A Chat With Elegran's Andrew Warren
With Summer officially in full swing, we decided to talk with Elegran’s own Andrew Warren about a little more than just the weather. Fresh off of a big sale in Chelsea, he was happy to talk about one of his favorite neighborhoods and why it's only getting better.
Tell us about your background, what brought you to New York, and how you got into real estate?
I’m originally from Delaware, I grew up there before moving to Washington D.C. for school when I was eighteen – that’s really where I was first introduced to the world of real estate. I had a couple of friends there who were flipping properties during the housing boom around 2004, and I said “I can do that”. So I got my license during my freshman year of college and began working down in Northern Virginia while I was studying Finance. By the time I graduated, I decided I didn’t really want to go into finance exclusively – instead, I began working as a commercial real estate agent for Cushman & Wakefield’s healthcare practice group in Washington D.C. and Northern Virginia.
I’d fallen in love with New York City ever since coming here with my French class to see a play, and from then on, the goal was to make it here. I continued working in commercial real estate for about a year after I moved to New York, dealing with healthcare properties here in Manhattan before I decided to transition into the residential field. As I was seeing more of New York City, I realized that residential real estate was my passion, so I began working with Elegran.
After a successful start in commercial real estate, why did you decide to transition to residential real estate?
What I love about real estate is that I can spend my days exploring. There are so many buildings in this city, and a lot of what being a real estate agent involves is just walking all over and taking it all in every day. When I was working in commercial real estate with doctors and medical professionals, I noticed they were located in a lot of residential buildings – particularly on Park Ave, 5th Ave, and some of the newer condo buildings even had medical spaces in them. It opened my eyes to another aspect of real estate that I hadn’t really considered since college. When I made the transition, it was fairly natural, and definitely the right choice for me.
What are some of the skills you brought with you to Elegran, and how did residential real estate differ?
All in all, the transition was pretty seamless, I’d say. Mainly, what I was able to bring from the commercial side of the business was my finance background – a lot of the transactions I was facilitating were driven by economics. If a company wants to lease or purchase office space, I have to think about what the best decision would be to save them money while presenting them in a way that will also draw in customers. On the residential side, though, it can be much more of an emotional decision. People want to live somewhere they’re comfortable and happy, somewhere they can call home – sometimes the budget is flexible so long as the space feels right.
After running numbers for these companies, I feel like there are certain scenarios where economically based decisions are still applicable in the residential side of real estate – those skills translate well when someone is looking to buy a property for investment purposes, or even when someone’s simply just trying to save money on rent.
How do you approach brokerage process? What do you tend to keep in mind when working with a client?
I think the most important things about a broker-client relationship are honesty and trust – they’re two valuable parts of any relationship in your life, really. A client comes to you with certain expectations, and some brokers might want to promise them the world just to get the sale done, but I think being honest and open is the only way to meet those expectations. I love working with people, and building that relationship of trust with a client is just as important as it is anywhere else in life.
Are there any particular neighborhoods in New York City that you focus on or prefer to work with? Why?
I do a lot of work and I’m very familiar with the markets on the West Side; SoHo, West Village, Tribeca, and particularly Chelsea…there’s some really amazing buildings out there – the Caledonia and the Chelsea Stratus, for example. Chelsea really has something to offer everyone. For example, West Chelsea used to be a lot of modern loft spaces with single people and couples, but with the new developments and the Avenues School, we’re seeing a lot of families and children starting to move out that way. The demographics are changing, and it’s exciting to watch the neighborhood transform.
You have to keep an eye on new development in these areas, so what’s the next big thing and how’s it going to affect these neighborhoods?
Right now we have a building boom going on around Madison Square Park. There are several new projects that are commanding astronomical prices. And there’s a sort of ripple effect as people who get priced out of this region are going to start moving outward – Chelsea is going to benefit from what’s going on there right now. Prices will continue to rise, and demand is going to increase.
To the North of Chelsea, you have the Hudson Yards Project, and once that’s completed, people who want to work and live in close proximity are going to find Chelsea is the perfect location.
So, with the West Village and Meatpacking District already established and in high demand to the South, the Hudson Yards Project to the North, and Madison Square Park to the East, Chelsea is surrounded by these great areas and new projects. I already see prices taking off in Chelsea because it’s becoming much more desirable to live there.
For more information on upcoming New Construction projects please contact Andrew Warren at AWarren@elegran.com (917-647-3349).
† Andrew sits on the board of directors and is a founder of Kay's Kamp, a non-profit summer camp for children battling cancer. For donations and more information, please visit www.kayskamp.org
All material herein is intended for information purposes only and has been compiled from sources and/or third parties outside of Elegran LLC. Though information is believed to be correct and presently reliable, the information is subject to errors, omissions, modification and/or withdrawal without notice. This is not an offer to sell condominium units. Elegran LLC has not been chosen by the Sponsor to market the condominium units, nor does Elegran LLC make any attempt to do so. A prospective purchaser should refer to the complete set of documents provided by Sponsor and should seek legal advice in connection with their purchase.