Approximately 86,004 real estate brokerage firms are operating in the U.S. today, and with so much competition, they sometimes have to get a little creative. Prominent New York real estate agency Douglas Elliman, for instance, is advertising the U.S. Secret Service as a hot new “amenity” at Trump Tower in an attempt to lure clients into the building.
Trump Tower is currently serving as President-elect Donald Trump’s home and transition headquarters, so naturally security has been extremely tight. To the agents at Douglas Elliman, this seemed like more of a perk than an inconvenience. So, less than a week after Trump was elected, they sent out an email to potential clients with the subject “Fifth Avenue Buyers Interested in Secret Service Protection?” to advertise a $2.1 million condo in the tower.
The email flier read: “The New Aminity [sic] – The United States Secret Service” and “The Best Value in the Most Secure Building in Manhattan.”
The 1,052-square-foot, one-bedroom condo on the 31st floor is represented by brokers Ariel Sassoon and Devin Leahy, who apparently sent out the email flier; when asked to comment, a spokesperson from Douglas Elliman tried to distance the company from the listing.
“This was completely unauthorized and done without the knowledge or approval of Douglas Elliman,” said the representative.
Recently, the majority of sale and rental listings at Trump Tower have decreased in value, causing one to wonder if the President-elect’s business isn’t suffering as a result of his campaign and presidential victory. Debra Stotts, who has worked in marketing for the Trump Organization, said that the appeal of living in the Tower is “50-50.”
“There are those who flee, there are those who are going to the building and want to be associated with Trump as a winner,” she said.
In response to the plummeting value of the listings, she said, “It’s the market. Before Donald had won, it’s been down. It’s because of the abundance of development that’s occurred in New York City. There’s just so many buildings in the market.”
Regardless of the reason, real estate agents representing properties in Trump Tower seem to be getting desperate. Real estate agents are viewed as a useful source of information by 98% of buyers who hire them. Whether Ariel Sassoon and Devin Leahy are simply providing information, or trying any tactic possible to make a sale, remains to be seen.