Hi, I’m Lisa Halter. My company is Halter Associates Realty, we’re an independent real estate brokerage located in Bearsville. We’ve been open since October of 2014, and have quickly grown to 16 agents, some of whom are joining me here tonight!
a) what in your background/career got you to this present business
I spent over 20 years in graphic design and marketing in London and New York. I’d always invested in real estate, starting when I was 18, but it was after my husband Paul and I bought a home in Woodstock that I realized how much I loved the whole process. I felt comfortable making the leap into a new career. I quickly found that my design and marketing background gave me a unique ability to promote my listings and communicate with potential buyers. After so many years staring at a computer screen, real estate was a welcome change. I’ve met so many wonderful and interesting people in this business, and I’ve never looked back.
b) tell us a little more specifically about your business
After a long stint with one of the larger real estate firms in Woodstock, I decided it was time to create a different kind of real estate agency. We already owned the old Loominus building on Rt 212, and it seemed like a natural fit. I wanted to create an environment where we work together as a team, rather than competitors. We feel strongly that personal communication with buyers and sellers is key. We’re also tech savvy and focused on our online presence, as that’s where most buyers are looking these days. Over 90% of homebuyers start their search online now, and most start looking online 6 months or more before they even call a realtor. Many sellers are also choosing their agent based on their reviews on Trulia and Zillow. We have a beautiful office with full time administrative staff and agents available at all times, so please stop in to see what we’re all about.
c) what are some of the goals for your business
I’d like to continue to grow and serve our community. Real estate is all about life’s transitions, whether it’s a happy change or a sad one. Although are job description involves sales, we are so much more for our clients, trying to help them through their life changes in a thoughtful way.
3) How do you see yourself specifically playing a role in the "changing face of woodstock"? (or how do you define this "changing face" of woodstock?
Our buyer demographic has changed a lot in the last few years. Most of our buyers these days are from Brooklyn. Their taste in home style differs from much of our housing stock, so we’re seeing a lot of buyers renovating to achieve the modern/dwell style they’re looking for.
Buyers are also looking for the potential to participate in the “sharing economy” with extra space they can rent to weekend guests. It’s a great way to offset expenses.
As a side note, we’ve found that the influx of Airbnb type renters has translated into increased sales. It’s helped introduce a new crop of buyers to the beauty of Woodstock and surrounding areas, especially Phoenicia. Town is busier, and there’s a great new energy overall.
The real estate market is improving, good new for everyone
The average sales price in Woodstock is now $405,000, an increase of 10% over last year. At the same time, the volume sold decreased 14%.
4) So why Woodstock? What exactly does this town as opposed to so many others offer that is unique for the success of your business?
There’s widespread name recognition that brings buyers to Woodstock, even if they ultimately buy somewhere else in the area. The town has so much to offer on so many levels, all year round. There’s a great sense of community here.
Everyone has been so supportive of our new venture, even other realtors and brokers, and I’m very grateful for that. Thank you.
Halter Associates Realty