Known as a hard-working straight shooter with deep market knowledge, Jackie Lowey burst onto the real estate scene six years ago and has since become one of the busiest agents at Saunders. We spoke with her about her background and real estate practice.
How did you come to real estate?
After a career in Washington, DC, where I held several government posts including Deputy Director of the National Park Service, I moved to the Hamptons full time to marry my husband (who I met at the Stephen Talkhouse over Labor Day in 1998) and raise my family. I’ve run a successful consulting business, working with both local and major national non-profits as well as Fortune 500 companies. With my skills and background and extensive network of contacts, real estate was a natural transition, as Andrew Saunders pointed out when he recruited me to work at the firm.
How long have you been in real estate now?
I’ve been working full time in real estate for about 6 years and people have been amazed at how my business has grown to be so successful in such a short period of time. I always laugh and say I didn’t fall out of the sky and into real estate – I’ve been working for 35 years and many of the skills I’ve honed over that time are the same ones you need to be a successful agent: really hard work, absolute integrity, and a sense of humor. Of course, as a native New Yorker, my vast network in the tri-state area and beyond relationships has been a big plus – at least 90% of my business is referrals and recommendations.
What changes have you seen in the market here, especially over the last couple of years?
This is a 24-7 market. Much to my husband’s dismay, I am literally checking for new inventory on my iPhone in bed at 11pm. The early bird gets the worm and I make a point to be first in the door at new listings when I think there is a match for one of my buyers. The inventory is so limited right now that serious buyers need to work with aggressive, educated, transactional agents who keep their fingers on the pulse of the market. With respect to the list side, the key is pricing and good marketing.
What’s your business like right now? How much is sales and how much rentals?
My business is fantastic. Since last year, I’ve sold approximately 50 homes and done countless rentals. I’ve seen a slowing in the winter/fall rental market as of late, but the sales market is booming — albeit with limited inventory.
Which areas do you cover, and where are you seeing the most activity now?
I work from Montauk to Southampton and am seeing strong activity in all areas. I’d say that with the return to schools and work, the demand for properties in Bridgehampton and points west has soared along with pricing. But buyers are also recognizing the phenomenal value in areas like Springs and Northwest Woods in East Hampton, which has fueled a strong market there, too.
What are your buyers looking for these days?
I have a wide range of buyers at vastly different price points. I’d say more are looking for turnkey than projects — but all are looking for solid investment, both in terms of “lifestyle capital” and long-term financial stability.
What’s the best piece of advice you could give a buyer now? How about a seller?
This is a dynamic, aggressive market and working with an agent who is transactional and knows the market makes a real difference both on the buy and sell side. I advise my sellers to price realistically and trust the market. The market is efficient. I advise my buyers to be decisive and prepared both financially and emotionally to jump in and make quick decisions.
What do you like to do in the Hamptons outside the office?
Ha! Is there actually outside of the office? My commitment this summer was to find an hour a day to do something I love besides work. That was usually taking a walk with family or friends, having a glass of wine after work on the beach and looking for whales…or going out on our boat either to fish and cruise about, or taking friends out to eat dinner and watch the sunset over Gardiners Bay.
Do you have a favorite restaurant? A favorite place to go?
A favorite place to go? Hmmm…that’s a hard one because I have so many friends in the business, and I don’t really have favorites. I’ve always loved Scarpetta in Montauk — even though I work in town, I still feel like I’m on vacation when I’m there — and the food is fabulous. I think SiSi is a great addition to waterfront eating. Simply Sublime in East Hampton is one of my go-tos for healthy food and is Naturally Good. And of course, I love Fresno, NIck and Toni’s, Harbor Bistro.
We know you’re an active supporter of the community. Are there any groups or organizations you’d like to mention that you’re involved in?
I’ve been super involved in the community since I moved here. I have been an elected member of the East Hampton School Board for the past 10 years and find that to be incredibly important and rewarding work. My children both have attended the local public schools and I think there is nothing more important than delivering a quality education for our kids. I was one of the first Board members of the Children’s Museum of the East End (CMEE) and was deeply involved for a decade in helping to raise money to build it–and helped hire its present Executive Director. Prior to my involvement in real estate, I was in charge of raising funds for Concerned Citizens of Montauk and The Montauk Playhouse–so I continue to support them. And as a breast cancer survivor, I think that Fighting Chance and the Ellen Hermanson Foundation play a vital role in our community.