A new real estate agency is open for business in Water Mill. Bespoke Real Estate is much smaller than most other brokerage firms operating on the East End. It currently has just four brokers, a tiny number compared to the armies of more than 300 affiliated with other firms such as Corcoran and Douglas Elliman.
The small size is, however, a reflection of their aim. The firm is trying to capture the most elite portion of the East End market, selling only homes over $10 million from Southampton to East Hampton.
Bespoke Real Estate’s new office is at 903 Montauk Highway in Water Mill, in a 3,000-square-foot, LEED-certified building near Hampton Coffee. Designed by the SoHo-based Grade, which also designed for Douglas Elliman in SoHo, the lobby is reminiscent of one in a Manhattan luxury development.
The clean lines of the interior, the sparse placement of furniture, the symmetrical layout of the floor plan, the extreme flatness of the plasma screens all create a sense of “modern luxury” that should feel very familiar to those accustomed to the high-end market in New York City.
And that is the entire point.
“We want to create an environment that our clients are comfortable in,” said Cody Vichinsky, who started the firm with his brother, Zachary.
Zachary Vichinsky is 30 and Cody Vichinsky is in his late 20s, making the partners much younger than the majority of brokers who sell the ultra high end properties on the East End. The brothers worked for Corcoran for a combined eight years before going their own direction.
For Bespoke, focusing on such an elite portion of the overall market means flipping the traditional business model on its head by orienting their services to enhance their clients’ experience of the whole buying process. The result is a firm that more closely resembles a concierge rather than a brokerage. “We invest a lot more into our clients,” said Cody. “We have not seen this model used elsewhere.”
The brothers admit that this type of business that invests so much into the client’s experience would likely not be successful elsewhere. The Hamptons are a “Xanadu of real estate,” said Cody Vichinsky.
Part of their service begins before their clients even arrive on the East End. The company partnered with Blade, who recently teamed up with Uber to provide single-seat helicopter rides out to the East Hampton Airport. If a client is interested in a property, Bespoke will have a car pick them up in the city, drive them to the helipad on the East River, fly them out to East Hampton, then have another car pick them up again and drive to the Bespoke offices, where champagne will be waiting.
The brokerage also employs an in-house attache who will handle the fine points of keeping the home stocked with provisions, keeping the pool at the right temperature, that type of thing.
Their marketing efforts are based primarily on forming strategic partnerships with other companies that are in keeping with the lifestyle trends of their upper-echelon clientele. One of these partnerships is with the CORE club in Manhattan, which attempts to put its members at the center of “curated life” in a “modern, playful, inventive, and welcoming” environment.”
This idea of a “curated life” is exactly what Bespoke is trying to offer clients when it comes to the process of buying top-of-the-market homes. In other words, they are trying to make the experience of buying a home in the Hamptons resemble the lifestyle of actually owning a home in the Hamptons.
“We have no expectation of people walking in off the street,” said Cody Vichinsky. “Our success is based on referrals and word of mouth.”
The brothers said they currently have $330 million worth of listings, and that since opening a little over two weeks ago, on August 18, Bespoke has already closed sales totaling more than $20 million. Last week they put another exlusive listing on the market—a $12.95 million, 5,190-square-foot traditional on 1 acre on Ocean Road in Bridgehampton.
An invitation-only opening party is planned at their new office this weekend.