Prudential Douglas Elliman broker Darren Sukenik has rules for people who come to his open houses: have the cash to buy what he's selling, don't waste his time, and do not bring god knows whatever is on your shoes into this apartment. In order to ensure prospective buyers abide by commandment number three, Sukenik typically insists people either take off their shoes before entering or cover them with "surgical booties." Explaining his rationale, he told the Times, "[These] apartments are precious...you want to make it feel like a jewel box. You wouldn’t wear construction boots in a jewel box.”
Usually, people play by Sukenik's rules. There is one group of people, however, who've brought some friction to the table.
Mr. Sukenik said that in the past, some buyers, especially hedge fund executives who view it “humbling” to bare their feet, have angrily stormed out.
Now, given that the apartments in question are only $2-3 million, clearly the term "hedge fund executive" is being liberally interpreted. Regardless, at the very least, Sukenik is showing places to people who aspire to the title of "hedge fund executive" and so I'll offer him a couple suggestions, if I might.
Numer uno, Sukes, you got one thing right-- these guys do not appreciate being "humbled" so that you can protect your jewel box. But you want to make this sale dontcha big boy? Then check yourself before you wreck yourself. Know your client. You're going to ask a "hedge fund executive" to take his shoes off, a) you don't suggest it's because they're filthy and b) you'd better incentivize him to do so. Having an associate on staff to service toes would be a good idea (in fact: light bulb time! Have said associate be the one to approach the target all like "I know this is going to sound weird but I would love to have your big toe in my mouth" would get the job done and this way takes the awkwardness of asking off you). At the very least, foot massages would probably help your cause. Or you could tell the HFE you've never had a man of his stature in your presence and would love to make a mold of his feet. Boom. Done. Shoes off. Alternatively, if your "hedge fund executive" refuses to take off his shoes, take one for the damn team. Instead of letting him "angrily storm out," get on all fours and offer to let him ride you around while you show off all the place has to offer. Commission in the bag, white rugs intact.