Taking a retro approach to real estate with #BrokerByTheBeach

Navigating The Market With Compass’s Karen Benvenuto

Compass’s Benvenuto Team and their 1928 Ford Model A Depot Wagon Woody.

Compass agents Karen and Huck Benvenuto have been a mainstay in the Hamptons’ real estate landscape for over 30 years, but don’t let the longevity of their tenure fool you — they are two of the most innovative brokers in the field.

The “Benvenuto Team,” which is based out of the Compass East Hampton office, chose the powerhouse because of the cutting-edge technology and innovative home-improvement options they could offer to their clients to raise the value of their homes as they go to market.

Funnily enough, it was their 1928 Ford Model A Depot Wagon Woody that caught our eye. With a honk that sounds like a kazoo, the open-air buggy, emblazoned with the Compass logo, travels all over the East End. Indy caught up with Karen and Huck Benvenuto, who was doing the driving, when we scored a ride from their East Hampton office to Main Beach. We experienced first-hand the retro ride that brings hundreds to a standstill and mobile phones clicking away for that perfect Instagram moment.

Tell us about the Benvenuto team.

Huck and I have worked together for 30 plus years. We have been immersed in Hamptons real estate as residents, landlords, and real estate brokers. Anna O’Connell, our associate, joined our team last year and has proven to be an invaluable asset as we grow our business. Anna’s design direction and marketing expertise is the perfect addition to our innovative approach to real estate. By combining experience with innovation, the three of us bring a unique perspective to the buying and selling process.

Why did your team choose Compass as the brokerage to join?

We watched Compass and came to realize that their tools are superior and one step ahead. For us, the most important part of what we do is service our clients. Compass allows us to leverage best-in-class technology to help simplify the real estate experience. We’re the only brokerage able to offer tools like Compass Concierge, a program that loans you money for home improvements with zero interest. We’re providing the opportunity to increase the value of properties that we represent.

The Benvenuto Team consists of Karen and Huck Benvenuto and associate Anna O’Connell, who is seated in their 1928 Ford Model A Depot Wagon Woody at Main Beach in East Hampton. Independent/Ty Wenzel

Why did you decide to do a promotion like this, with the Ford?

It’s eye-catching, a good conversation starter, and makes people smile. It sets us apart in a fun way while demonstrating our appreciation for history and development.

Your “Broker By The Beach” campaign has been on the road getting people to smile all summer long. Is there a special story you can share?

In a place where collectible and outstanding luxury cars are common, the 1928 Woodie is recognized. A few years ago, out for a joyride to the beach, we ran into an old customer who noticed the car. We started a conversation that ultimately led to him listing his property and purchasing another. So began our “Broker by the Beach” campaign.

What has been the reaction?

Overwhelmingly positive. Tons of smiles, thumbs-ups, honks, and the photo-ops are crazy fun!

Why the 1928 Ford Model A Depot Wagon Woody?

It’s been in the family for 35 years. It was built as a depot wagon that lived on an estate in Southampton. It was used to shuttle the residents to and from the train station during summer months. We found it, brought it back to life, and started using it on special occasions. We had “Just Married” signs made for our wedding. Now we use it daily with the Compass signs.

How will you utilize this amazing vehicle now that the crowds have gone? 

Mostly for parades, open house events, and around town when we’re in the mood. We always look forward to the holiday parade in December. We’ll be using it forever. It’s not just a summer gig.

Besides the “Broker By The Beach” campaign, how else do you market your beautiful homes?

In this everchanging industry, we custom tailor a marketing strategy to fit each individual property. We do everything from traditional print to online advertising, and everything in between. We’re consistently active on social media and develop out-of-the-box experiences to network. Recently we hosted a panel discussion for the benefit of the YLC Milken Institute at one of our listings.

Why are you the team to hire to sell beautiful Hamptons homes?

Our basic principles. We call them the three Rs — relationships, resources, and results.

To learn more about the Benvenuto Team, visit www.compass.com/agents/hamptons/karen-benvenuto or call 631-324-3111.