The hectic daily routine of a broker in the NYC suburbs, who spends 17-hour days helping house hunters flee the city

  • Suburban real-estate markets across the US are heating up in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
  • In some places, every home that hits the market receives multiple offers.
  • Angela Retelny, a top broker in Westchester, New York, broke down her daily schedule, which begins at 7:00 a.m. and ends at midnight. 
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Suburban markets across the US are heating up amid the coronavirus pandemic. 

Angela Retelny, a broker based in New York's Westchester County, has more than two decades of experience and $350 million in total sales volume, and she said it's an unprecedented time in the area, with homes flying off the market and business going through the roof.

"It's a crazy world we're in," she told Business Insider. "Emotions are high, there's a lot of heartbreak in this market. A lot of buyers put in offers and get accepted offers only to get calls the next day saying, 'We're sorry, but we just got an offer that was significantly higher.'"

To manage the influx in business, said she Retelny wakes up around 7 a.m. each day and doesn't stop until midnight. 

"I've never seen a market like this. It's been hugely competitive. It has me working 18-hour days," she explained. 

In an email to Business Insider she broke down what her daily schedule looks like right now. 

7:15 a.m. 

My alarm goes off. I begin every day with a large cup of strong Dark Roast Costa Rican coffee and prepare for a busy day ahead.

In this fast-paced business and unprecedented market, I am constantly on the move. From the moment I open my eyes until the last email I send around midnight, there is ALWAYS something important happening that needs immediate attention and response!

I check MLS and Compass.com for market updates and review any inventory that hit the market overnight. We are operating under very tight inventory and our buyers are ready and waiting to transact!

I check the status of offers presented and make necessary adjustments to get them to an "accepted offer status" without any delay.

8:00 a.m. — 11:00 a.m. 

I check in with my business partner, Jessica Retelny (who is also my daughter). We touch base on our current deals, update each other on new clients, assess how our current listings are performing, discuss new opportunities, review key marketing initiatives, and most importantly, discuss our respective to-do lists for that day. 

All day, everyday:

After my morning check-ins and sales calls,  I am continuously in contact with all my active buyers, my sellers via email and phone. 

I call my buyers and advise them on placing and/or updating assertive offers while leveraging my over 20 years of local market expertise. The market is full of nuances and  challenges and my experience navigating all market conditions truly benefits my clients, especially in this intense, rapidly moving market.

I prepare well-thought-out reports for clients looking to list their homes,. Our newly launched Compass CMA uses Artificial Intelligence to adjust comps and a powerful tool to compare homes in a room by room platform.  I advise clients on a savvy pricing recommendation and craft a strategy for new listings and upcoming listing presentations based on up-to-the-minute market conditions.  I specialize in generating creative strategies to achieve maximum selling prices for our sellers.  This includes styling/staging our own listings using our own proprietary staging collection and securing our curated photography and videography.

I present offers on our listings to our sellers and discuss negotiation strategy. I Zoom with sellers to discuss pricing adjustments or other options when current pricing is not generating the level of traction and activity we want to see. We connect with our select media contacts to generate coverage for our listings and share with them unique market developments.

I manage deals in progress, check on all aspects of our deals in progress and confirm all moving pieces are progressing in order to meet closing dates (such as status of financing, C/Os, legalization/permits, and, most importantly, anticipating and subsequently navigating any and all hurdles that come our way).

  • Showings — Take buyers out for a full day of showings
  • Accompany showings at our own listings 
  • Guided community tours with our buyers — With the pandemic, we had to get a little creative. We provide contactless caravan-style community tours to help our buyers explore and discover which towns best align with their personal preferences, lifestyles and goals. This lets buyers explore the suburbs safely through our  personalized tour, done caravan-style and guided over the phone.
  • Attend inspections we schedule with our list of knowledgeable inspectors for properties our clients are purchasing.
  • Oversee our photoshoots/video shoots of upcoming listings
  • Call the town assessor or experts to evaluate the possibility of lowering property taxes on our properties of interest.

Additional day-to-day activities:

  • I take trips to the building department to check building records.
  • I check for open permits on any of our listings or deals in progress and execute what is required to close them.
  • I legalize properties requiring it and get the final certificate of occupancy.
  • I preview new inventory.
  • I host broker open-house events at our listings.
  • I network with other top agents to see what is coming to market, obtain intel on selling prices of listings in contract and what is soon to be under contract.
  • I think outside the box. Under such limited inventory, I source houses not on market for our buyers and builders.
  • I negotiate rental leases for clients relocating.
  • I learn new tools, technology is constantly evolving and need to be up to speed and lead the way for our clients.

7:00 p.m.

Dinner. Since the quarantine, I have been trying to cook at home more. My schedule doesn't always allow for this, however, with our local fish market's delivery service, it's a little bit easier! 

8:00 p.m.

Back to business, client correspondence continues. I usually, by this time, have heard back on offers we presented, bidding war updates, and we strategize regarding next steps, counteroffers, and further negotiations. 

I reconnect with my partner/daughter on anything outstanding. Because we are such a small team (just the two of us), we work together on everything. When our clients choose the Angela Retelny Team, Jessica and I personally handle all aspects of a client's real estate experience. 

12:00 a.m.

I send my final emails and shut down for the night … until we start again tomorrow!

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