"Manhattan is a very international city," says Daniel Hedaya, executive vice president of Platinum Properties, a boutique real estate brokerage and management company based in downtown Manhattan that also has a satellite office in Paris. "It's a location that people from all over the world know and come to," he adds, which is why foreign investment in Manhattan property is so common. But when those investors live in China, Europe, or South America, as many of Platinum's clients do, managing that property can become especially difficult." They want a point of contact in Manhattan," Hedaya says.
Platinum Properties was one of the frontrunners in recognizing the demand for services that would streamline the process of managing an apartment from overseas (or a similarly protracted distance), which came coupled with the spike in foreign demand for Manhattan property a few years ago. As a result, the company opened a management branch that caters exclusively to foreign investors.
"We help foreign investors with all the tasks associated with the ownership of property in Manhattan, including finding the right property, providing financing, finding and communicating with a renter, maintaining the property, and billing and collecting rent," Hedaya says. "We manage the day to day activity." The cost of these services can run anywhere from 7-10 percent of the property's monthly rent, he adds.
Other real estate agencies, and even some individual realtors, have begun partnering with foreign companies to provide similarly extensive broker and management services to international investors: Stribling and Associates recently affiliated with Savills, the London-based international real estate company; Halstead Property now offers Halstead360, a full-service program for real estate investors run by its global services division; and individual agents like Corcoran's Anne Marie Moriarty have established partnerships with overseas agencies to better reach and serve their foreign clients.
The objective of these new-age services, Hedaya says, is to provide a "one-stop shop" for international clients. "All of our services are tailored to the needs of the private investor who is not from New York," he says. "The goal here is to provide a very easy means of investment in Manhattan without a lot of headache."