Halstead and Madeleine Realty had been in talks for about a year before the deal was finalized in July. Madeleine Realty owner Jacques Ambron felt Halstead was the right fit due to his own past dealings with the company’s agents, as well as their philosophy.
“Their philosophy really matches my philosophy, meaning you care and respect the people you’re working for,” Ambron said. “I used to have a tagline for the company known as PRIDE – professionalism, respect, integrity, determination and excellence – and they come very close to that by holding ethics far above everything else.”
Ambron is now the broker of record and executive director of sales in Forest Hills for Halstead.
Ambron has been working in real estate for 37 years, in Queens and Manhattan, where he worked on co-op conversions in the 1980s. Ambron’s mother, Madeleine, opened Madeleine Realty in 1986 and he eventually took over in 1991, expanding its foothold in neighborhoods such as Forest Hills, Forest Hills Gardens, Kew Gardens, Kew Gardens Hills, Rego Park and Briarwood.
Ambron said the day-to-day operations will remain the same except for a few additions. Halstead will provide resources from their larger departments like marketing, advertising, accounting and IT.
Agents will also be equipped with new tools for efficiency, such as getting exposure for listings or ordering mailings through Halstead’s system.
The organization Leading Real Estate Companies of the World, which consists of independent residential brokerages in over 65 countries, ranked Halstead first in technology.
The company’s use of technology ranges from it Webby Award-winning website to a touchscreen display on the storefront that allows passersby to check out available Halstead properties.
With the effectiveness of Halstead’s technological advances, Ambron said he can now focus more on working further with clients to enhance their experiences.
“Everything is on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook now, and while I’m up on social media, it’s hard to keep up,” Ambron said. “Instead of trying to keep up with social media, I can now focus more on what I like to do, like taking care of the people and helping the agents do better.”
With Manhattan and Brooklyn prices becoming increasingly expensive, younger professionals and families are moving into neighborhoods like Forest Hills for its appealing transportation options and “neighborhood” feel.
Ambron said it’s the perfect place those looking to “keep your sanity in the city.”
In the Forest Hills market, affordable homes are commonly sold quickly, whereas the inventory for higher-priced homes don’t move as fast.
Selling a $2 million home in Forest Hills Gardens, for example, may take about six months to a year and a half. But through The Halstead Portfolio, sellers can more quickly connect to the type of buyer looking for a luxury home.
“The area is changing a bit and needed something like Halstead to bring it up to the level that it wants to be,” Ambron said.