Property Grunt

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Goldmine

I received the following press release from Kelly Kreth.


--Unique Platform Offers Online and In-Person Bidding on Residential and Commercial Properties Worldwide in Real Time—

New York, NY, April 20, 2009 –, [BOTC], the first online real estate trading platform for Manhattan residential and commercial real estate properties, launches today in Manhattan. offers a unique way to buy and sell Manhattan residential and commercial properties. There are many advantages for sellers, buyers and brokers to using this innovative technique.

BOTC offers many distinct advantages to sellers, including:

· A free detailed property analysis with comparable sales, a recommended starting bid price, a local and international marketing schedule and an open house schedule, within 90 minutes of their request;

· A finite, much shorter than average, 30-day on-the-market cycle;

· Sellers pre-sign a contract prior to listing their property making the transaction transparent and making the sale certain if there is a qualified buyer;

· Marketing of properties locally, nationally and internationally, utilizing print, digital and broadcast media;

· Access to a database of pre-screened and qualified buyers from around the world.

· The highest accepted bid will be awarded the contract for sale and within three hours the contract and the closing schedule will be delivered;

· Sellers pay nothing if the property is not sold.

· Sellers pay 3% if property is sold, which is significantly lower than others charge.

By buying residential and commercial properties through BOTC, buyers are benefitted by getting a transparent process, the best prices, and the most comprehensive information about each listing.

BOTC also allows brokers to list and sell their exclusive properties through the platform.

Thirty days after a property is listed, buyers bid in real time on BOTC’s platform to negotiate the best possible price. Bidding takes place simultaneously online and in person at BOTC’s Manhattan ground-level, bidding center located at 226 Fifth Avenue . The bidding is broadcasted live around the globe.

BOTC’s operations are overseen by two Manhattan real estate professionals with more than 25 years of combined years of experience: Albert Feinstein, managing director and Vlad Sapozhnikov, executive director, residential sales.

“Lately, in this market, sellers haven’t been able to sell their properties because buyers are unsure if they can find a property of their choice and get the best possible deal. After almost two years of development, we created the platform to offer sellers and buyers the most innovative and certain approach to selling and buying Manhattan premium residential and commercial real estate,” explains Feinstein.

“Having worked in residential sales in Manhattan for many years and having been the top sales person for many buildings, I realized that a standard brokerage approach no longer works in this type of economy,” comments Sapozhnikov. “There is a need for much more dynamic and technologically-advanced tools to sell and buy on Manhattan , so we created as a type of “E-Trade” for real estate.”

BOTC’s cutting-edge platform includes three major components: listing engine, bidding engine and video broadcasting. The price negotiation engine was designed and developed by, the leading real estate data provider.

“I believe that’s price negotiation engine is by far the most sophisticated and advanced technology that is available on the market today,” says Matthew Haines, founder,

About is the first online real estate trading platform created to sell and buy Manhattan residential and commercial real estate properties. pre-negotiates the best prices and contract terms and affords sellers a short listing agreement, lower commissions, an exceptional marketing campaign, and access to qualified buyers from around the world. The finite, 30-day process, culminates in a bidding event where’s state-of-the-art platform allows buyers to negotiate the best possible prices online and in person. Bidonthecity’s price negotiation engine has been designed and engineered by, the leading real estate online datacenter.

I first heard about Bid on the City from NYT and as I have stated in previous entries this is a sign of things to come where broker services are being outsourced.

When you take away the bells and whistles, a real estate sales transaction is an auction. A seller puts out a price, the buyers put in their offers. It is either deal or no deal.

With the real estate market tanking the way it is, buyers and sellers are more open to other options.

Do I think this is the end of the real estate brokerage business? No. But I do think it will take a huge chunk out of their bottom line. Bid on the City will not be the only game in town because there is no barrier of entry to their business model. You do not need to be Ebay to create an auction site, all you need is a little cash, outsource the programming to India and you are good to go.

If Bid on the City were to fall there be will ten other sites to take its place. In fact it would not surprise me that a lot of people are watching this very closely to see how this develops. What makes this so lucrative is that the operating costs are much lower than running a traditional real estate brokerage. The minimum capital outlays consist of getting a domain name and a laptop. Even if a real estate auction site makes a fraction of the deals that the big real estate brokerages do, they will still be ahead because their overhead is so low.

The profitability potential of these real estate auctions is enormours and as it becomes more popular I would not be surprised to see Corcoran and other brokerages exploring the option of implementing an auction department within their infrastructure.

The real winner in this is Kelly Kreth. Because of her presence in the real estate community and the unique service that she offers in establishing brand recognition, there will many a company kicking down her for her help.