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Friday, April 30, 2010

Farmhouse 12 Rounding the Corner (and the monthly NYTimes snub)

John and Wendy and their 3 children are building a fun house with us - -a house that John brought to us, he brought just a couple of pictures and then we set out to do the dirty work - which is figuring how to adapt the grand 125 yr old with perfectly non-code shapes and layouts, and how to make that grand old dame work for us in the here and now.

At this point in our business development, we pretty much have it all down pat - we have the talent, we have the experience, we have the team, and we have the relationships to pretty much navigate all the winds that used to scare us to death. I mean, the little breezes used to knock us off balance and now a gale force wind couldn't immediately roll us. Not to say we are invincible - just pretty hardy with all the hardknock lessons we carry around with us.

You got to really feel for the freelancers at the NY Times these days. I mean, here we are, the little red engine of real estate, one of the only consistent dynamic upstate real estate stories in existence, and CJ and Penelope and a host of other pr flacks posing as writers just can't bring themselves to acknowledge that regardless of what their sources say, regardless if their favorite story idea turns out to be a decade long con, regardless if most of their upstate stories over the past 5 years are out of business or a flimsy echo of the NY Times trumpet story, that regardless of being left out of really every article of the past 5 years, Catskill Farms remains one of the neatest propositions in the region, if not the country.

It really makes you feel for these writers, these would be king makers. Like I have said for years - our customers are so smart they can see through PR posing as news 12 miles away. Provide value and they will find you. Provide hype, and they will look, they will ask questions, but the commitment never materializes.

I remember one article Penelope Greene wrote about New Old Houses, a few years back and 9 out of 10 facts were wrong - were hype, were unchallenged assertions made by the subject. Fact checks anyone.

Anyway, good story about upstate today since any story about upstate helps us because it turns peoples' attention upstate - and since we have a decent web presence, - that means more people find us - and once they find us, regardless of the declarations of the king-makers at the NY Times, they get it.

I love educated customers. They get our proposition immediately. They take our idea really seriously because, in the end, it's doable, it's attainable, and it's realistic.

I remember when I used to care - back when we were really desperate and really pioneering and really out on a limb. Now, the press game is a goal - but one born out of ego and always having a desire to reach goals, not out of some need to sell homes (which we have been sold out of for years).

Lisa and I and Lucas went into the city for 2 days and Lucas and I were tooling around yesterday while Lisa was having her hair done and I came across a store named Willoughbys, which specializes in camera parts, etc... Anyway, I finally invested in a wide angle lens, so hello panoramic room shots, hello small house big pictures, hello making our homes look even better. I always tell people when they call that we are the only real estate players whose homes look better in real life than they do on the internet (after a photo shop workover). Nobody believes me until they come up.

John was all about his porch, and the porch is a monster, with a rounded look on one side and a screened in porch on the other, rolling from one end of the house to the other.

It's a big porch project and we waited until the spring to build it so we would have good weather and we could really nail the details John and Wendy wanted.

We were in the city for Wednesday Thursday and Friday and really hit some hot spots. Standard Hotel beer garten, Old Homestead Steak house, Henry Public in Brooklyn and stayed at the W in Time Square. All a little fast for us squares from the country but I'm hoping we didn't stand out too much.

I hope all the readers who lived in the city got to steal away and enjoy some perfect spring weather over the past few days. Doesn't get any better.

(This is a re-post, due to now-solved Facebook issues.)


  1. Denise@Cornerstone TileApril 19, 2010 at 9:08 PM

    Nice, can't beat a Big Ass...porch! The house looks great, I was dropping off the "Tile Guy" last week and got to see it...Cool Design.

  2. I like the Shaker look of the house - partial to them 6 over 6's - but I'm not seeing the proportions on that porch... Maybe will come out good but looks like it will kinda dwarf the house and block all the light out of the downstairs.

  3. Not at all - the amazing thing about covered porches - I've discovered - is that they don't really cut down on the light - the direct light yes, but not the richocets and bounces and reflections - light is like dust, or water, - it finds a way to infiltrate.

    Design-wise, the porch works great, and once it's integrated with the screened in section, and the 2nd floor porch off the MBR (real estate speak for master bedroom), it should all come together nicely. It's actually like a whole nother house.

  4. wow what are you smoking