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Act Local, Think Global

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By Paige Tepping

RISMEDIA, March 8, 2008-Thinking globally is a must for real estate practitioners these days. In an age when people own multiple homes-some halfway around the world-it’s vital to have an international reach. Halstead Property’s Diane Ramirez and Sharon Michnay understand this concept wholeheartedly. The president and director of corporate business development, respectively, lead the only New York-based firm-and one of only two non-European brokerages-to join in a partnership with the European Real Estate Network (EREN).

“Our partnership with EREN came about from a conversation we had at an international 38-globe-web.jpgsymposium we were attending,” says Ramirez, “The synergy between the New York City and European markets is clear and we all realized that a partnership between Halstead Property and EREN would benefit all of us.”

“Through our dialogue with EREN, it was obvious that they were committed to the same things that motivate us at Halstead,” says Michnay. “We were very similar to EREN in regards to the level of commitment to the industry and our clients.”

EREN is the only pan-European network for independent, luxury brokerages, and the opportunity to join the prestigious organization has created immense opportunities for Halstead Property.

“Together, we are breaking new ground toward the goal of making the purchase and sale of properties across borders as seamless as it can be,” says Ramirez. “Working with EREN is more than just a partnership for us; it is a true working relationship.”

Thus far, the partnership continues to be a learning process for both sides. “The amount of knowledge that we have gained from partnering with EREN has been immeasurable,” says Michnay. “We are still learning new things about the European market with every conversation. Not only do we continue evaluating ways to work better together, but we also learn about the ways in which our real estate practices differentiate.”

“In working with EREN, it is important to understand the differences between the real estate industries in the United States and in Europe,” adds Ramirez. “For example, it was a revelation to the European market that they could work with just one agent in New York City, and that agent could provide them with all of the information they need before purchasing a property.”

While Halstead has always worked with foreign buyers and sellers, this latest partnership only strengthens Halstead’s efforts, according to Ramirez and Michnay.

“Expanding our global reach is not just important to our company right now, but it was also important in the past and will continue to be so in the future,” says Michnay. “As the amount of wealth that people have continues to increase, so will the number of people who can afford to own homes in more than one place. We want to be the company to best meet these customers’ needs.”

Located in “internationally dubbed” New York City, Halstead takes its hometown classification very seriously. Working for a company that offers full service in every aspect of the word, Ramirez and Michnay believe that their commitment to better serve their customers and clients is only strengthened by their global affiliations.

“By partnering with EREN, we are able to showcase international properties through Halstead.com. In one quick click, we provide the ability to search for luxury homes around the globe,” says Michnay. “In turn, EREN showcases our exclusive listings to European buyers.”

According to the company, one visit to www.halstead.com clearly defines Halstead Property’s reach. The company displays three different international search options on its homepage, each one representing a partnership or affiliation. In addition to EREN, Halstead Property is an active member of several international organizations, including Leading Real Estate Companies of the World (LeadingRE) and Luxury Portfolio Fine Property Collection.

“Our Leading Real Estate Companies of the World affiliation enables us to showcase available residences from around the world in our magazines and websites in a way that displays the strength of this fantastic global real estate network,” says Ramirez. “One of its greatest benefits is that over 60,000 referrals are sent between members annually.” LeadingRE’s revamped www.relohomesearch.com site and its broker-reciprocity program also helps place Halstead Property listings at the top of the search engine rankings, while allowing all of their exclusive listings to be showcased on the websites of over 700 members worldwide.

Halstead is also actively involved with Luxury Portfolio. This partnership has enabled Halstead to present exclusive listings on www.luxuryportfolio.com, which offers conversion into 22 currencies and full-text translation into nine languages. The site receives daily traffic from over 150 countries. In addition to the online offerings, Halstead regularly takes advantage of the program’s attractive and effective print ads in the European and Asian editions of the Wall Street Journal.

“Our involvement in the global market is so successful because of the active manner in which we and our partners work together,” says Michnay. “We are proud to be part of an international collection of local experts who share a high set of standards, ethics and service.”

Working with the European market and its other global affiliations has allowed both Ramirez and Michnay to bring fresh ideas and new insight into their own marketplace, as well as provide new ideas for their European partners.

“When you are so caught up in your own marketplace, you get into a cycle of repeating what has been successful in the past,” says Ramirez. “It’s refreshing to see something from a different angle and to bring new ideas into your own market. Now that the relationship has been established, we are gaining knowledge with each passing day. Traveling to international symposiums to learn about other markets and to share information about our own company and market, gives us the opportunity to serve our clients in the broadest sense possible.”

The relationships are just the beginning, and the knowledge gained is what will propel Halstead Property to the forefront of the globalization of the real estate industry.

“We are in the position now where we can create programs and initiatives that cater to our international audience,” states Ramirez. Several new initiatives are underway, including marketing campaigns with partners in Ireland, England and Spain. More are in the works ranging from online currency converters to new service programs.

“Looking toward the future,” concludes Michnay, “we will be able to continue providing the highest levels of service in New York, and we want to be able to provide the same level of service anywhere in the world. EREN and all our partnerships are part of our ability to accomplish this goal.”

For more information, visit www.halstead.com.

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