Haute Agent: Louise Phillips Forbes

For more than 18 years, Louise Phillips Forbes has been a leader in New York City’s residential real estate market, developing a significant following among both homebuyers and developers. Known and respected industry-wide, Phillips Forbes’ sales recently surpassed the $1 billion mark. Yet her real estate experience extends far beyond that of a broker. She serves as an essential member of a property’s development team and is committed to providing personalized service and building strong client-relationships. A Tennessee native, who first came to New York with her sights set on Broadway, Phillips Forbes has turned a natural stage-presence into real estate stardom. After launching her real estate career with Halstead Property, LLC, Phillips Forbes served ten years with Insignia Douglas Elliman before rejoining Halstead Property. She currently leads a team of four experienced brokers, who help her maintain one-on-one connections with clients and serve as valuable components in a multi-faceted real estate business. Phillips Forbes has fostered a reputation for understanding buyers and sellers and helping them to identify their needs. She is proud of the relationships she builds with her clients and often works with owners of individual apartments for years, helping them grow and meet the changing needs of family and location, while advising them how to maximize the return on their investment.

Phillips Forbes offers invaluable insight into a purchaser’s likely requirements, thereby reducing construction time and saving money. Developers rely on her analyses during the planning stages to optimize apartment value, whether it is by identifying demographic trends and needs, or by suggesting simple amenities. As the Manhattan residential sector evolves, so too do the needs of buyers, and Phillips Forbes keeps her clients’ properties in tune with the market.

Specializing in co-op and condo conversions in the late 1980s, Louise mastered the business through her understanding of regulations, financial operations and conversions logistics. Developers actively seek Louise’s expertise in nontraditional neighborhoods, and her ability to match marketing programs for new developments and conversions.

Recently, in response to Manhattan’s skyrocketing rents, Phillips Forbes helped develop a condominium-marketing plan that targeted renters. At 865 United Nations Plaza, an 81-unit luxury pre-war building with 57 units for sale, the building’s sponsor covered the closing costs, offering an opportunity for many first-time buyers to build equity, reducing the upfront financial requirement.

Phillips Forbes’ understanding of the market also helped her recognize the demand for large apartments in New York City. At 595 West End Avenue, an exquisite pre-war building in a family-focused neighborhood, she sold 16 of the 35 available units to three individuals who were combining apartments themselves.

Phillips Forbes’ work with developers has helped cultivate now thriving new neighborhoods throughout Manhattan. One example is at 50 Madison Avenue, a building that pioneered the Madison Square Park residential area. The Italianate-palazzo building was expanded from five stories into an 11-story luxury condominium building offering nine full-floor residences overlooking the park. Many high-end developments have since followed suit in the neighborhood, taking after the example set by 50 Madison.

Phillips Forbes’ additional projects include pre-war conversions at 40 West 55th Street, 220 West 93rd Street and 142 East 49th Street, along with a ground-up at 296 East Second Street. Phillips Forbes has a number of new projects slated for 2007 in neighborhoods from the Upper East Side to the East Village, TriBeCa to the Upper West Side.

Phillips Forbes is a frequent guest lecturer for the Real Estate Board of New York and was recently profiled in Gotham Magazine’s “Leading Ladies of Real Estate.” In 2006, she was named in the Wall Street Journal’s “Real Estate Top 200,” which included top real estate brokers from throughout the country.

Despite all the demands of a successful real estate career, Phillips Forbes is fully committed to balancing work and family. She and her husband Christopher live on the Upper West Side with their two sons, Douglas and Kenneth.

Phillips Forbes is also an active member of her co-op board and volunteers for Change for Kids, a non-profit organization that provides art and cultural programs for inner-city school children. In addition, she serves on an advisory committee for Habitat for Humanity and is an active member of Fifth Avenue Presbyterian Church.