Some of the most coveted luxury properties in New York surround one attraction: a view of Central Park, a rare glimpse of lush greenery in the concrete jungle.
North from the City, Susy Glasgall is dealing with a different kind of luxury: sprawling manors, tennis courts, golf courses, pools, and winding, gated driveways.
The Westchester area — explored first by Italian explorer Giovanni da Verrazzano in 1524 — is now the seventh wealthiest county in the nation, and the second in New York State outside Manhattan.
Susy Glasgall has remained at the top of the competition for 24 years at Houlihan Lawrence, being named 2010’s top-producing broker with sales totaling $81 million.
The trick, according to Glasgall, is commanding an expert knowledge of the area. Working with properties in Rye, Rye Brook, Port Chester, Harrison and Purchase, and having lived there herself, she is familiar with the ins and outs of Westchester County.
“I do everything, from smaller properties to $10 million-plus homes. That’s the key; I stick with my area. Stay with your surroundings, you know it so well; in other areas, you don’t feel like you have so much of an impact.”
From the ranking of a school district to neighborhood surroundings, Glasgall believes it is vital to be familiar with the nuances of an area.
As a resident of Rye with her husband and two children, her first-hand account is monumental in her sales approach.
Her current listings include a $3.9 million colonial manor with nine bedrooms on 18 Dorann Road. An $8.9 million turn-of-the-century grand manor on 17 Linden Drive in Purchase is a nearly 10,000 s/f home with nine bedrooms and eight bathrooms.
Other properties include a newly constructed 12,500 s/f Georgian Colonian-style at 10 Rockledge in Rye listed at $6.9 million, and a $3.5 million 7-bedroom home at 35 Beverly Rd Purchase.
With such price tags, comes responsibility to make sure buyers — and sellers — walk away from a deal happy. “People now are price-conscious; they want a lot for their money,“ said Glasgall. “They’re looking for tremendous things for their money. In many of sales, they’re asking for furnishing, draperies, the whole package.”
While she’s proven to have the Midas touch in real estate, things didn’t start out that way for Glasgall. She graduated school with a Masters in Counseling, setting out to work in either the education or mental health fields.
But she said that experience has undoubtedly helped her build a successful sales career. Glasgall said the counselling taught her “patience and persistence. Buying property can be an exceptionally stressful situation, and I’m a good listener.”
In fact, her empathy and negotiating skills have been the source of much consolation to her clients. “Counseling helps me because it makes me love real estate; never mind the business side, it’s such a rewarding experience,” said Glasgall.
“I try to do good things to give back to the community. I think that helps so much — we each need something that sets us apart.”
While remaining a top producer at Houlihan Lawrence has kept Glasgall busy, she has ambitions to remain on top of her field and one day even write a book detailing her experiences.
“Right now, I don’t have much spare time on my hands,” said Glasgall, “but at one point, I’d love to write about all of the interesting things that have happened during my career as a broker.”
There have been some unusual moments, Glasgall recalled, like the time when she counselled a divorcing couple who ended up getting back together, or when she chased a dog half a mile when he ran out of a house she was showing.
“No two days are ever the same in this business,” she laughed.