There used to be a time when luxury real estate exchanged hands in New York City and very few people actually knew about such hush-hush residential deals. Today, however, it’s a different story. In a world where any kind of publicity is considered good publicity, the trend of wanting to be flaunted and talked about has crept into Manhattan’s real estate sector as well. From the time when a property is put on the market, up to the moment the apartment finds a new owner, almost every incident in the sale process is being subjected to what seems like a hodge-podge of public relations machinery--but do these splendid apartments need all the fanfare?
Of course, there doesn’t seem to be any doubt to the fact that these announcements have worked in favor of those wanting to sell their luxury homes. The New York Observer takes the example of former Citibank CEO Sandy Weill’s $88 million sale of his 15 Central Park West penthouse, which, prior to the sale, found a feature about it written in The Wall Street Journal. The New York Times has also been in on the trend, with the paper gushing over luxury listings that boggled the mind, like the $100 million listing for the penthouse at CitySpire. A rule of sorts has thus been established, whereby if an apartment wants to make a splash in the real estate world, it needs to be seen in newsprint first.
It’s not just newspapers and websites though—Manhattan’s real estate world has made an entry into reality television as well. In such cases, brokers and agents enjoy the spotlight on them, which translates into more clients and business for them in the long run. As John Gomes, star of the show Selling New York, told the Observer, the reality TV shows are the reason “why the phones won’t stop ringing.” Marketing properties has become an essential part of selling luxury apartments in Manhattan, since the more gleaming they are, the more they will entice a buyer looking for his or her trophy condominium.
Having said that, real estate developers and agents agree that as much as publicity helps in netting a sale, the property under media scrutiny needs to also deserve the spotlight it gets. For instance, being located in a trendy, happening neighborhood in Manhattan is much better for an apartment than being in some New Jersey enclave. Similarly, renovated or restored homes gain more of a fan following if they have a brilliant new design or layout that justify the million-dollar price tag. While a splendid apartment is by itself great, having a suite of luxury amenities to go along with it are sure to entice those looking for the perfect Manhattan lifestyle. Ultimately, the product is what sells—and publicity can only do so much.