April 1, 2022
TV-famous real estate brokerage’s new “Brooks Division” aims to “bridge the gap between the New York and London property markets,” funnelling affluent Americans towards prime London homes.
Celebrity real estate brokerage Nest Seekers International has launched a new “London Desk” in New York, to funnel wealthy American house-hunters towards prime property in the British capital.
The American firm has become famous for appearing in TV shows Selling the Hamptons, Million Dollar Listing and Million Dollar Beach House, and recently tickled price records with a $118mn deal in the Hamptons. It expanded into the UK a couple of years ago, under the watch of Daniel McPeake, and moved into the Spanish market last year.
Nest Seekers’ new NY-Lon operation – known as the Brooks Division – aims to “bridge the gap between the New York and London property markets”, tapping into the “buoyant” UK market. “We believe the American market has the potential to pour greater volumes of cash into the London property market, especially after Brexit,” says McPeake.
It’s being led by two established Nest Seekers brokers: Rubens Brotto and Arthur Kotliarovas – both based in the firm’s European HQ on Piccadilly. “Together they aim to make the Prime Central London market more accessible and desirable than ever before to US buyers,” says the estate agency.
NS brokers don’t get a salary. Instead, they get to keep up to 70% of the firm’s commission fee – which is markedly higher than most British estate agency cuts: 6% of a sale price in the USA; 3% in the UK. Traditional agency fees in the UK “are so low they can’t share it with other agents,” Shapiro said when launching the business in the UK. “In the US, it’s all performance. It’s all commission.”
Nest Seekers says it has a range of US buyers interested in UK property, including families and young professionals looking to relocate, and investors. “There are other companies attempting the same concept,” admits McPeake, “but Nest Seekers is unique in being an American company selling to American buyers in the UK.”
American families are keen on Chelsea, Kensington, Marylebone, Mayfair and Bayswater, says the team, while young professionals in the tech and finance industries are more interested in the City, Canary Wharf and Shoreditch. Investors, meanwhile, “look to Notting Hill as the next big thing.”
Daniel McPeake, Managing Director of Nest Seekers in Europe: “Before Covid put the brakes on sales, 45-50% of homes in the Prime Central London areas were being purchased by international buyers, with North Americans making up the second biggest overseas buyer group investing in London property. Now that overseas buyers are returning to the UK capital after a long period of tight travel restrictions, we saw an opportunity to leverage Nest Seekers’ powerful exposure in key US cities to actively market and sell London’s premium property directly to overseas investors who play a significant role in the PCL market.
“We’ve been working on this project since November 2021, successfully building alliances both in London with developers and NYC with brokers and buyers. Now we are actively promoting London properties, including off-plan developments, and servicing the growing demand from international buyers through our global network of referrals to facilitate acquisitions both in the UK and the US.
“We believe the American market has the potential to pour greater volumes of cash into the London property market, especially after Brexit. With the change in buying patterns post-Covid, or as Covid becomes more manageable, London will continue to be increasingly attractive to investors. From a business development point of view, we are opening up the American market for buyers of new developments in London – in the same way as, in the past, it opened up to the Asian market.
“There are other companies attempting the same concept, but Nest Seekers is unique in being an American company selling to American buyers in the UK. We are much more agile than our competitors and we have the unique selling point of our global presence. The reason Nest Seekers expanded into the UK in the first place was to serve our clients better, help them to increase their property portfolios and invest wisely – now we are extending that across the Atlantic, so US buyers can be equally sure they are in safe hands when they are buying in London.”
Rubens Brotto, Nest Seeker’s London Desk in New York:“Success breeds success. So, I am responding to a clear need in the market. American Brokers won’t get out of bed for the London low commission split. We are making it more attractive to the brokers so they can be excited in showing the value of the investment to their clients.”