Team members never know the questions in advance, and they’re never told that they’re being interviewed until the moment of the interview. Once asked, they are given up to 60 seconds to think about and answer each question. These are their candid answers, surely the closest any real estate publication comes to unveiling the thoughts and basic instincts of some of New York City’s best agents.  

Apple Peeled Question: How many showings in the same day before the average person starts blending them together?

Preston: Usually people can take at least five. I have noticed that if I get above eight, people generally start to tire out. You can only process so much in a single day.

Apple Peeled Question: How Are there any tricks that can help a prospective buyer from subconsciously conflating all the different spaces they’ve seen?

Preston: After the showings, I like to re-send everything that we saw because no matter what, if you show someone eight things at the same time, they’re going to sometimes be a little bit confused. So, it’s good to follow-up and say, ‘hey, this is what we saw today, when you have some time to think about it, please get back to me with your thoughts.’

Apple Peeled Question: When it comes to completing and submitting a co-op board package, what is the best advice you can give to a prospective buyer?

Preston: Use (an experienced) broker!

If you’ve never done a board package before, and this is coming from someone who has done over 200 of them, if you aren’t using a broker who is experienced and knows specifically what the boards are looking for…it just causes problems down the road.

The goal of submitting a board package is to submit it in a way where (the board) does not have to contact you, other than to schedule the interview. Any little thing that they catch that frustrates them, or that they want to see clarification on, it gives them an excuse to delve deeper into the package where they then can find more things they dislike.

The job is to make it absolutely idiot proof – they can read it in a way where they have no possibility of misinterpreting the package.

Apple Peeled Question: In general, what’s the difference between a NYC property search today vs. a NYC property search 3 months ago?

Preston: When I’m scheduling appointments for open houses (presently), and when I’m taking a client out and we have multiple (properties) that we’re seeing, over half the people who I reach out to say, ‘oh, we have a contract out,’ or ‘We just got a signed contract.’ Half the people right now are saying, ‘sorry, it’s already taken.’

Apple Peeled Question: Brooklyn is super-hot right now. It was reported last week that the median sales price in the borough is at an all-time high. In terms of overall NYC appeal, Manhattan will always be king, but is Brooklyn bridging the gap?

Preston: I don’t know if Manhattan will always be king. I don’t know that Manhattan has been king for a while. It’s king if you’re looking for a very specific type of thing. But I have friends who would never in a million years want to live in Manhattan. And I have friends that would never in a million years want to live in Brooklyn.

One, it’s a price point thing. Typically, you can get things a little bit cheaper in Brooklyn, but in Williamsburg or Park Slope, that gap is closing quickly. Williamsburg sometimes has even higher price points than Manhattan.

A lot of my friends live in Brooklyn. Now it’s not that thing where you have just one friend that lives in Brooklyn and you have to make the trek or anything like that. 

Brooklyn has been a preferred option for a lot of people for a long time. There’s always going to be the people who would never live in Manhattan or would never live in Brooklyn. There’s so much to do in both and that’s kind of the great thing about New York City. You can hop on a train and a half hour later you could be in a neighborhood that has a completely different feel. It might have more open sky. It might have more of a city feel.

Apple Peeled Question: Based on your experience in NYC real estate, if you asked 100 apartment buyers which was the more important attribute in their property search, what would the ratio be in each of the following scenarios:

  • An amazing view from inside the apartment


  • Outdoor space with an “okay” view

Preston: 50/50.

  • A parking space


  • Additional storage space

Preston: 85/15 in Manhattan for additional storage. In Brooklyn, it might be 50/50.

  • A pool


  • A shared rooftop

Preston: 80/20 shared rooftop. There are a lot of people that don’t like swimming.

  • A doorman building


  • A pet friendly building

Preston: 50/50. I don’t know the percentage of people who own pets. People usually want a doorman, and they might need that to have a pet.

  • A washer/dryer in your 1-bedroom apartment


  • An extra 250 square feet in your 1-bedroom apartment

Preston: 90/10 washer/dryer. I think at least 90% of the people would choose the washer and dryer over 250 square feet.

  • Proximity to the subway


  • Proximity to a park

Preston: 75/25 proximity to subway. Winters are brutal. If you’ve lived here for more than one year, you’re going to remember the times you had to walk 10 minutes to the subway.