Some real estate agencies are adding business services to their brokerages in trying to be a one-stop shop that can help customers with more than just than your real estate needs. Real estate brokerages may partner up on a single storefront with a notary public, insurance broker, travel agent, or even a place where you could do your income taxes.
“I try to supplement my income with a little bit here, a little bit there,” Joseph Fabrizio, owner of Top Realty Company in Ridgewood, Queens, N.Y., told The New York Times. “I became the tax preparer and the real estate broker. And I’m also a funeral director.”
The real estate professionals who offer tax preparation services say it can increase foot traffic, and that clients are easily referred back and forth between the businesses.
In some cases, it’s two businesses splitting the same office and rent, or sometimes even one person who can wear the multiple hats.
For example, in Brooklyn, N.Y., a sign reads “Ula’s Real Estate” as well as “Income Tax.” In this husband-wife team, he sells insurance and does taxes while she and her daughter handle real estate transactions.
“There is a synergy between the businesses,” Alexander Doukhowetzky, the husband part of the team, says.
But some real estate professionals aren’t in favor of the hybrid agencies. For example, Aroza Sanjana, president of Warren Lewis Sotheby’s International Realty, told The New York Times that she thinks “it dilutes our brand to have other businesses. In this market, as competitive as it is, and with as many people in real estate as there are, you can’t afford to give less to that one task. We need all hands on one deck.”
Source: “Buying a House? Selling? They Can Do Your Taxes, Too,” The New York Times (April 8, 2013)