PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – Where other Realtors saw Port Chester properties in distress, Andrew Rogovic saw opportunity. Now, after a struggle to find tenants and buyers for two condominium projects, Rogovic has Wellington Green and Brookchester Court almost fully occupied.
“Not everyone in Port Chester realizes they're almost full yet,’’ said Rogovic, an agent for Better Homes and Gardens Rand Realty. “When I took over as the broker there was definitely some concern with the existing residents. They saw the new pricing and got nervous. But what they failed to realize was the impact all of the empty units were having. Now most of those same people who bought in 2008 at Wellington Green are down approximately five percent in the worst market since the Depression. In this market, that’s a huge victory.”
Brookchester is a 39-unit complex just steps away from the Port Chester train station, downtown waterfront and a wide range of nearby restaurants. It includes 1-, 2- and 3-bedroom units that were built in 2004. Wellington Green is a complex of 66 two-bedroom, two-bath units, built in 2007.
The projects experienced similar issues from the outset. The prices were too high, and as the economy tanked, so did the value of the projects. Only 15 units at Brookchester were sold between 2007 and 2009, and only 15 were sold in the same time frame at Wellington Greene.
Rogovic took on Wellington Green in 2009. Brookchester Court had an ownership change in September 2011, and Rogovic began selling in 2012. Only two of the 24 units at Brookchester are unsold.
Rogovic completed a different price structure to lure buyers at Brookchester. Some buyers, and owners, were surprised. "I told them that the new owner had a different price point of ownership, and that time was as important as money to him,’’ Rogovic said. “We were below market value but instead of taking three years to sell out, we took one year. The pricing led to a line of buyers waiting to get in.”
The Wellington Greene models were even pricier. “The price points between Brookchester and Wellington were $100,000 apart,’’ Rogovic said. “There was enough middle ground where people weren’t competing with each other.”
He believes the change in brokers, and a better marketing plan, helped bring buyers into Wellington Greene.
“We’re very nurturing,’’ Rogovic said. “We didn’t try to hide the issues. We had to re-establish credibility with the owners, to make that first group committed to the building. We never even had to lower our pricing.”
Rogovic, a 10-year veteran of the real estate industry, started his career in the financial markets. He is enjoying his new career home in real estate.
“I spent over 10 years in the financial market and I believe it has given me a great advantage when it comes to working with developers and investors,’’ Rogovic said.
“But the best part of switching careers has been the ability to build longterm relationships with all the people I have worked with. Looking back, I have no regrets.”