison Fender

Since 1998, associate broker, Michael Daly of Douglas Elliman has built his business with a deep commitment to community. He is an accredited Buyers Representative and Seniors Real Estate Specialist and serves several organizations that include the Peconic Land Trust Public Policy Committee, North Haven Village, and the Southampton Zoning Board of Appeals, Southampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force, Sag Harbor American Music Festival, and Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork. To name a few.

The Independent asked Daly how his involvement in noble causes has grown his business and invites prospects to work with a broker who values transparency and community to help them find or sell their homes on the East End.

Where are you from? Are you local?

Being “local” is a loaded question. I’ve been living, at least part-time, on the East End since 1960 when my grandmother bought our family farmhouse in Westhampton. I was a summer kid from Queens until I moved to Westhampton with my family in 1995 and to Sag Harbor in 1998. So yes, I consider myself a local.

Can you tell us about all of the community organizations you’re involved with and their personal significance?

I’ve always been a volunteer, enjoying being in community with others. Today, I serve a number of local organizations.

The Peconic Land Trust Public Policy Committee, because I see the importance of conservation and preservation of farmland and the balance of that with housing and economic development. I sit on both the North Haven Village and Southampton Township Zoning Board of Appeals, because I think it’s important to understand responsible zoning and development so that we can maintain a sustainable community on the East End. I serve on the Southampton Town Anti-Bias Task Force, because I believe in freedom and justice for all and know that bias hurts everyone in our community.

Team Michael Daly of Elliman consists of Matthew Spratford, Eleanor Kobel and Michael Daly. Independent/Madison Fender

I’ve been a volunteer with the Sag Harbor American Music Festival and have served as volunteer coordinator over the last several years because music makes the world a happier place. I am a trustee for the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork in Bridgehampton. UUCSF is a terrific community of people who come together each week to recharge our batteries so we can go back out into the world and contribute.

My pride and joy organization is East End YIMBY, an advocacy group for attainable, work force, and senior housing for the Peconic region, comprised of the five East End townships. We have an enormous deficit of affordable housing here and it’s hurting our ability to maintain a sustainable community.

What are you particularly passionate about right now?

Aside from the community organizations I serve, I’m really juiced about the newly developed team we have set up at Douglas Elliman. “Team Michael Daly” is growing into a group of multi-talented real estate professionals that will serve locals real estate needs with dignity. We serve everyone we can, no matter the size or the price of the property. We also work with those seeking year-round rentals, which are as rare as hens’ teeth in this resort-oriented, AirBnB world we live in.

You’re a specialist in the senior real estate market. What does that mean and how do you help the senior community?

I received my Seniors Real Estate Specialist designation from the National Association of Realtors when I started to see so many seniors in our market in need of real estate advice. Many people need advice on retrofitting their homes so they can remain there, living comfortably.

I’m aligned with mortgage brokers who can help with home equity financing as well. Some want to sell, but don’t know where to go, so I’m part of a nationwide network of SRESs that I can call for help. It’s brought to light how unprepared we are, as a community, to deal with the issues around aging. We have such limited senior services.

How did you choose real estate as a career?

After several years working in the field of mental health, I burned out and entered the hotel and restaurant business while living on the west coast and had a fun 20-year career managing restaurants, clubs, hotels, then working on a few start-ups and focusing on concept development consulting.

After moving here full time in the ’90s, I found that most of my work required me to travel, and with three young sons, that didn’t feel good to be away. So, I got my license in 1998 and have enjoyed the roller coaster of real estate ever since.

Do your community involvements work in tandem with your work as an agent?

Absolutely. While it’s tempting to only focus on big deals, our team focuses on every person in need of a place to live. We’re not too big for the small jobs, which also makes us not too small for the big ones. We just closed on a house for around $500,000 with a buyer I have been working with for 12 years. It’s so gratifying to be part of someone finding a home that meets their needs.

Why Douglas Elliman?

I started my career in 1998 with Prudential Long Island Realty, which today is Douglas Elliman. After working with Corcoran as their regional VP, opening up my own real estate brokerage, the launching online brokerage Redfin Real Estate in New York, and five years at Sotheby’s, I came full circle back home to Elliman. In my travels, I’ve learned that no place is perfect, but there just might be a perfect place for each of us. Right now, that’s Elliman for me.

What differentiates you from other agents on the East End?

It’s hard to say what makes me different because that comparison is not always fair and I don’t want to paint anyone else with a broad brush. What I can say is that I treat everyone with respect and dignity and honor how important home is to each client. I’m a good listener and believe that my role is not sales, but service.

What kind of marketing do you employ in your real estate efforts?

My belief is “Think globally and act locally.” I do most of my marketing locally and sponsor and support many local not for profits.

I’d rather my name be associated with an organization working to serve local people than some swanky publication. Sometimes we have to reach outside our nest, but for me, local is better.

Do you specialize in a particular area?

I live in Sag Harbor, but have experience all over the East End. Our team members are Eleanor Kobel from Westhampton Beach and Matt Spratford from Montauk, so we cover the entire South Fork and Shelter Island today. We’re growing the team with like-minded, socially responsible, service oriented agents and will be well versed on the entire East End, all five townships, soon.

What’s a word that describes your agent style?


What advice would you give buyers?

In this market? April 2019? Be patient, but strike when I advise you to.

How about sellers?

Don’t just list your house with the agent who gives you the highest listing price. Make us show you the research on how we arrive at that price. I always say: “The house often sells to the highest bidder, even if it’s the owner.”

What do you do for fun when you’re not selling luxury real estate?

I body surf and will travel in the winter to do that. Being in the ocean soothes my soul. I also enjoy road trips and have driven cross-country many times. Want to drive to New Orleans or Quebec or California? Let’s go! I also like to capture moments in time by pictures. My Instagram is @hamptonsshutterbug.

Anything you’d like to add?

There’s no place I’d rather live and nothing I’d rather do.

To reach Daly or inquire about his properties, call 631-725-0554 or email