Bess Freedman on Luxury Real Estate in 2024: A Conversation with the Brown Harris Stevens CEO

Bess Freedman on Luxury Real Estate in 2024: A Conversation with the Brown Harris Stevens CEO

Bess Freedman on Luxury Real Estate in 2024: A Conversation with the Brown Harris Stevens CEO In this exclusive interview, Bess Freedman, the CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, shares her insights on the luxury real estate market, the challenges and opportunities for agents, and her vision for the future of the industry. Bess Freedman is

Bess Freedman on Luxury Real Estate in 2024: A Conversation with the Brown Harris Stevens CEO

Bess Freedman

Courtesy by: Brown Harris Stevens

In this exclusive interview, Bess Freedman, the CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, shares her insights on the luxury real estate market, the challenges and opportunities for agents, and her vision for the future of the industry.

Bess Freedman is not only the CEO of Brown Harris Stevens, one of America’s largest and most prestigious real estate firms, but also one of the most influential and respected leaders in the industry. With over 25 years of experience in luxury real estate, she has represented some of the most notable properties and clients in the country, such as the Woolworth Building, the Plaza Hotel, and Robert De Niro. She has also been recognized by numerous publications and organizations, such as The Wall Street Journal, Forbes, Crain’s, and The Real Deal, for her achievements and contributions to the industry.

In this interview, we had the opportunity to talk to Bess Freedman about the evolution of luxury real estate, the challenges and opportunities for luxury real estate agents, and her vision for the future of luxury real estate, both for Brown Harris Stevens and the industry as a whole.

The Evolution of Luxury Real Estate

Luxury real estate is a dynamic and diverse market that has undergone significant changes over the years. According to Bess Freedman, the definition of luxury real estate is not limited to traditional mansions and estates, but rather encompasses a wide range of properties that offer unique features and amenities that cater to the preferences and lifestyles of discerning buyers.

“Luxury real estate is not just about the price tag, but also about the quality, the design, the location, and the experience of living in a property that reflects your personality and values. Luxury real estate is also about the story behind the property, the history, the culture, and the architecture that make it stand out from the rest,” Bess Freedman said.

Some of the factors that influence the demand and supply of luxury properties are economic growth, lifestyle trends, technological innovation, and global interconnectedness. Bess Freedman explained that these factors create new opportunities and challenges for the luxury real estate market, as buyers and sellers have more choices and information than ever before.

“Economic growth creates wealth and confidence, which drive the demand for luxury properties. Lifestyle trends shape the preferences and expectations of buyers, who are looking for properties that suit their needs and aspirations. Technological innovation enables the creation of new features and amenities that enhance the comfort, convenience, and security of luxury homes. Global interconnectedness allows buyers and sellers to access and explore different markets and cultures, expanding their horizons and options,” Bess Freedman said.

Some of the most sought-after features and amenities in luxury homes are bespoke spaces, spectacular views, tranquility, global design influences, and cutting-edge security systems. Bess Freedman shared some examples of properties that exemplify these features and amenities, such as:

  • A penthouse in Manhattan that offers panoramic views of the city skyline, the Central Park, and the Hudson River, as well as custom-designed interiors, a private elevator, and a rooftop terrace.
  • A waterfront estate in the Hamptons that boasts oceanfront views, spacious grounds, a heated pool, a tennis court, and a guest house, as well as a serene and secluded location that provides privacy and relaxation.
  • A tropical villa in Palm Beach that features tropical views, an exclusive gated community, a golf course, and a spa, as well as a blend of Mediterranean and Caribbean design influences that create a warm and inviting atmosphere.
  • A modern masterpiece in Miami that showcases waterfront views, a sleek and minimalist design, a rooftop deck, and a pool, as well as a state-of-the-art security system that includes biometric access, cameras, and alarms.

The Challenges and Opportunities for Luxury Real Estate Agents

Luxury real estate agents are the professionals who facilitate the transactions and relationships between buyers and sellers of luxury properties. They are expected to have a high level of skills and qualities, such as market knowledge, professionalism, discretion, ingenuity, and relationship-building. Bess Freedman emphasized the importance of these skills and qualities, as they are essential for providing exceptional service and value to clients.

“Market knowledge is the foundation of any successful luxury real estate agent. You need to know the market trends, the inventory, the pricing, and the competition. You need to be able to advise your clients on the best strategies and opportunities for buying or selling a property. Professionalism is the way you present yourself and your business. You need to be ethical, respectful, and trustworthy. You need to communicate effectively and efficiently with your clients and colleagues. Discretion is the way you handle sensitive and confidential information. You need to protect the privacy and interests of your clients. You need to be discreet and tactful in dealing with delicate situations. Ingenuity is the way you solve problems and overcome challenges. You need to be creative, resourceful, and adaptable. You need to find solutions and alternatives that work for your clients. Relationship-building is the way you create and maintain connections and rapport with your clients and network. You need to be personable, friendly, and genuine. You need to listen to your clients and understand their needs and goals. You need to follow up and stay in touch with your clients and network,” Bess Freedman said.

Luxury real estate agents also face a number of challenges, such as high expectations, fierce competition, complex transactions, and changing regulations. Bess Freedman explained how these challenges affect the luxury real estate market, and how agents can cope with them.

“High expectations are the result of the high standards and demands of luxury buyers and sellers. They expect the best service, the best results, and the best value. They expect you to be available, responsive, and proactive. They expect you to be knowledgeable, professional, and discreet. They expect you to be ingenious, resourceful, and adaptable. Fierce competition is the result of the high stakes and rewards of luxury real estate. There are many agents who want to succeed in this market, and they are willing to work hard and smart to achieve their goals. They are constantly looking for ways to improve their skills, expand their network, and market their business. Complex transactions are the result of the high value and complexity of luxury properties. They involve multiple parties, multiple steps, and multiple contingencies. They require careful planning, coordination, and execution. They require attention to detail, accuracy, and efficiency. Changing regulations are the result of the dynamic and diverse nature of luxury real estate. They affect the legal, financial, and tax aspects of buying and selling a property. They vary from state to state, and from country to country. They require constant monitoring, updating, and compliance,” Bess Freedman said.

To overcome these challenges, Bess Freedman suggested some of the best practices and strategies that luxury real estate agents can adopt, such as:

  • Personal branding: Developing and promoting a unique and consistent image and identity that showcases your skills, qualities, and values, and that differentiates you from other agents.
  • Networking: Building and nurturing relationships with potential and existing clients, as well as with other professionals and influencers in the industry, such as brokers, developers, attorneys, accountants, and media.
  • Education: Keeping up with the latest trends, developments, and innovations in the luxury real estate market, as well as in the related fields of technology, design, and culture.
  • Technology: Leveraging the power and potential of technology to enhance your productivity, efficiency, and effectiveness, as well as to create and deliver engaging and immersive experiences for your clients, such as virtual tours, 3D models, and augmented reality.
  • Marketing: Implementing and executing a comprehensive and customized marketing plan that showcases your properties and services, and that reaches and attracts your target audience, using a mix of online and offline channels, such as websites, social media, email, print, and events.

The Vision for the Future of Luxury Real Estate

Bess Freedman has a clear and compelling vision for the future of luxury real estate, both for Brown Harris Stevens and the industry as a whole. She believes that luxury real estate will continue to evolve and grow, as new trends and innovations emerge and shape the market. She also believes that luxury real estate will continue to be a source of value and opportunity, as well as a force for good, as it contributes to the economic, social, and environmental well-being of the world.

Bess Freedman shared her vision for the future of luxury real estate, and discussed the trends and innovations that will shape the market in the coming years, such as:

  • Sustainability: The increasing awareness and demand for environmentally friendly and energy-efficient properties that minimize the impact and maximize the benefit of living on the planet, such as green buildings, renewable energy sources, and smart systems.
  • Wellness: The growing interest and investment in properties that promote and enhance the physical, mental, and emotional health and happiness of the residents, such as wellness spaces, fitness facilities, and spa services.
  • Smart homes: The rapid development and adoption of technologies that enable the automation and integration of various functions and features of the home, such as lighting, temperature, security, entertainment, and appliances, creating a seamless and personalized living experience.
  • Experiential living: The rising preference and expectation for properties that offer more than just a place to live, but rather a lifestyle and a community that enrich and inspire the residents, such as cultural amenities, social activities, and educational opportunities.

Bess Freedman also highlighted the goals and values that guide her leadership and decision-making, both for Brown Harris Stevens and the industry as a whole. She said that her goals are to:

  • Maintain and enhance the reputation and performance of Brown Harris Stevens as one of the leading and most respected luxury real estate firms in the country, by providing the highest quality of service, value, and results to clients, agents, and partners.
  • Expand and diversify the presence and reach of Brown Harris Stevens in the luxury real estate market, by exploring and entering new markets, segments, and niches, as well as by developing and acquiring new properties, services, and technologies.
  • Foster and support the growth and development of Brown Harris Stevens agents and staff, by providing them with the best tools, resources, training, and opportunities, as well as by creating a culture of excellence, collaboration, and innovation.

She said that her values are to:

  • Uphold and exemplify the core values of Brown Harris Stevens, which are excellence, integrity, service, and social responsibility, in every aspect of her work and life.
  • Respect and appreciate the diversity and uniqueness of people, properties, and markets, and to embrace and celebrate the differences and similarities that enrich and unite the industry and the world.
  • Learn and grow from every experience, challenge, and opportunity, and to share and apply the knowledge and wisdom gained to improve and innovate the industry and the world.

We would like to thank Bess Freedman for her time and insights, and we hope that you enjoyed this interview as much as we did.

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