The right real estate agent will do more for clients than simply help them buy or sell a home. Agents who are involved in their community can provide newcomers with a wealth of information that helps ease their transition into a new town.
Anita Zander, an associate broker with Houlihan Lawrence in Katonah and a resident of North Salem, N.Y., is a passionate horsewoman and closely connected to the equestrian community of northern Westchester. Her love of horses helped a family from Virginia feel right at home when they moved to the area.
As soon as the Fortes learned they were being relocated from Virginia to Westchester County they started looking for a real estate agent on the Internet. Andrea Forte's father, a real estate agent in Virginia, advised her to narrow her search to agents who were associate brokers and who held both Graduate, Realtor Institute (GRI) and Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) designations.
When the Fortes, whose daughter Hannah is an avid equestrian, discovered that Anita Zander held those real estate designations, was a horse lover as well as on the board of directors of both the North Salem Bridal Trails Association and the Golden Bridge Hounds, they knew they had found the right agent. Zander located the perfect property with a place for horses.
Zander's services to the couple did not end with their purchase of a home. She introduced the Fortes to both the Golden Bridge Hounds and the local Pony Club. With Andrea's help, the Pony Club has expanded from just two members to a thriving organization with more than 40 children, including several boys. The Pony Club runs educational programs for young riders with an emphasis on safety as well as fun.
Zander and the Fortes see each other regularly -- on horseback. "My granddaughter and I joined the club as charter members," says Zander.