By: Chandler Presson By: Chandler Presson | August 18, 2022 | Home & Real Estate
It’s no secret that real estate in the Hamptons is essentially the Wild West out East. Since January, “Selling the Hamptons” has been giving us an insider look into all the drama, glitz and glam of selling real estate on the East End. Fierce competition, high demand and limited inventory keep emotions running high, and we can’t tear our eyes off the screen. One of our favorite sellers to root for is Bianca D’Alessio, who has long been a linchpin in the NYC real estate scene only to start dominating in the Hamptons over the past few years.
Here, we chat with D’Alessio on all things real estate and get the inside scoop of what to expect from season 2 of “Selling the Hamptons.”
See also: On The Market: 12 Gallatin Lane, East Hampton
How long have you been in real estate?
I’ve been on the sales side of real estate for just shy of a decade, but I grew up in real estate on the development side. I have always had a huge passion for new developments and condo buildings in New York City, and started with Nest Seekers International six years ago. Over the past few years, my business has really taken a new form. About a year ago, I started my own team, the Masters Division, and now we are 30 agents strong. Managing and growing a team, as well as a brand, has been a whole new world. We have about a billion dollars of pipeline inventory coming into the market over the next year and manage a $10 billion portfolio, so it's been expanding quickly. It was really important to me to create a platform where each of the agents on my team can build their own brand, have their own identity and leverage the group behind them to grow their business.
What is your connection to the Hamptons?
I grew up going to the Hamptons, and during the pandemic, my business shifted from New York City to out East. It was then that I was approached to be on “Selling the Hamptons,” and we are in the middle of filming the second season right now. It’s on discovery+, HGTV and will hopefully roll out on HBO in the upcoming months. Being on the show has completely changed my business in the Hamptons. When I first got into real estate, I was nervous because my other major passion is travel. I felt like I would only be able to focus on one city at a time and would be restricted. What’s so incredible about Nest Seekers is that we operate across the world and I get to move with my clients. So the Hamptons was the first segue to that during the pandemic, followed by Westchester. Now, we’ve expanded to Florida and LA, and I'm working on managing projects in Portugal and London as well as opening an office in Milan. It’s been far beyond my wildest dreams of the travel possibilities within real estate.
What has the impact of the pandemic been on real estate in the Hamptons and how do you see the market changing over the next few years?
I think the pandemic wildly changed the Hamptons market. Prices skyrocketed and all of a sudden you saw people not just from New York, but from all over flocking to the Hamptons, which drove inventory to record lows. I think we’re still feeling the aftershock, however, things are starting to normalize a bit. The real estate market has historically had seasonality, with summers always being slower in both the Hamptons and New York City, but we have not seen that for the past two years. Right now, we are in a recalibration period across the Hamptons market and beyond, and we’ll continue to see rates go up and down over the next few months. That being said, there are different sectors of the market. On the ultra-luxury end, people will make purchases regardless of stock market fluctuations and world events. Interest rates don’t have a big impact on buying behavior when you’re looking for a $50 million home. Those looking in the $3 to $10 million range will feel those changes more, so there will be more pullback and tightening in that market.
Tell me about your experience on “Selling the Hamptons” so far.
It’s been awesome; season 1 was amazing. I never thought reality TV was my path. I just love selling real estate so it's very cool to be able to show what I’m most passionate about to the world. I think there are a lot of misconceptions about what real estate looks like – what it’s like being a broker, a business owner, and what it’s like creating your own brand – so it's been fun to showcase it. All of the other agents on the team have been awesome to work with and we all have very different styles and personalities, which makes it exciting and pretty competitive. It's a great time.
How has the Hamptons community's response been?
It’s been wonderful. I think being able to showcase the Hamptons and overall lifestyle out there has been well-received. There are so many incredible trophy properties out East, and it's a world that's totally different from anywhere else. Being able to have a peek behind the curtain and see how the 1% of the 1% live in $20, $30 and $40 million homes has been pretty eye-opening and interesting for the audience. Going into the nuances of the deal, such as how you negotiate these real estate transactions and all the personalities that can make or break a deal along the way, has also been awesome.
Is there anything you can tease about season 2?
The properties are way bigger and better. They were spectacular last season and even more insane this year. I’m going to be featuring my own $25 million house, so I can't wait to show it off. We’ve had sales across the board, and this year the drama is on a whole new level. Last year, we were all playing nice in the sandbox a bit, but as the market changes and there's less inventory, a lot more off-market deals are happening than we saw previously. I think the audience will be exhilarated by everything that the second season will bring!
What advice can you give to prospective homebuyers in the Hamptons?
Make sure you're working with the right agent! There’s not much inventory online, and everyone is a seller at the right number. You have to work with an agent who is really getting into the leads and finding that opportunity for you. Be opportunistic, as prices are up but there are still deals to be had. You can’t time the market but you can certainly play it. Having that attitude and approach as you are looking is important. Lastly, be sure to understand your strategy. Are you buying your forever home? Are you buying a home that you want to hold for a year or two? Are you hoping to rent the home out and what will the profit look like? Be sure to look at the full picture when you're in higher price points and stronger markets.
Is there anything exciting in the works?
I’m hugely excited about the developments I've been working on in New York City. My team alone is bringing 33 condo and rental buildings to market throughout the next year, which will hold about 2,500 homes. We’ve been working on all of these buildings from preconstruction, which is a shift from our previous business model of taking over buildings that haven't been able to sell as well. These are all buildings that we've been advising on every step of the way alongside the developer, including designing and building, which makes the projects so much more personal. Watching my team make strides with branding is really inspiring. Also, being in the world of content creation as a broker really allows agents to take themselves outside a local mindset and think about real estate as a global industry.
Contact Bianca at 505 Park Ave., 19th Floor, 914.282.8898, [email protected], @nestseekersmastersdivison, @biancadalessio
Photography by: courtesy of Bianca D'Alessio