Greening Your Building

Why aren’t we taking advantage of the resources provided in NYC

Written by: Angela Rivera for Brennan Realty Services

greenbldgAs a homeowner and landlord I am constantly trying to address ways to minimize overall cost and increase my building’s sustainability. In NYC there are programs provided by the city to help owners implement green energy resources but many of these programs are not operating at capacity. In an attempt to take advantage of some of the programs NYC provides to its residents, my 4-unit Co-op participated in an Energy Audit in 2005 and my 16-unit Condo Association participated in an Energy Assistance program in 2013. In both cases the initiatives were met with mixed reviews and hesitation. The two main obstacles were the total cost and a clear understanding of the program. Because of this neither building was able to follow through with the energy saving improvements.

After digging a bit more into why owners do not take advantage of Greening their buildings I came across an article from the Citizens Housing Planning Council “ All Green Building’s Great and Small” The article provides Ten Industry Recommendations that would remove many of the barriers preventing owners from taking advantage of these resources.

So I asked myself, Could these 10 recommendations have helped us follow through?

I focused on 3 out of the 10 recommendations when answering this question as I felt these recommendations pertain more to the Co-op and Condo issues.

1. Consolidate and clarify information to make it easier for owners to access available programs by providing a “one-stop shop” for services.

  • One website for ALL City programs offering green energy programs and incentives
  • Clear Step by Step Guide for entire program process
  • A city wide information initiative at public library’s providing printed materials and program information specialists to talk to about the programs

2. Help owners and managers to integrate good green practices into their existing management practices by providing training for maintenance staff and providing them with easy to use templates as they carry out their routine work.

  • Print outs similar to the recycle pamphlet that provide steps for smaller green management practices
  • Short training programs buildings can sign up for to learn exactly how to green their particular building
  • More tax break initiatives for maintaining a green building over a certain period of time

3. Design programs that are tailored to the subsectors within the multi-family sector. A one-size-fits-all approach will not work for a market that includes a diversity of owners and building types, and which splits incentives between owners and renters.

  • Tailored programs can increase the chances of owners following through with the programs
  • Owners and tenants can work together and mutually benefit from the program
  • Include an assigned program manager for that building that all owners can reach out to
 All though we weren’t able to take advantage of the programs at the time, the Condo Association decided to give it another try and are half way through the process once again! I will be following up with you about what we are doing differently and hopefully the energy saving improvements we make to the building. As in many things in life you may have to try several times before you succeed.

Home Energy Efficiency Programs resources:

New York State Energy Research and Development Authority

EmPower New York

Assisted Home Performance with ENERGY STAR®

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Strong Place Townhomes Nearing Completion

Strong Place, Progress Photo, 081914
The Townhomes at Strong Place, 2 and 4 Strong Place, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn, are nearing completion. We are the exclusive marketing & sales agent for the properties. These new construction townhomes will be brought to market in September. If you are interested in learning more about these classic and luxurious homes please contact Betsy Hoffman at 917-622-3879.

Here is a draft of our descriptive listing brochure text. It is hard to convey just how special these homes are in so few words but we hope you get the point – that these homes are like no other homes, either currently available or under construction. Let us know if you would like a private tour.

No. 4 Strong Place offers you what no other new construction, or existing townhome, can – a luxurious & spacious, well crafted and light-filled interior wrapped in an impeccably detailed and historically contextual brick over brownstone exterior. You know you are home when you rise above the sidewalk on your own brownstone stoop on the authentically beautiful tree-lined Strong Place, Cobble Hill, Brooklyn. Behind the mansion style facade, 4 Strong Place is an expansive 3,730 sq. ft., 5-bedroom, 3.5-bath single-family home with exceptional comfort and privacy: leaf dappled light streaming through large divided-lite double hung windows; a rear double-height window wall; natural light from a skylight above drenching floors below; generously-sized living spaces and bedrooms; high-ceilinged basement; custom kitchen laid out with socializing and elaborate cooking in mind; a huge L-shaped rear yard; both front and rear rooftop terraces, with views, and a private planted terrace off the master bedroom. This is a real home, your home.

Note: 2A Strong Place, the middle townhome, is in contract as it was sold ‘pre-construction’ over a year ago.

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Polishing Up Our Brand and Image – Step One

 

LEAVE_BEHIND_PAGES6 copyWe have recently undertaken the task of updating our brand and image. For the past few years we have been fortunate enough to work with many great clients. We are thankful to them for entrusting us with their most valuable assets and relying on us as their trusted advisor. Their testimonials tell the story of services being delivered that exceeded their expectations and reinforced their decision to use a boutique brokerage. For most of our clients it was a no-brainer. We consistently outperform our competition, even the largest brokerages, because we understand how to price and market real estate correctly – resulting in the highest price in the shortest amount of time for our selling clients. Click the image on the left to see our new leave behind brochure. We are now working on updating our website in order to serve our clients at even a higher level. Stay tuned! In the meantime, don’t hesitate to contact me if you are in need of any advice or help with your real estate holdings. Donald, 917-568-6525, or dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com.

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Think with your head, not your heart.

Amber glow
Real estate can become entangled and inseparable from your own life if you make decisions with your heart and not your head. We see this on occasion in our brokerage business when clients don’t take our advice, which is based on market expectations, and instead insist on doing things their way. The end result – their heart leads them down a path that the marketplace will usually not follow.

We certainly believe that every owner is entitled to benefit wholly and directly from the appreciation of their asset and the majority of the time (like 99.9% of the time) we significantly exceed our client’s expectations. But on those rare 0.1% occasions we are not able to deliver what may be expected because our client asks for something the market is unable to deliver.  And while we excel at holding hands and guiding our clients toward that glowing distant light we cannot overcome what the market expects. We don’t tell the market how to act, we just observe, take notes and offer strategies and plans that work within market parameters.  Unless you do it for a living, immerse yourself in it everyday, it is hard to understand that the marketplace is extremely knowledgeable, efficient and follows its head, not its heart.

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BRENNAN Webinars – No Bullsh*t, Just the Facts

no_bullshit_zone_poster-r41b12d9fee084d0cb7b846db780f467b_ait7l_40013
Real Estate 101: How to Navigate Peak Buying/Selling Season

No bullshit, just the facts with no strings attached.  

I’m a real estate insider with 24 years of buying, selling, investing, rehabilitating and developing experience in Brooklyn, NY. In less than 30 minutes you will learn learn how to be a smart and successful buyer in this tight real estate market.

Here is what one of our clients had to say about our services:
“What Brennan provides that no other firm can is the unbiased, expert information and advocacy needed to make smart decisions in a competitive market.”

I’ll also share with you current market insights as they relate to the deals we are working on. After this webinar you’ll no longer be following the herd, you will be leading the pack.

This FREE webinar is 30 minutes long with a Q&A session immediately following.  Click here to register.

Please join us!

Best,
Donald

Your webinar host, Donald Brennan, is a 24-year veteran of all aspects of the real estate business. He is a licensed real estate broker, developer, investor, former architect and appraiser.

To start working with Donald & his team, please e-mail dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

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Brownstone Brooklyn: Cobble Hill Townhomes–Time Lapse Video

On October 17th we hosted an on-line Virtual Open House for our under-construction townhouse development at the corner of Strong Place and Kane Street in beautiful Cobble Hill. Donald shared his insights regarding building ground-up in landmark districts, construction progress photos showing the quality and care that is going into this product and let those in attendance know why this project will be superior to what might be alternatively available in the marketplace.

Donald also debuted our time-lapse video “Behind the Construction Fence: Strong Place Townhomes” during the on-line tour. The video chronicles the first 6 months of construction in about 60 seconds. It’s pretty cool. Check it out if you have a minute – literally.

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Join Team Brennan!

Who We Are:
A boutique brokerage focusing on neighborhoods in and adjacent to brownstone
Brooklyn’s historic districts.

What We Sell, Buy And Rent:

Housing border

 

How We Are Successful:
We embrace all social and business networking tools to leverage our established brand.

 

social media

 

How We Can Help YOU Be Successful:
No desk fee
No advertising costs
Assistance establishing your own real estate identity
Access to full marketing and administrative support
In-house public relations and graphic design team
Formal sales education
On-site training
Field exposure with our head of sales
Utilizing our own customized client-maintenance and referral system

Contact:
Donald Brennan, Licensed Broker and Owner
(917) 568-6525 dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com
Stay in touch:
Twitter: @dbrennan; Vine: @dbrennan; about.me/donaldbrennan; Vimeo: Brennan Realty

Find Your Nearest Bike Share Location:
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Spring Cocktail Party At Superfine In DUMBO

BKS fundraiserLast night we were honored to be a part of the first annual Spring Cocktail party for the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society.
The organization has been around since 1891 and helps to serve underprivileged children in local public schools. James Matison, the executive director said a few words thanking the key donors including, Donald. There were so many amazing people who attended and all with the same goal– committed to helping the Brooklyn communities achieve better opportunities for their children’s education.
We are always looking to get involved in our Brooklyn neighborhoods. If you have any events or sponsorship opportunities that we might be interested in, please email Sabrina@brennanrealtyservices.com.

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Brooklyn Kindergarten Society Fundraiser!

120th-anniversaryOn May 13, the Brooklyn Kindergarten Society’s Annual Spring Cocktail Party will be held at Superfine in DUMBO. All proceeds from this event go to helping children in poorer Brooklyn neighborhoods obtain a strong educational foundation for their future. Brennan Realty Services is sponsoring this event because of our commitment to service in the communities we work and live in. Join us as we help to make strides in today’s educational system. To donate, please click here.

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My 2 Cents: Bubble, Bubble, Toil and Trouble?

Note: This update went out to our exclusive clients the week of May 7th. If you would like to be put on our exclusive distribution list, please send me an email:dbrennan@brennanrealtyservices.com

If you follow the national housing market you are bound to come across data and opinion generated by Robert Shiller (co-author of the S&P/ Case-Shiller Housing Indices).   In a recent piece for the Financial Times titled The Property Predicament he questions the societal benefit of the dramatic increase in home prices.  The theme is one he has based his newest book on – Finance and the Good Society. Here is a passage from the FT piece:

“Note that in the latest bubble home prices in the US and the UK rose rapidly relative to the cost of renting. It was not a rental boom. It was thus financial in origin, not caused by a rise in the real scarcity value of housing services that people want to consume. It was instead a change in the investment demand for ownership of a claim on a stable flow of rents.  Before we can answer what would be the effects of large future home price increases relative to rents, we would have to ask why those increases would be happening. Let us consider why they increased the last time, in the early 2000s. The reasons are basically the same in both the US and the UK.  Price increases were related to a loosening of credit standards (continued…)

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