Richard Ellis: Licensed Real Estate Broker & Managing member, Ellis Sotheby's International Realty.

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Richard Ellis is a licensed real estate broker and managing member at Ellis Sotheby's International Realty. He joined his father in business in 1985 and had a vision to not just "sell" properties, but to "market" them. His success is based on his keen ability to assess unique selling points when listing a property, and ability to develop a marketing plan which will create the best possible strategy to allow a property to stand out from its competition and sell.

His background in communication from the S.I. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University & prior work experience in the advertising industry, enables him to advise his clients in this area very well. He stays on top of market industry trends by attending several real estate industry conferences per year & has served as President of the Greater Hudson Valley Multiple Listing System, and immediate past president, and was a Board of Director for about 12 years.

Rich has been a New York resident his entire life, was raised in Staten Island,  has lived in Manhattan for many years as well in both an arts and crafts style home as well as a "glass box" overlooking the Hudson River. His family has resided In New York for more than 350 years and was given a land grant by Peter Stuyvesant in 1657.

His precedent setting real estate experience includes selling the only house in New York State history deemed legally as haunted, which changed New York State law with respect to disclosure in the early 1990's. The story never seems to die and seems to come back to life every year or so, especially around Halloween.

Richard Ellis offers a unique and professional perspective for your real estate needs and will get the job done in the most effective way. He can easily be reached on his mobile at 914.393.0438.

What do you do best?

I am passionate about extraordinary properties that have unique architectural details and great or interesting provenance. I love to create marketing for and list these types of properties for sale.  I enjoy developing a unique selling characteristic which will distinguish the property from others on the market; to make it stand out from the “clutter” of listing inventory.

I am excellent at positioning the property, calling my team, still photographer & drone photographer for great photos; I tend to micro manage, especially drone photography, as I always know what view I want.

And – I love presenting and walking through my extraordinary listings with potential clients and brokers; most often I will point out distinguishing details the property offers as well as  the “lifestyle” aspect of the listing.

I try to encourage dialogue during showings, but don’t always get a response.

Lastly, I love being a dual agent – selling my listings.  I’ve done this lots of times and enjoy the opportunity to deal with both buyer and seller on one transaction.

Bidding wars! I love the sense of accomplishment I feel when I successfully leverage offers on the table to get the highest and best price. It’s kind of like an auction but of course very different.

After almost 30 years in the business, this is what I do this best!

What makes you the best?

My passion, enthusiasm and never using form letters or giving stock answers to anyone.    I like to be creative with everything I do, while also learning from the past to try to create the best possible strategy for the future.

How will you stay the best?

Through a lot of hard work; I'm a Capricorn - can't help it.  Always being available. Always looking at and knowing stats for the marketplace. And always try to  “understand my audience” and react to them; which is sometimes easier said then done. Finally, trying to let go of any client stress as quickly as possible, to move on with other projects/clients, etc.

Biggest success?

Developing and growing my business, Ellis Sotheby’s International Realty to be the premier luxury real estate brand on the west bank of the Hudson River in the lower Hudson Valley.

Personally selling/marketing the most expensive property in my marketplace 7 out of the last ten years; and my office/agents sold 2 out of these 10 years… So myself and my agents sold the most expensive properties 9 out of the last 10 years; we missed one year out of 10!   And I'm on track to sell the most expensive property in my market place for 2015 too; 11th year.

What are your aspirations?

Personal: To be the best possible husband to my husband, Brandon.  And to try to create more personal time for us to be able to spend together – laughing, going to new cutting edge restaurants, and basically acting child like - stupid & silly as much as possible!  Having fun and not "doing" business 24/7 wherever possible. 

Business: To continue to grow my business and stay on top, while also always trying to evolve and stay current with everything.

To understand and utilize public relations to break through the “cluter of the marketplace” to have my message(s) heard.

Most challenging moment?

Making the decision 11 years ago to “give up” being an independent broker doing business as Ellis Realty, to become a Sotheby’s International Realty affiliate.

The reason this was challenging was because I was always proud and worked extremely hard to develop my business and develop our unique heritage as an independent broker.  Mistakenly I thought I was “giving up” all that I developed in my 19 years as an independent broker.  Instead I was gaining an affiliation with the leading luxury brand in the world with very strong brand image, offering great advice and providing us with  cutting edge tools for focussed results and both global and local brand strategies for success.  I learned that Sotheby's is my partner - much more than "just a brand".

The support I receive from Philip White and his team at the brand,  has allowed me to become the luxury leader in my market place versus struggling to be a luxury leader when we were simply Ellis Realty.

I have learned from the past and never looked back; always focused on the future.

What fascinates you?

Successful people, whether they are corporate leaders, entertainers or people who “give” of themselves for the good of others.

I always like emotional connections and find this energy can be stimulating and be the mojo to accomplish our goal; if I/we don’t accomplish our goal, hopefully have fun along the way; and learn something.

Favorite Motto:

My more recent favorite quote is from one of the Godfather movies:   “ we choose the business we’re in”.

I love this quote and want to remind anyone who complains about the negative and stressful side of our business to remember this…"might as well just have fun"

Favorite People:

Hillary and Bill Clinton.  

Tony Robbins. 


Diane Sawyer. 

Chantal Sicile Kira (my good friend and an autism expert who first had to fight for the well being of her own non verbal, autistic son, at a time when such children were put in institutions – and has helped many other autistic children and their families along the way).  And finally, everyone who I don’t know (their names) who helps mankind and believes in a cause and fights for it!

Favorite Places:

Tribeca!  New York City; anything New York. New Orleans. Paris. Amalfi coast. Dubai.  Hong Kong. Thailand. Buenos Aires. California. St Barths … the list goes on! 

Heading to Japan, China, Vietnam and Cambodia very soon – hopefully these will make my new “favorite list”!

Favorite Products:

My Tesla!  Once you drive electric, you don’t want to go back to a gas powered car!   Even our Carrera 4-S seems like it has to work too hard, compared to the Tesla.  Just love it.

Current Passions:

Looking at contemporary art – love the new Whitney Museum in the meat packing district… as much as I love the Hudson River school of painters - there is a lot more cutting edge art out there :)

Did I say “food”?

The “seasons”  - living in NY.

Local history. The history of New York City and surrounding environments.


Movies and theater.

White burgundy wines.

Spicy cocktails.